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hiking mount Knutshö in Jotunheimen, Norway

author: created: last update:
01-Jan-197026-Sep-2008

Knutshö is a 1517 meter high rock formation in the east of Jotunheimen National Park, Norway. Walking its rugged edge provides stunning views and is as worthwhile as hiking the famous Besseggen route, which runs nearby on the other side of the Gjende lake. If not an alternative, Knutsho is at least great training ground if you plan to hike Besseggen, and a must-do if you are in the neighbourhood.

As always, popular places attract attention regardless of their actual merit, leaving other spots in the shadows. Like this beautiful walk on mount Knutsho, that runs right next to the popular Besseggen hiking route. I was so pleasantly surprised by this lesser known walk, that I decided I had to at least dedicate a web page to it.
where is Knutsho?
Knutsho can be found in east Jotunheimen. First locate Gjendesheim or the Gjende Lake. Knutsho can be found south east of the lake. The valley to the south of Knutsho is Leirungsdalen. From this valley the water of the Leirungsae runs into the Gjende.

Difficulty
Knutsho requires normal walking fitness and no other skills than the will to get to the top and enjoy the view. The climbing parts are steep but relatively short. Walking the full tour will take about 5 hours.
The ridge does not feature much of a path; you will walk across boulders and rough but solid rock floor. It's all together very accessible and having to use all your limbs at some points only adds to the fun.
The ridge is between 10 and 20 meters wide, you will not be forced to walk alongside steep slopes.
There are however two points on the route that might scare off less experienced hikers. One is a steep bit at the beginning, which can be avoided. The other is a steep part near the highest point. Both points can be scrambled onto without equipment - safe good hiking boots - but I would not recommend them in wet whether. (Everything is of course at your own risk: it's not K2, but if you fall of it, it will be the end of you anyway.)
walk description
Access to Knutsho is convenient from the RV51. The start of the path is from a concrete parking space 3 kilometers south from Gjendesheim. Most people here are only stopping for a picture, only a few actually venture up the ridge.

As this is not a 'follow the red paint' hike, you will have to look for the path and at some points invent it. A map is optional; providing reasonably clear weather, you won't get lost.

The start of the walk is clear enough. Starting from the parking space, walking alongside a fence, follow the (probably muddy) trail West towards Knutsho. After a few minutes, the path bends away from the fence in Southern direction to descend to a stream. A few minutes after you have crossed the improvised bridge, you will be offered a choice by one of the few roadsigns in this walk: either continue straight towards the rock face of Knutsho or turn left into the valley and follow the river downstream along an easy foot path.

The latter option starts with a walk of about an hour through the valley and has the advantage of a gradual climb up Knutsho.
But you will have the Gjende lake as well as the best views behind you while ascending.

Climbing the rock face first makes for a steep start, but it's well worth it as you reach the first plateau and start taking in the views all around.


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Knutsho Knutshoe hiking Norway walking in Norway Jotunheimen Besseggen maurvangen walking routes hiking routes