The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip
The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip
The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip
The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip
The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip
Jotunheimen Snowshoe

The Jotunheim Snowshoe Trip

Snowshoeing in Norway

Explore the fabulous Jotunheim mountains on snowshoes and enjoy a remote winter adventure. The world famous Jotunheim attracts those who love to spend time in the mountains away from the crowds. In winter the Sjodalen area feels wild and remote, with only a few cross country skiers and snowshoers venturing into this winter wonderland. We will spend the trip at a cosy traditional mountain lodge run by the world famous DNT. In Sjoadalen we are surrounded by open mountains and low pine and birch forests containing rare plants and lichens and home to some of the oldest trees in Norway. 


  • A chance to experience the famous Jotunheim
  • Traditional and characterful Norwegian lodge
  • Tasty Norwegian food featuring local produce
  • Guided by a qualified mountain professional
  • A pristine wilderness landscape to explore
  • No promises, but you may see wild reindeer

The scenery was excellent, with wide expanses of mountains and snow. The weather was very fine, albeit very cold - no one should skimp on good gear! The accommodation was very comfortable and the food excellent. Emma was an excellent guide, full of good humour and attentive to the welfare of the group. My best moment was the ascent on the second last day of Blessomfjellet (?).

- Martin, UK, 2023

Wonderful trip, excellent guide and very good accommodation. Best days were the linear walk to the second hotel and attaining the summit of the highest mountain.

- George, UK, 2023

Everything was enjoyable: convivial guide, excellent accommodation and food, wonderful landscape and views, walks pitched just at the right level.

- Margarete, UK, 2023


  • Today you will arrive in Norway, and travel to the town of Otta where you will be collected by private taxi and taken to your hotel. The journey to your accommodation takes approximately 1h20. This evening your guide will brief you on the trip and answer any questions you might have. 

  • A gentle introduction to the area today and the chance to find your 'snow legs' and get a feeling for the geography of this beautiful part of Norway. You will be staying at the head of Lake Gjende at the entrance to the Jotunheim, the Land of the Giants. From our cosy mountain cabin we have some stunning views up the Lake and to the mountains adorning the sides of the valley. Steep, and rugged, with columns of ice covering the cliffs, this is a rather special place. We will head off straight from the door and make our way steadily up onto the plateau above Gjendesheim where we will be staying. A lovely circular route with some great views as we wind through the birch forests and acquaint ourselves with the Sjodalen Valley. Your guide will be able to point out our various other goals for this week of snowshoeing in the Jotunheim. 

    Ascent: 454m (1489ft) Descent: 437m (1433ft)  Distance: 7.7 km (4.8 miles) Duration: 4h30 - 5h30

  • Our accommodation sits at the eastern end of Lake Gjende, and today we can head off straight from the doorstep once again, towards a mountain which dominates the views from the lounge. The rocky mound that is Gjendehø rises to 1257m (4122ft) above the Lake and although it looks impressive there is access to the top from the far side of the mountain giving a great circular route for our day out. The to gives impressive views of Gjende Lake, and the famous Besseggen Ridge which in summer months attracts many hikers keen to experience this iconic ridgeline. We will be looking down onto the harbour area of the lake and it is rather wonderful to see the ferries sitting in the snow and ice like huge mechanical monsters that have left their natural watery environment for the winter months. 

    Ascent: 281m (921ft) Descent: 270m (885ft)  Distance: 5.3 km (3.3 miles) Duration: 5h00

  • We begin our day with a ten minute drive to Bessheim Fjellstue from where we will pick up our route for today. The mountains to the west of Bessheim have gently rounded tops and summits and make great snowshoeing terrain. We climb steadily from Bessheim until we gain the plateau where we can wander towards the top that is Besstrondrundhøe sitting at 1421m (4660ft). There are great views down to the lake of Øvre Sjodalsvatnet where in days gone by the British aristocracy would spend their summers fishing for mountain trout. Today it is still a major attraction in the summer months for kayakers enjoying the River Sjoa. The valley itself is dominated by pine, and as such is the highest pine-forest in Norway. The western side of the valley is defined by the Jotun Nappe, which has created the highest mountains in this area. A nappe is a large sheet of rock that has been moved more than 2 km (1.2 miles) or 5 km (3.1 miles) from its original position. 

    Ascent: 448m (1469ft) Descent: 453m (1485ft) Distance: 9.5 km (5.6 miles) Duration: 4h00 - 5h00

  • We will either hike from the door today, or get a short transfer across the valley depending on energy levels! We have a great destination in mind and a day that can be lengthened or shortened accordingly. The summit of Heimdalshø is a popular snowshoe destination and one that many ski tourers also ascend. Gentle rounded slopes and tops are ahead of us as we wind our way up the mountain side to the summit of Heimdalshø which sits at 1843 m (6045ft).  From here we will have views deeper into the Jotunheim, the Land of the Giants, thought strictly speaking the name means Home of the Giants. We can make a circuit of our day and take in a subsidiary top on the way down. If the weather is challenging we may aim for the smaller top of Brurskardnappen which is a very shapely mountain which can also be done as a circuit.

    Ascent: 894m (2932ft) Descent: 898m (2945ft)  Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles) Duration: 6h30 - 7h00

  • Today we plan to do a circuit around Leirungen via several lakes. Today will be a lower route as we head along Lake Gjende on the winter trail. Eventually we turn to the south and begin to head off the Lake and into the mountains. This area has some impressive peaks which will rise steeply above us, such as Knutshøe. This area is famous in local folk culture as it celebrates the legendary reindeer marksman Jo Gjende. Born Jo Tjøstolvsson Kleppe in 1794 in Vågå he lived most of his adult life on his own in the mountains, initially as a 'travelling vagabond', then eventually in a cottage at the southern end of Lake Gjende which he built around 1840. In many ways Jo Gjende was the first guide in Jotunheimen, and offered his services to those who wanted to hunt, fish and explore the area. As you snowshoe to the tops, you can reflect that you are hiking in the footsteps of the pioneering guides of the Jotunheim. 

    Ascent: 173m (567ft) Descent: 166m (544ft)  Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles) Duration: 5h00-06h00

  • Sikkilsdalshøa offers a great day out with amazing views from the summit. Today is a more challenging day, in terms of distance and ascent, and you will earn your dinner! We begin from the wooden cabins at Maurvangen which is a small community of summer homes. It is traditional in Norway for many people to own a mountain cabin which they visit in the summer, though many are also occupied at the weekends and holidays in the winter months.  From here we begin our climb heading for the summit at 1778m (5833 ft). The top gives views to the Besseggen ridge, Gjendesheim, Gjendevatnet and many mountain peaks in the national parks of Rondane, Dovre, Jotunheimen and Langsua. After the obligatory photo stop we will begin to retrace our steps back down to the lake, and head back to the comfort of our own mountain cabin. This area is also know for the Princes Cabin, which is used extensively by the Norwegian royals especially during Easter and the hunting season. From where we are on the summit the Prinsehytta is tucked under the southern slopes, well out of sight!

    Ascent: 794m (2604ft) Descent: 794m (2604ft)  Distance: 13.4 km (8.3 miles) Duration: 6h30 - 7h30

  • This morning we will arrange a private transfer back to Otta railway station for any onward travel. This transfer is included in your trip fee.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 


On all of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family or locally run accommodation. We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us on every trip. Accommodation is in short supply in this remote valley and we appreciate if you can book early so that rooms can be secured as soon as possible.

The trip fees are based on two people sharing a room, with breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner included. Single rooms may be available for a supplementary payment. However, these are very limited in number, and require early booking. On this trip we will stay in a DNT hut, the well-known and very comfortable Gjendesheim.  The rooms will normally have bunk beds, although there are a couple of rooms with double beds. If possible we will book rooms for 4 people to be shared by only 2 people to give you more space. 

Gjendesheim - Winter

DNT Staffed Cabin

Gjendesheim is in a spectacular location at the head of Lake Gjende in the Jotunheim. This DNT hut is very comfortable with a range of bedrooms on offer with washbasins. It can take 185 people in rooms of various sizes. There are a number of lovely lounge areas with cosy chairs, and fireplaces, and gorgeous views to the lake and mountains. It really is more like a mountain lodge/hotel than a hut. It has a small shop with hats, gloves, maps, etc and snacks. There are showers and a drying room for any wet kit. It is very close to the cafe at the pier on the lake which serves great cakes and coffee during the afternoon. You can check out conditions on the webcam.

This is a mountain hut and rooms are typical for this type of accommodation. Rooms will feature bunk beds. Any single rooms requested by you will be rooms with a set of bunk beds and wash basin. Twin rooms booked will be with one set of bunk beds, BUT we aim to acquire rooms for 4 people for use by only 2 people so everyone has a lower bunk. This is why we aim to visit in low season when Gjendesheim is unlikely to be busy and there is plenty of room to 'spread out'. However, there are no guarantees and it depends on the situation at the time of our arrival. It really is a lovely place to stay. We are very happy to speak to you about the accommodation if you want anything clarified. 

  • Arrival

    To reach the start of the tour in Norway you will travel north by train from Oslo to the town of Otta. Tickets are easily booked on line, with reduced prices available if booked in advance at Norwegian Trains. 

    Plan to take the train departing Oslo Sentrum at 1402 hrs to Otta, or the train from Gardermoen Airport which leaves at 1429hrs. Timetables are yet to be published, but the train normally arrives in Otta at 1754 hrs. The route is likely to be on the Departure Board as the line to Trondheim S. At Otta you will be collected by a private taxi, and driven to your accommodation which will take between 0h50 to 1h15 depending on road conditions.

    Travelling to Oslo by Train: There are options for rail travel to Norway from all major European cities. For example from the UK you can overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark, however, there are many possibilities. 

    The easiest way to book is via or If you're travelling from the UK or US then take a look at the multi-day pass travel system provided by Eurail.

    If you would like to book each stage as an individual journey then using the UK to Copenhagen, Denmark, as an example here is how.

    Travel from London, England, to Brussels, Belgium using the Eurostar, these tickets can be purchased up to 6 months ahead of your travel date. From here you can book a train from Brussels, Belgium to Gothenburg, in Sweden, (Gotëborg) adding a stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark. For this you can use the German Railway website A full day on the train sees you arriving in Copenhagen for an evening walk around the city before dinner if you would like to use this as a stop over. 

    The final leg of your journey is from Gothenburg Central Station, in Sweden, to Oslo, Norway, and this can be booked using Vy the Norwegian rail network website

    All the trains have Wi-Fi, charging points and a restaurant car.

    Travelling to Oslo by Air: You can either fly to Oslo Gardermoen Airport which then has connections from the airport building to Otta by rail. Or fly to Torp which is about 1h45 from Oslo by public transport. Buses run from Torp to Gardermoen Airport every hour which allows you to connect to the train to Otta.


    At the end of the trip we have included a transfer back to Otta station, where you can then take connecting trains to Oslo. Train times for our departure will only be confirmed once the repairs are completed on the damaged rail section north of Lillehammer. We hope this is before the end of summer 2024. 

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' becoming warmer, which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as the traditional ski touring months of March and April. Even in January when the daylight hours are short we find that we have more than enough time for skiing. We have never yet had guests feeling they were losing out in terms of ski hours by booking in January or February. There is a special pleasure to starting your ski day in the sunrise, and skiing back with the sunset. 

    Historically temperatures in December have averaged -8°Celsius (17.4°F), in January -9.7°Celsius (14.5°F), in February -9.2°Celsius (15.4°F), in March -6.6°Celsius (20.1°F), and in April -2.3°Celsius (27.9°). Clearly there is the potential for temperatures to drop much lower, but rarely lower than  -15°C (5°F).

    We have found over the years that these temperatures have not been unpleasant nor have any guests had problems dealing with the weather as it is generally a 'dry' cold, and of course this helps create great snow and therefore great ski tracks. If we do experience a cold snap where temperatures drop then we ensure that everyone is appropriately clothed and kitted out for the ski day. In this respect energy snacks and a thermos with a hot drink are a great comfort! 

    If you are booked on one of our 'Advanced' or 'Challenging' point-to-point journeys and we experience very cold temperatures eg -15°Celsius (5°F) then we would expect you to be able to be efficient and keep moving and to manage your comfort.

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have the appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and the accommodation you will be staying in. 

    Generally clothing for snowshoeing should be equivalent to that used for walking in the mountains in winter. For this trip we provide snow shovel, snow probe, and avalanche transceivers free of charge. The carrying of this safety equipment is compulsory and demonstrates ‘best practice’. 


    • Snowshoes - supplied free of charge
    • Poles - supplied free of charge
    • Avalanche Transceiver - supplied free of charge
    • Snow Shovel - supplied free of charge 
    • Snow Probe - supplied free of charge 
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres, with waist and chest strap. Ideally it should have a system that allows you to attach snowshoes if it is necessary to carry them. See image below
    • Rucksack – waterproof liner/cover
    • Walking Boots - warm and waterproof. They should not be ‘low cut’ and must cover your ankles
    • Bags to waterproof items, such as documentation
    • Gaiters - useful on days with deep fresh snow


    • Waterproof jacket - essential, this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you!
    • Waterproof trousers - in case of heavy snowfall
    • Trousers - windproof and warm 
    • Thermal top - long sleeves
    • Thin fleece - long sleeves
    • Waistcoat - fleece/wind stopper 
    • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin)
    • Over-mittens for colder days can be useful
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Head/ear band 
    • Duvet jacket (or second warm layer)
    • Scarf or 'Buff' for neck
    • Socks - 2 or 3 pairs


    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen - essential
    • Sunglasses - essential
    • Goggles - very useful in snowfall
    • Snack bars/chocolate
    • Tissues - we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray


    • Mountain Rescue/Ski Insurance documents - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - NOK (Norwegian Kroner)

    Additional Items

    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Hair dryer if required 
    • Travel Kettle if required 
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit 

    The image below gives examples of how snowshoes can be attached to your rucksack

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • When booking this holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms for this trip are available for a small supplementary payment. If you wish to book a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. 

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your snowshoe guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. This is particularly relevant in a winter environment where the snowpack can change on a daily basis.

    Your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page. 

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that the map detailed below covers your itinerary: 

    Cappelen Damm Kart 45 - Jotunheimen 1:100,000/1:50,000

    Normally our accommodation at Gjendesheim DNT sells the above map as well as several others for this area.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food and where the menu reflects the best that the region provides.

    The hotels to there best to accommodate the dietary needs of our guest . If you are vegetarian this is not a problem as the hotel is used to being asked for vegetarian meals. If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can but we would ask that you make it clear on your booking form of any food intolerance so that we can discuss your needs with the hotel at the earliest point possible. When using remote mountain huts the staff are usually able to offer breakfast and dinner which meet with the clients needs.  Packed lunches can be more problematic and so we do suggest that, if you do have a specific dietary requirement, you bring a range of suitable snacks to supplement the lunches.  If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet, gluten or lactose intolerance  contact us

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

What's Included

  • 7 nights full board; Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
  • Transport from Otta Railway Station to our mountain lodge
  • Transport from our mountain lodge to Otta Railway Station 
  • Fees and expenses of a professional guide 
  • 6 days of guided snowshoeing
  • Hire of avalanche transceivers, shovels, probes, snowshoes and poles

What's Not Included

  • Flights 
  • Travel to Otta Railway Station
  • Insurance
  • Additional expenses
  • Drinks 
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Intermediate


At a Glance

From Price £1995
Holiday Type Low Impact
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 4-8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2,500m (8,200ft)
Countries Visited Norway
Meet In Otta, Noway
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Snowshoeing Adventures

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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