Jotunheimen National Park: Avdalfossen and Avdalen Gard
Avdalen Gard was the last outdoorsy stop on our Norway stop, and it was great. We saved the best for last. Trolltunga was great and Vettisfossen was cool, but Avdalen? Words can’t even describe how magical it was to me, and photos don’t do it justice. It was stunning!
Hiking to Avdalen Gard isn’t the most difficult hike, or even the longest hike—it was easily done in about three hours with lots of time for ooh-ing and ahh-ing. The trail starts off at the same spot as Vettisfossen; in fact, you pass this trail split on your way to Vettisfossen, just after Avdalfossen. From there it’s a short, but steep trek up to Avdalen Gard.
With all of the recent snowmelt, Avdalen Gard was lush and green. Wildflowers bloomed, little streams trickled by me everywhere. And did I mention it sits right next to a waterfall?! All of the bits and pieces and structures of the farm looked like something straight out of Cabin Porn. In the summer, hikers can stay at the bed and breakfast located here. In other seasons, you’ll need to get a key from the Norwegian Trekking Association.
Avdalen Gard is chockfull of history. This farm was inhabited somewhere around the 1300s and became a farm in the 1600s. The steep and rocky trail we descended on was the only route to and from the farm. They brought cows and horses up the little tiny ledges we inched down on, and the children would take that path down into Årdal for school. Back in the day, the tractor road and paved roads that we took up here didn’t even exist. Kind of crazy to think about, right?