Rimstigen hike

Rimstigen – the forgotten hike in Nærøyfjord

Nærøyfjord is one of Norway’s smallest fjords and listed as one of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites. It receives many tourists each year that do the “Norway in a Nutshell trip” but not a lot of people get to stay there because there is almost nowhere to live. However, we were lucky and managed to stay at a prime spot next to the calm waters and steep walls of this outstanding piece created by Mother Nature.
[Note that I hiked this trail in 2014 and have updated this article in 2018]  
Also read: the best unknown Norway hiking trails

Hiking Rimstigen – great views in Nærøyfjord

While we were preparing our trip to Norway, we found out that most alpine hikes were still closed because of snow and icy conditions. This meant we had to look for alternative hikes not leading all the way up to the snowfields. We read and browsed the internet a lot, but we did not find the Rimstigen hike anywhere. Yet it’s an amazing hike! You get incredible views of Norway’s most beautiful fjord and its steepness will kick your butts …
We are the happy renters of a holiday home next to the Nærøyfjord, Norway’s most beautiful fjord, according to various sources. It’s the narrowest one and most scenic one and the good thing is, after the settlement of Bakka (where our house was located) there’s nothing anymore so unless you arrive into the Nærøyfjord by boat, you won’t really get to see it. Upon arrival in the house we tell the owner that we like hiking and immediately he tells us about a great yet easy hike that leaves from about 200 meters further up the road. “Yes it’s really easy, no problem”, he says, while he points in the direction of a ridge that steeply rises above our heads. According to him, we will take about one and a half hour to reach the rim, however, the fastest time someone has ever walked (or ran probably) up is 25 minutes.
rimstigen hike Nærøyfjord

Off to hike Rimstigen

The next morning after a good night of sleep, we start our hike up to Rimstigen. We gradually climb through some meadows and finally enter the birch woods, glad to be out of the sun and in the shadows as it’s incredibly hot today. But once in the woods, the real work begins, because climbing 700 meters in less than 3 kilometers means hiking steep. Incredibly steep. We had no idea until actually trying it.
As I was pretty tired from the weeks before and recovering from a jetlag of my previous trip to Canada this expressed itself in my legs. They just did not want to move up in the pace I wanted. I assume fellow hikers will know what I mean, sometimes they just don’t want to go, no matter how hard you try. At 500 meters above sea level I was ready to give up, I just couldn’t go any further. The heat nearly killed me. However the view is stunning and after giving myself some pep talk I know I can do it. The way further up is actually less steep and gradually flattens out, reaching a muddy track where the snow has only recently melted.
rimstigen Nærøyfjord

Reaching Rimstigen

Eventually, we reach Rimstigen at 725 meters above sealevel, two hours after we started our hike. I finally dare to look down over my shoulder and find a beautiful panorama into the Nærøyfjord. The view is simply stunning, the water is blue, the mountains are green and the sky is a various palette of colors. I sit down while I regain my breath and don’t even dare to think about the way down which will be fast but tricky. I remember the owner of the cottage saying “yes, it’s very easy” … How I wish we would have a cottage like that and be able to practice this hike every week.
rimstigen view

Heading back down

Within 90 minutes and taking it easy (the drops are really steep, if you fall, you will not make it) we hike down back to the house. Every now and then I look back over my shoulder the Rimstigen ridge. While walking down we pass various other couples and families on their way up. They are sweating and tired. I am happy we did this hike in the early morning when the sun wasn’t too hot yet. Once we’ve reached the house, the clouds have set in and the rain quickly starts. How glad I am I gave it one final push in time.

Our final thoughts

This hike eventually took us half a day and is a good alternative for those who don’t mind to work hard but can’t go all the way up. The Rimstigen hike is usually open from the beginning of June and even though you don’t get to the highest point in the mountains, there is still a great lookout from the ridge.
Various website refer to this hike as being easy and that you can hike up in about 1-2 hours, but given the fact that for most hikers the maximum elevation gain is 400 meters in one hour, please bear in mind that two hours is more realistic.
While in Norway we stayed at Dyrdal Gard. Our stay here was not sponsored but we mention the link as we would like to recommend everyone for staying here as it’s just an exceptional place. Please get in touch with the owner for questions! Anyone wishing to do this hike from nearby, can overnight in Gudvangen. From here it’s a short drive to the settlement of Bakka, where you can park your car and start the hike. Note that you cannot reach Bakka by public transport!


I hope you found this post useful and that you enjoyed reading it. Note that we’ve done this hike back in 2014 and some information may be outdated. If you find this to be the case, please let me know as I always try to take good care of updating articles where possible.
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  • Alli

    I love the second last photo – it has such depth. Such beautiful scenery, and especially for hiking. Your posts of Norway are just lovely.

  • Dave Cole

    Lovely photos – I think this trek would be worth every drop of sweat and an early morning wake up. It’s interesting thinking about what you wrote: “the abyss is really steep, if you fall, you will not make it,” as a hiker must confront that reality which is only a few feet away at many points. Thankfully, most of us have made it and can share the pictures to prove our efforts.

    • anto

      Yeah, as a hiker you must always pay close attention to what you do, or it may be fatal. However, it’s something you get used to, same as driving a car, really 😉

  • Margherita @The Crowded Planet

    Such an amazing hike Anto. I would love to get some more tips from you as I’m planning a Norway trip for next year. I can relate with what you said about jetlag affecting your hiking… I experienced the same thing in New Zealand. Beautiful pics, I especially love the first one.

  • Lauren

    Breathtaking photos! I can understand why the hike was so worth it – that view is incredible. I’m glad that you pushed on through and made it! That doesn’t sound like much time to rest in between trips, so I can understand why you were tired. But, happy that you did this hike and are able to share it with us!

  • Hannah

    wow Norway looks so amazing! I can’t wait to visit one day. That hike has some amazing scenery- I’m sure it was worth the steep incline!

  • Chris Boothman

    Nærøyfjord looks like such an amazing fjord to explore. In fact, just like the rest of Norway it is such an appealing destination that I can’t wait to get there and experience this for myself. Hiking around this part of the world with such stunning views and scenery is a must in my opinion for any aspiring travelers!

    • anto

      I’m sure you guys would love it. Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they didn’t like Norway … 😀

  • Roy

    Great post and beautiful pics. Thanks. Plan on doing this in Sept. Check out my Arizona hikes on Youtube on channel Roy V Carter. What a difference.

  • John K

    My daughters and I hiked this trail July 2016. It was overcast and rained at times. It took us 3 hours to get to the top. We camped near the sign. We trekked down the next morning in slightly over 2 hours. The trail is steep but the views are incredible.

    • anto

      Oh wow camping there would have been awesome. Yes it’s steep indeed but the trail is great and the views even better. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us John!

  • Luke

    Litteraly finished this hike 20mins ago. We are in gudvangen for the day and were looking for some hiking nearby. Somehow I stumbled over this post and we decided to do this hike because it seemed incredible. We don’t have much hiking experience but the blue trails felt a bit thame. Boy was this trail different. It took a lot of effort and willpower but we got to the top. And what a view! Not just the fjord but also the valley on the other side. It really is stunning. For anyone wondering. We are 2 25’s year olds in normal shape. Took us about 2,5 hours to get to the top and 1,25 to get back down. It’s a 100% worth it.

    • anto

      Yay, so nice to hear! Yeah it’s quite a strenuous trail but so much fun 🙂 I went back to Gudvangen last week but the road up to the hike was closed, so we had to skip it unfortunately. Hopefully next time, I’d love to go back again one day. I hope you enjoyed Norway!

  • Chelsea Zimmerman

    Hello, could you provide any specifics on how to get to this hike’s beginning? It sounds exactly like what I’m looking to do in July during my trip to this area. We will be staying in Voss.

    • anto

      Drive to Gudvangen, then follow the signs to Bakka (left side of the Naeroyfjord), through the tunnel. Bakka is a small settlement with a few houses. It’s been a few years but I’m sure there’s a signpost there.

  • T

    Hi. Awesome post. Thx! Interested in this hike at end of August. Liked the camping at the top idea by one of the commenters. Will have a car. Question – Is there a good spot to park near the trailhead (leave a car there overnight) ?

    • anto

      Hey, not that I know of but I think it’s pretty safe to leave your car at the trailhead, it’s not a place lots of people go to and Norway is relatively safe … I’m in Norway now and feel totally comfortable leaving my car for a couple of days. Make sure to leave valuables out of sight though and enjoy the hike!


    Dear Anto,

    We are planning to go in Norway next summer, and this walk is already planned too.
    We have childrens 8 and 9 year old, they are used to trek and climb. Is there any tips to get before climbing there with kids?
    Also we would love to spend a night in our tent at rhe top. Is it makable too?
    Thanks for your valuable tips.

    • anto

      Hi, it depends on how well used your kids are to hiking. I guess for Norway standards it was an okay hike but it has been a while so maybe you can check locally as it may have changed over the past years. Good luck and have a great hike!

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