Hike to Raudmelen in Balestrand
Join in on on a scenic hike to Raudmelen Mountain! The mountain is 972 meters above the fjord, with the village Balestrand nestled at its base!
Raudmelen is one of the most beloved mountains in the Sognefjord region. Often painted and admired, it rises 972 meters above the fjord, with the village Balestrand nestled at its base.
This hike starts from the Tourist Information Office in Balestrand and follows a local road about 2 km to Balestrand’s primary school, 80 meters above sea level. From here you enter the forest and walk through a dense network of trails used by the schoolchildren, until you are on the trail towards the summit of Raudmelen.
You follow a well-maintained, sometimes steep path up to Orrabenken, 370 meters high, with its excellent view over the village and one of the most open parts of the Sognefjord. This is a popular resting place with picnic tables and benches. If you prefer a shorter guided hike, there is one that returns to the village from here.
From Orrabenken you continue on plank and stone paths through a birch forest to Klukkshaug, where you have a clear view of the remaining route to the summit. There the forest opens up, and you have open views over several fjord arms. There is another good resting place at Buråsi, 575 meters high, where you have a view of Esedalen and the innermost part of the Esefjord.
The trail from Buråsi towards the summit is steep but comfortable, much of it on stone steps made by Sherpas from Nepal. At the summit there is a small open hut built by architecture students from Bergen. Note that this hike follows the route of Balestrand’s annual mountain running race, which happens in mid-September.
This hike is graded as demanding and requires hiking experience and good stamina. It also requires good hiking boots and equipment. The route is 10.5 km long (round-trip), with 972 meters of elevation. There are steep slopes and several precipitous sections. The walking surface is loose and rocky in places, and there are a few sections of bog. The trail is well-maintained but can be slippery after rainy weather. Wear solid shoes and bring extra clothes in case of rain.
The hike duration will vary. Our estimate of eight hours is based on the guidelines of the Norwegian Trekking Association.
- Meeting Place: Balestrand Tourist office, Holmen 3, see map HERE
- Duration: 8 hours
- Included: Guide, lunch, fruit juice
- Bring: a water bottle, sunglasses, rain jacket, warm hat, extra wool top layer, and solid hiking shoes
- Minimum age: 10 years
Remember to bring your camera!