Hiking Bukkelægret in Jotunheimen, Norway – 2022

Within Jotunheimen National Park, you’ll find a great hike called Bukkelægret, which can either be a 4-5 hour hike from one main ferry/cabin stop to the next, or can be summited in less than an hour for spectacular views. This was at the end of our three day Backpacking Trip through Jotunheimen, so we woke up early in the morning to summit this mountain top before taking a nice camp-side breakfast later.

The hike starts either in Memurubu or Gjendebu. We had just finished the end part of the famous Besseggen hike, which stops at the bottom of the Memurubu valley, so we started there, but it can be done in the opposite direction and can be done as a one way in either direction. Our plan was just to summit to the top and see the views.

 If you think of hikes in terms of effort to view ratios, then this is one of the best hikes to do in the world. It might rival something like Morro Dois Irmaos in Rio De Janeiro, or Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii. You can ascend this hike in less than an hour and be rewarded with great views of the Gjende lake from the front or back of the hike. 

Depending on the weather of the day, you’ll get fascinating colors and moods, based on the sunlight and clouds. In one minute it might be a sparkling green-turquoise or it might be a silvery-blue with light rays shining down. And when the sun comes out and warms your face, it is heavenly. 

A note: we left most of our heavy gear back at the bottom of the hill, so that made the hike more enjoyable. And that’s why most of these photos are without bags. But be prepared with rainjackets and warm weather gear even on sunny days as you may get caught in some showers suddenly and there can be dangerous weather even during the middle of summer. 

Fortunately, on this day, we had rain-free weather, although it was chilly at the top with the wind. As the saying in Norway goes, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes. 

While I said that the hike only takes less than an hour up, the hike may take you longer, especially if you like to take photos. There’s incredible scenery everywhere you look, so it’s hard to put down the camera. I may have this same exact shot twenty times on my camera, but they are all different based on the lighting showing through the clouds. Plus, you’ll want to check when the ferry leaves as it only goes a few times during the day. Otherwise, you’ll have to camp another night or stay at the mountain cabin for a small price. 

You may want to invest in a polarizing filter to cut off the glare for some images. As you can see above, it’s harder to see the lake with all the reflection. I can send you my recommendations, for which camera you use.

If you don’t use a polarizer, then you can get the reflection of the mountains on the lake surface, so that’s sometimes nice. But you can always use a circular polarizing filter to only cut off glare when you want to. 

The close up photos of the mountains shows the true scale of these vast pitches. We hid behind a small rock outcropping for cover from the wind.

Eating some Norwegian chocolate at the summit was another highlight, although this was technically in the morning before breakfast….

Julie was happy with this view.

We spent probably thirty minutes at the top, which was long enough to see the scenery change a few times, and for us to decide to keep moving before the rain got there. 

The hike down is quite steep, so be prepared to take it slowly and watch each of your steps. On the other end, if you make it to Gjendebu, then there will be chains attached to the mountain side. I’d recommend using/brining gloves if you decide to go that far, as holding the metal will draw much of the heat out of your fingers very quickly. 

Since it’s a national park, there’s no drone flying, but you can only imagine the view taking off from here. 

And that was it for this Bukkelægret hike. Hope you get to go to this sometime in the future. 

Location:

Bukkelægret is located right across the river from Memurubu Tourist Cabin. You’ll cross over the river via a bridge and then find the entrance to the hike via the marked trail. To get to the top takes around 30 minutes and 15 minutes down if you’re fast. Be prepared for some different weather, as it can change quickly. To get to Memurubu, you’ll take the ferry and stop here, or if you plan well, then you can take the ferry all the way to Gjendebu and hike back to Memurubu for a 4-5 hour/half day hike. 

And then even before that, you’ll have to get to Jotunheimen first, which is about a 4-5 hour drive from Oslo and a similar distance from Bergen, making it accessible for both residents and tourists coming from these major cities. The area is well-connected by roads, and there are several entry points for those wishing to explore the region, such as Lom, Vågå, and Fagernes. I would definitely recommend a stop through Lom to try the Lom Bakery and all of its goods. It’s a good stop with additional activities to do as well. Ask in the comments for any more info that you need.

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