Trollstigen (Troll’s path)

Tuesday, 24th January 2012 by

In a country renowned for its natural beauty, one of the most spectacular landscapes is found along the Trollstigen (Troll's path) - a vertiginous road which affords remarkable views of the mountainous scenery. Lucky for us that a Street View car made the journey1 , allowing us to experience some incredible vistas.

We'll take a tour of Trollstigen2, starting at the bottom where we can see several sections of the road climbing the mountain side.

With very narrow sections, eleven hairpin bends, and an average gradient of 9%, the road could fairly be described as challenging, and long buses and trucks are not allowed on it. The road is also closed by snow for several months of the year.

As we approach the first hairpin, we can see one of the waterfalls that feed the mountain stream which courses through the valley behind us.

By the fourth hairpin we're starting to rise above the treeline and a second waterfall comes into view.

As we continue upwards we approach a stone bridge with a small parking area for people to admire the waterfall, though for some people the Street View car was apparently more interesting!

While some sections of the road have been widened, others are still very narrow, but the threat of oncoming traffic hasn't stopped these intrepic cyclists from tackling the ascent.

By the seventh hairpin we start to get glimpses of the views awaiting from the top.3

At the penultimate turn, we can see the road below, and the full majesty of one waterfall …

… while the other cascades right next to us.

At the final hairpin we can see patches of snow on the mountainside across the valley, and the full view of the valley in the embedded Street View at the start of this post.

No more hairpins await us, but the road continues upwards through an increasingly barren landscape.

As we approach the top of the climb there is a parking area, a visitors centre and viewing platform that allows tourists to take in the scenery. While there's currently a small range of stuff to buy4, there's actually a new facility under construction which should better cater to the needs to the thousands of people who travel the Trollstigen each year.

After passing this curious monument, the road continues south through a landscape considered (by all except perhaps the most fastidious of virtual tourists), every bit as spectacular as that which we saw on the way up.

Wikipedia has a brief article about Trollstigen, but there's more detail at the Norway tourism website. Or you can watch a motorcycle tour of the road on YouTube.

  1. No doubt the country's most steel-nerved driver was selected for this task! ↩︎

  2. Bonus points if you can spot a troll in any of the Street View images! ↩︎

  3. Is that the door to a troll's cave in the rock on the left? ↩︎

  4. You can't fool me, that's not a real troll wearing the viking hat. ↩︎