Knutshøe – a better alternative to Besseggen
For the last big hike of our Norway tour, we chose the highlight of the Jotunheimen National Park: the Besseggen. But after a detailed research, the crowd was too big for us. We do not want to have a mass migration like on the Trolltunga again. We wanted it to be quiet, enjoy the nature and have the landscape for us.
And so we chose Knutshøe. Online, we did not find much about it. We didn’t the exact starting point for example and we didn’t know where to park our car.
However, why should I choose Knutshoe instead of Besseggen?
Why should I hike the Knutshøe?
The parking lot at the starting point is free and you do not have to take a toll road to get there. In addition, you do not need a boat like on the Besseggen. But the biggest advantage we found was that we were almost alone during the whole hike. We only saw 6 other people in the 8 hours of our hike. And of course the landscape is overwhelming.
You can focus on nature and calm yourself down. If you want to take pictures, you do not have to wait until your view is clear of other hikers.
Walk the Knutshoe, if you want to hike something different than all the others!
Why should I hike the Besseggen instead?
You do not walk over a narrow ridge, as is the case with Besseggen. So you do not have this postcard view of the blue big lake on the left and the turquoise little lake on the right. But this is more than made up for by the really magnificent landscape.
And of course you do not have the same standard photo that everyone has from this hike, but that’s actually an advantage for me!
If you want to see only the top highlights of Norway and also want to take the typical photos (and you are not disturbed by big crowds), then do not go the Knutshoe, but hike the Besseggen instead.
Where exactly is the Knutshoe Parking?
The parking lot is located about 1 km after the turn to the Besseggen parking lot on the right side. It fits about 12 cars on it.
We had contrary to the weather report wonderful weather, blue sky and little to no wind. The first part of the hike leads rather flat over meadows and fields before it goes then directly quite steep to the (first part of the) mountain. In some places you even have to climb, which is just a little challenging. In wet weather but you should be very careful!
After you have passed the first climb and are on top of the mountain, the hike continues leisurely. As the ridge you climb steadily goes up, you think quite often that you are already at the highest point, but then it goes even a bit higher. From about half of the way you have the big lake on the right hand side and almost all the time you look at the snow-capped mountains on the horizon. On the left hand side, the valley extends with a turquoise lake, a shimmering red smaller lake and a meandering wild river.
We were just amazed the whole time and could hardly take our eyes off this incredibly beautiful landscape.
At the highest point of the route you can look over to the Besseggen ridge, which is only about 1.2 km away, and watch all the people who meander along it. And if you have binoculars or a good camera lens then you can even see a tiny bit of the lake on the other side of the ridge.
The hike back to the parking lot
The path downhill is a lot steeper but also faster than the way up. In the end, there are two ways, one of which is a bit more obvious than the other. You can go around the mountain in both directions, right and left. We first followed the most obvious path and arrived at the right hand side of the big lake, where the river, which we had in view at the top of the mountain, has its mouth. As I have seen on the map, this path probably leads back to the Besseggen parking lot. And that would have meant quite a big detour for us. So we had to go back a bit (and uphill) to take the other path, which then led us back to the parking lot on the left hand side – and was completely even.
All in all, with the little detour, we walked almost 18 kilometers and were on the hike for 8 hours. Much longer than I thought, but it was worth every kilometer and every drop of sweat. And even if it started to drizzle in the end it was a wonderful hike. In my opinion, the highlight of our whole Norway trip.
Finally, I left my wooden walking stick at the information sign of the way and threw my old hiking boots in the bin. They had done enough.
Barefoot, I got into our car and we drove off with limp legs but a relieved grin on our lips.
You have any questions to our hike or want to tell us of your experience? Drop us a comment!