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The Highest Mountains in Norway

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A happy hiker on the Norwegian mountains.
A hiker on Norway's Galdhøpiggen. Photo: VisitNorway.com

The Scandinavian mountains are responsible for much of Norway's spectacular scenery. Here are the highest mountains in Norway.

The famous glaciers and fjords of Norway draw visitors from all over the world. But it's the mountains that are the true stars. The dramatic chain known as the Scandinavian mountains acts like a spine to Norway.

Mountain trails galore attract hikers and mountain climbers keen to test their skills against the best of Norwegian nature, or simply enjoy some breathtaking views.

Most of Norway's highest mountains are clustered together in the centre of the country, most notably in and around Jotunheimen National Park.

So, let's take a tour of Norway's most impressive peaks!

Galdhøpiggen: Norway's tallest mountain

Not only is Galdhøpiggen the highest mountain in Norway, it's also the highest in all of Scandianvia. Despite its peak height of 2,469 metres (8,100 feet) above sea level, it's much more accessible than you might expect.

The peak of Galdhøpiggen
The peak of Galdhøpiggen. Photo: VG Partnerstudio – VisitNorway.com

The view from the summit over glaciers and hundreds of other rugged peaks in Jotunheimen is truly spectacular.

Due to the quirks of geography, visitors can get to the mountain lodge Juvasshytta in Jotunheimen National Park by road. That means your starting point for the hike itself is 1,850 metres above sea level.

From Juvasshytta, the hike takes just three hours. That includes a glacier crossing, which must be done with an experienced guide. Such is the route's popularity, a small hut at the summit sells drinks and snacks during high season.

An alternative trail is glacier-free but takes around four hours to get to the summit, although it's quicker on the way down! That route starts from the mountain lodge Spiterstulen in Visdalen.

A hiker taking a break on a Norwegian mountain.
Hiker taking a break. Photo: VG Partnerstudio – VisitNorway.com

Glittertind: Norway's second tallest mountain

The name deserves the top prize in my opinion, but Glittertind ranks second behind its close neighbour Galdhøpiggen. However, only just!

Read more: In Photos: The Spectacular Mountains of Norway

Glittertind's peak is at an elevation of 2,452 metres (8,045 ft) above sea level, meaning it misses out on the award by a mere four metres!

In fact, the mountain was considered Norway's highest for a long time because the glacier sat upon its top put it higher than Galdhøpiggen. Debate raged about whether the glacier should count. But in recent decades, the glacier has retreated to the point where there is now no doubt.

Norway's two highest mountains. The peaks of Glittertind and Galdhøpiggen seen from Rondane, Norway.
Norway's two highest mountains. The peaks of Glittertind and Galdhøpiggen seen from Rondane, Norway. Photo: Håvard Berland (CC)

Hikers hoping to reach the summit can start out from Spiterstulen, the same mountain lodge used to reach Galdhøpiggen. Such is the popularity of the two peaks, the lodge can get very busy in peak season!

The Hurrangane mountains

At the westernmost end of Jotunheimen lies Norway's third highest mountain, Store Skagasølstind. The 2,405 metre (7,890 feet) mountain is part of the Hurrungane range of Jotunheimen.

While the summit is a popular challenge for mountaineers, it is a fairly difficult climb. It's certainly much more of a challenge than the country's two higher mountains.

The Hurrungane mountain range in Jotunheimen, Norway
The Hurrungane mountain range in Jotunheimen, Norway. Photo: Arne Martin Güettler (CC)

Also within the Hurrungane range is Store Styggedalstind, Norway's fourth highest mountain at 2,387 metres (7,831 feet) above sea level. Again, the ascent is relatively challenging.

Other mountains in Jotunheimen

The mountains of Jotunheimen contain most of Norway's tallest mountains. All in all, there are 250 peaks at an elevation of at least 1,900 metres (6233 feet) above sea level.

This means keen mountain climbers and hikers could visit just this one area and not get bored of the trails and challenges available! If you're planning a trip to Jotunheimen, check out my accommodation review.

Hiking the Besseggen ridge in Norway
Hiking the Besseggen ridge in Norway

To add some variety, we now travel slightly to the north into the Dovre mountains.

Snøhetta: An iconic peak

Snøhetta is worthy of a mention here because for many decades it was considered the country's biggest because of its position on the main north-south trading route and the fact that Jotunheimen was relatively unexplored.

Snøhetta and the Dovre mountains in general have an iconic status in Norway. Its location means it's easy to spot from the main E6 Oslo to Trondheim road.

The phrase “til Dovre faller” (until the Dovre mountains fall) was used in the oath sworn during the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814, while the mountain has given its name to the world-famous architecture and design studio, responsible for Oslo Opera House among many other iconic buildings.

The mountain peaks of snow-covered Snøhetta in central Norway.
Snow-covered Snøhetta on a clear day. Photo: Kjetil Kjernsmo (CC)

Snøhetta has several peaks, the highest of which (Stortoppen), stands at an elevation of 2,286 metres (7,500 feet) above sea level. This makes Snøhetta Norway's 26th tallest mountain, although its topographic prominence is Norway's third biggest.

If you want to do more than just look at the mountain, it's a relatively easy climb in the summer. The peak can also be reached by the experienced skier in the winter. Common starting points include the DNT cabins Reinheim, Snøheim and Åmotdalshytta.

The mountains of Lofoten

If you've ever visited the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway, you may be wondering where those mountains are on this list. After all, the landscape of Lofoten is dominated by mountains that tower over little fishing villages. The answer is all about perception.

A northern lights display above Reine in Norway's Lofoten islands
The mountains of Lofoten

Because Norway's highest mountains are all part of huge mountain ranges, it can be hard to appreciate their true height. In Lofoten, you can in many cases see the ‘sea level' from the peak.

This makes them seem much higher than the others, but the reality is quite different.

Austvågøya's Higravstindan stands 1,146 metres (3,760 feet) above sea level. On the westerly Moskenesøya, Hermannsdalstinden stands 1,029 metres (3,376 feet) above sea level. The summit of Himmeltinden, the highest mountain on Vestvågøya, is less than 1,000 metres above sea level.

So while Lofoten's mountains offer hikers and mountain climbers all sorts of challenges and rewarding views, they are far from the country's tallest.

Have you climbed any of Norway's highest mountains?

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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1 thought on “The Highest Mountains in Norway”

  1. For my 60th birthday present to myself i visited family in Norway. Part of the trip included climbing Galdhopiggen. A great experience and incomparable vista on a clear day. I made it and with some effort you can also. Now we need the travel restrictions to ease. I truly love my grandfather’s homeland.

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