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Located in the municipality of Årdal, in Sogn og Fjordane county, Utladalen is Norway’s deepest valley — being surrounded by 2,000-metre-high mountain peaks. This striking scenery is also home to four waterfalls, giving Utladalen the name ‘Valley of the Waterfalls’. Here’s what awaits you there.
Norway being the enormous country that it is, offers a variety of beautiful places that are completely under the radar, with the valley of Utladalen being one of these places. The valley was established as a protected area back in 1980 yet stills hold a beauty that is wild and untouched. To access the valley, you have to cross three bridges — but the fresh, crisp air will make up for it once you reach your final destination.
Utladalen is not called ‘Valley of the Waterfalls’ for no reason. Here you will encounter four waterfalls: Hjellefossen, Avdalsfossen, Hyljefossen and last but not least, Vettisfossen. The impressive, 275-metre single drop waterfall is Norway’s biggest unregulated one — and you can admire it up close, as there is a path that will take you to the foot of it.
Utladalen valley is an exciting destination on its own, but it’s also a pathway to a bigger adventure. It is adjacent to the Jotunheimen National Park (a far more popular destination), which you can access via several routes. If you want to take the scenic route, the Folkevegen narrow gravel path will take you from Hjelle to the Vetti farm, from which you can reach the Vettisfossen waterfall before heading towards the Jotunheimen mountains.
Utladalen valley is particularly beautiful during spring and autumn when the flowers and foliage are at their most impressive, but the area is worth a visit during wintertime as well. As the valley’s waterfalls freeze, they become the perfect playgrounds for ice-climbing enthusiasts. Ice-climbing on the Avdalsfossen waterfall is quite popular and you can book packages that combine guided ice-climbing with a stay at a local hotel.
If you’re looking for an immersive experience, you can camp in Utladalen valley in the spring and summertime. You can opt for a tent or book one of the wooden cabins and take advantage of the outdoor facilities (such as an outdoor grill and a fully stocked bar). At Utladalen Camping you have the option to attend tailor-made outdoor activities such as guided tours, salmon and trout fishing to mountain biking and kayaking.
The beauty of Utladalen can be explored in many ways, and while you may find it difficult to leave the scenic surroundings, it is good to know that you can always find your way back to this untouched pocket of nature at any time.