Høgeloft from Eldrevatnet


Estimated net time 5-6 hours
Difficulty No difficulties, but the terrain has a lot of scree. If you follow the small cairns you're likely to find the best route.
Note that the hike is made much easier if cycling the first 5.0 km.
Drinking water Reasonably easy access to running water several places along the service road. Nothing reliable above that.
GSM coverage Maybe coverage at trail head, but definitely nothing above (August 2011).
Parking Room for many cars at trail head car park.
Start height 1121 metres
Vertical metres 815 metres for the roundtrip.
Trip distance 19.7 km
GPS-file X (descent only)


Route photo

  Parking, trail head and first part of route.
  Start of cairned route from gravel road.


Drive road 52 between Gol and Borlaug (road E16), across Hemsedalsfjellet, to the north-west end of lake Eldrevatnet. This is approximately 35 km from Hemsedal centre, and approximately 4 km north of the Hemsedal-Lærdal municipality border (which is also the county border between Buskerud and Sogn og Fjordane). You pass lake Eldrevatnet on your right hand side and turn right onto the second gravel road. Drive 30 metres and turn left onto a large car park. Park here.

NOTE: it is recommended that you use a bike for the first 5 km of this hike.

Start your hike by following the gravel road north, around lake Eldrevatnet and across a small bridge. There is a gate just before the bridge. There is a road fork 2.0 from trail head, and you should fork left here. Continue another 3.0 km on the gravel road and notice a relatively large cairn on the right hand side of the road. Leave the road at this point and head north-east on the right hand side of the river/gully. The cairns are not very frequent, and there is no path, but it is well worth trying to locate the cairns. At 1500 metres the route turns south-east up to 1600 metres, before heading more or less directly east to the summit.

When you get closer to the summit you will see a more alpine top out to the left, but this is not the highest point, despite the fact that it might look higher (this is point 1900m north of the summit).

The summit is marked by a large cairn and is likely to have a summit registration book.

Descend by reversing your ascent route.



04. August 2011

The plan for this Thursday was to drive back home to Brattvåg, after five days of extensive hiking and most excellent company at my friend Håvard's cabin above Nesbyen. But in addition to almost 8 hours driving I also planned to hike Høgeloft on my way if the weather was OK, despite the poor forecast.

When I left Håvard's cabin at 8 am the conditions for hiking seemed fine and I decided to get across Hemsedalsfjellet and make an attempt at Høgeloft. With little traffic on the roads I was ready to start my hike at 09:45, after having messed around a little in locating the trail head (I took first right after lake Eldrevatnet, which soon proved to be one too early). The first thing I had to do at trail head was to get my bike out of the boot and assemble it. Then I was on my way, noticing that someone had used my bike and lowered the seat. A bit annoying, but fortunately the culprit is only 7 cm lower than me, so cycling wasn't too bad.

Cycling up to where I was going to leave the gravel road was not as hard as I had anticipated, and I managed to cycle all the way. But with the seat a bit lower than I would prefer I managed to build up a fair bit of lactic acid in my thighs over the 5 km of continuous uphill cycling.

At the start of the cairned route to Høgeloft I hid my bike behind a large stone and started the walk. The first 15-20 minutes was really hard, despite a fairly flat terrain, but eventually I managed to get the lactic acid washed out of my muscles and walking became more comfortable, and I was able to keep a fair pace.

From time to time I had to stop in order to locate the next cairn, and on a couple of occasions I just proceeded without having seen the next cairn, only to stumble across a cairn a little later. I was obviously on the right track.

When I got around half-way up the hill I thought I saw the summit, and then a little later I saw something higher which I thought would be the summit. And to my surprise I saw 4-5 reindeers on the ridge south-west of the summit. Then, a little later, I saw a third top, and since this top both looked higher and more impressive I was sure this was the summit. I therefore proceeded towards this top, but when I got mid-way between this top and the second summit candidate I started to hesitate. It was time to bite the bullet, and I pulled out my GPS to check, and it showed me that I had already passed the summit and was on my way towards a smaller top north of the summit. I therefore had to descend a little before taking on the summit from north, "wasting" something like 15 minutes, which 2 hours later proved to be pretty critical time, since I got heavy rain during the last 15 minutes of my hike.

At the summit I didn't get the views this mountain offers on fine days, and I soon realised I was probably going to get rain before I was back at my car. So after a few shots with the camera I started my descent, and to my surprise I met another hiker going to Høgeloft. When I turned around a little after I had met him I could see it was two of them, so I wonder where the other hiker was when I chatted briefly with the one I met.

The rain seemed to stay away, but not long before I got back down to my bike I got a small shower. And soon after I had started my ride back to the car it started to rain heavily. Fortunately I had put on a proper jacket before I started cycling, but my trousers got soaked, and back at the car it was a rush in order to disassemble my bike and get it into the car. Since it was raining heavily I didn't bother about changing clothes, so by the time I got to the ferry at Fodnes I was freezing, which was all put to an end by changing into dry clothes at one of the ferry's toilettes.
Photos 04.08.2011