A proper “ski expedition” across vast expanses dressed in white. Do you dream of exploring high mountains, pristine plateaus, and birch-tree forests – all in their winter splendour, and all in one exciting trip?
Combined with overnight stays at traditional hotels or mountain lodges? As you reach your destination for the day, you are served a delicious dinner before you turn in for a good night's sleep. The next morning, a new leg of your winter adventure awaits.
Tempting? If so, the Troll Trail (Trolløypa) from Høvringen to Lillehammer is the perfect choice!
Hailed by backcountry and cross-country skiing enthusiasts as one of Europe’s must-do adventures, the way-marked Troll Trail runs through the majestic Rondane National Park in the north and then traverses gentler mountain terrain to the Olympic city of Lillehammer in the south. It is a 7-day trip with daily legs of 22–38 km.
Book a package deal with luggage transfer
Discover Norway has organised selfguided trips along the Troll Trail for the past 15 years, has first-hand experience of the route, and is a reliable choice if you are looking for a full package. Guide for groups can be arranged. Read more about Discover Norway and their Troll Trail package
Make your own Troll Trail arrangements
Another option is to plan and complete the trip on your own. If you prefer to ski only parts of the trail, recommended routes are:
- Troll Trail north (Høvringen – Kvamsfjellet – Venabygdsfjellet, 63 km)
- Troll Trail south (Venabygdsfjellet to Sjusjøen, 100 km)
The trail and necesarry equipment
Starting point is the mountain village of Høvringen located north in Rondane – a beautiful gem 1000 m a.s.l. The trail leads through spectacular high-mountain scenery via Kvamsfjellet to Venabygdsfjellet, continues on to Øksendalen and past the mountain dairy farms at Øyerfjellet to Pellestova, and ends with a pleasant downhill section to Lillehammer.
Varied and relatively easy terrain, without steep mountains and very challenging climbs. It is a trip best suited for experienced skiers with a good fitness level. Way-marking is usually in place from February 15th until after Easter. Some stretches are groomed daily, whereas others are only groomed when necessary (heavy snow / strong winds). The Kvamsfjellet – Venabygdsfjellet stretch has a section where you most likely have to make your own tracks. Good-quality touring skis, preferably with metal edges, are recommended as the route is only partially groomed. Ski equipment can be hired at Høvringen and handed back at Lillehammer.
Note! There is a lack of cell phone coverage on parts of the trail.
The Troll Trail traverses several ski resorts, and the responsibility for grooming and way-marking will vary. Good dialogue with the accommodation provider between each leg is thus strongly recommended to keep up-to-date on the condition of the trail.
The entire Trolløypa is registered on Skisporet.no, which is a service providing real-time data on track grooming. This keeps you up-to-date on when tracks were last groomed. It is also possible to check altitude and length of the trails.
Remember always to bring a map and compass!
The trail is marked in the Nordeca maps, and you will need the following 1:50 000 maps for the full route:
- Rondane nord
- Rondane sør
THE TROLL TRAIL – DAY BY DAY
Day 1: Arrival Høvringen
Høvringen is a beautiful gem in the heart of the Norwegian mountains, and is a popular destination with 11 travel and tourism operators offering various types of accommodation. www.hovringen.no
Day 2: Høvringen – Kvamsfjellet, 28 km – easy/medium
This leg leads through high-mountain scenery at approx. 1000 m a.s.l., with an uphill climb for the first 5 km and then easy terrain to Mysuseter and Kvamsfjellet. Groomed tracks some of the way. After a while, the landscape opens up and reveals views of the characteristic Smiubelgen and Tomasholtet to the north-east, and just after Smuksjøseter you enter Rondane National Park.
- Map: Rondane Nord and Rondane Sør 1:50 000
- Accommodation: At Rondablikk Høyfjellshotell (874 m a.s.l) you can stay the night in enchanting surroundings with spectacular views towards Rondane
Day 3: Kvamsfjellet – Venabygdsfjellet, 33 km – demanding
Uphill climb to Eldåkampen and Eldåbu, and then hilly until you reach Venabygdsfjellet. Open high-mountain terrain, and the trail is pole-marked most of the way – but not groomed. The route continues south-east through relatively flat terrain past Svartkampen, and then leads south to Storfjellet from which there are groomed tracks down to the hotels.
- Map: Rondane Sør 1:50 000 and Ringebu 1:50 000
- Accommodation: Choose between Venabu Mountain Lodge and Spidsbergseter Resort Rondane. Both are family-run hotels, and enjoy a beautiful setting at 950 m a.s.l on the characteristic high-mountain plateau south of Rondane.
Day 4: Venabygdsfjellet – Øksendalen, 25 km – easy
This leg leads past Dørfallet, and then through spectacular high-mountain terrain and across plateaus at 930 – 1100 m a.s.l. Groomed occasionally, but not regularly.
- Map: Ringebu 1:50 000
- Accommodation: Friisvegen Turistsenter Måsåplassen (878 m a.s.l.) offers overnight stays in cabins and rooms of high standard. www.friisvegen.no
Day 5: Øksendalen – Vetåbu, 22 km – easy
A leg with varied terrain, leading through birch-tree forests and across marches. Groomed tracks along some stretches. You start at 870 m a.s.l., and end up at 1000 m a.s.l. The trail runs on the eastern side of Nysætra, towards Breistulen, and continues along the western edge of Stormyra before it leads east around Høgsåsen and down towards Vetåbu.
- Map: Ringebu 1:50 000
- Accommodation: Vetåbu (925 m a.s.l.) is a self-service DNT cabin (Norwegian Trekking Association) in Ringebu, east of Fåvang, and comprises two units sleeping a total of 16 people
Day 6: Vetåbu – Pellestova or Hornsjø, 38 km (30) km – Long day trip in easy terrain / medium
Easy leg across marshes and through some open woodland, and with long stretches of groomed tracks. The trail leads south-east across Goppolmyrene, and then south to where the trail forks north of Raudberget. It continues south along the eastern edge of Digeråsen, past Keiken, Vedemslia, and Rognhaugen, and then east past Øvre Moksjøen to Hornsjø. A small mountain farm at Øyerfjellet, a stone's throw from Hornsjøen, marks the tree-line.
- Map: Øyer–Lillehammer 1:50 000
- Accommodation: Pellestova Hotel Hafjell and Hornsjø Høgsfjellshotell (883 m a.s.l) in a beautiful setting by the tree-line which runs straight through a small mountain farm at Øyerfjellet, a stone's throw from Hørnsjøen. Alternative accommodation at Ilsetra
Day 7: Pellestova – via Nordseter / Sjusjøen to Lillehammer, 26/30 km
Easy terrain. See how you feel, and choose the distance on the day: Pellestova – Nordseter – Lillehammer (approx. 25 km), or Pellestova – Sjusjøen – Lillehammer (approx. 30 km).
- Map: Øyer–Lillehammer 1:50 000
Travel and transport
Høvringen is located 25 km north of Otta town centre. Train and bus connections to Otta Skysstasjon are good, and visitors can either contact their hotel to arrange pick-up or, during the tourist season (Sat–Sun), take the local bus to Høvringen.
There is also a direct bus service from Gardermoen to Høvringen every Saturday at 14.00 in the winterseason, from week 7, but must be booked in advance on +47 61 23 37 17 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel by public transport is recommended as you will then avoid having to organise transport from Lillehammer and back to Otta or Høvringen to pick up your car.
If you prefer Venabygdfjellet as starting point, Venabu Mountain Lodge or Spidsbergseter Resort Rondane will arrange transport from Ringebu Skysstasjon. Book on +47 61 29 32 50 / email@example.com, or on +47 61 28 40 00 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several hotels and mountain lodges along the trail, but remember to book in advance as some may be full. All offer single and double room accommodation, evening meal, breakfast, and of course packed lunch and flask top-up.
If you purchase a package from Discover Norway, the accommodation, food, and luggage transfer will be arranged in advance and are included in the price.
Overnight stay at DNT Vetåbu self-service cabin
The DNT cabin is stocked with provisions for breakfast, dinner, and lunch. You will need the DNT standard key to access the cabin (www.dntbutikken.no).