Gaustatoppen, which many believe is Norway's most beautiful mountain, towers majestically over Rjukan with its 1883 masl. Each year, around 30,000 people make the hike up Gaustatoppen to enjoy the fantastic view. From the top in clear weather, you can see eastward to the Swedish border or southward to the southern coast. The view shows more than one-sixth of Norway.
Gaustatoppen is a simple hike to the top of the mountain and suitable for most people, also families with children who are accustomed to hiking.
It is easiest to reach the top from the road between Rjukan and Tuddal (Mountain highway 651 between Sauland/Tuddal and Rjukan). Start the hike from the parking lot at Stavsro. The route is a steady climb all the way up. The trail going up is wide and rocky. Use good mountain boots with ankle support. The height difference is approx. 700 meters.
You can also hike from Selstali, a more difficult and longer route. Sections of the route are very steep. Postpone the trip in bad weather or strong winds. The hike takes approx. 7 hours round trip.
There are buses departing to Gaustatoppen in both summer and winter.
Gaustatoppen Tourist Cabin
The cabin is located near the top. The cabin is staffed and sells simple food and drink daily during the summer season until mid-October (the cabin is not licensed for alcohol). It is possible to spend the night during the summer season, but this must be booked in advance. There are 11 beds.
Gaustatoppen is also a great place for skiing, snowboarding and free-riding skiing.
Gaustabanen is a funicular railway that takes you into Gaustatoppen mountain. The original idea was for the railway to transport tourists up to the top of Gaustatoppen. This was interrupted by the Cold War, however, and during the first 50 years, Gaustabanen was a closed military facility. In 2006, the railway was opened to the public. The trip takes 15 minutes from Svineroi to Tuddalstippen, and from here you can hike to the Gaustaoppen Tourist Cabin. This is the simplest way to get to Gaustatoppen.
There are many places to spend the night in the area. You can find everything from cabins, rooms and apartments of varying standards and prices. Remember to book ahead during high season.
Other nearby activities
Horseback riding - ride along the foot of Gaustatoppen on horseback.
Trek to Hulderhola - a 15-meter deep cave in the mountain.
Krossobanen - a cable car that transports you from Rjukan to the base of Hardangervidda. The trip takes 5 minutes.