Ovstefossen (Ovstebrufossen)

Videdalen / Hjelledalen, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Ovstefossen (Ovstebrufossen)

Hiking Distance: about 400m round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2019-07-19
Date last visited: 2019-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 61.93613
Waterfall Longitude: 7.25961

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Ovstefossen (more accurately Øvstefossen; I’ve also seen it called Ovstebrufossen or Øvstebrufossen) was yet another one of the accidental unplanned roadside waterfalls that we ended up stopping for only after noticing a roadside sign along the Rv15.

This section of the Rv15 was actually part of the dramatic Gamle Strynefjellsvegen (Old Stryn Mountain Road) where we could see glaciers draping the mountaintops surrounding the road.

The lower sections of Øvstefossen from the bottom of the trail

At first, I thought the sign referred to a much taller waterfall tumbling on an unnamed stream beneath the Godtidsskaret.

But once we got out of the car at the associated pullout (see directions below), it became apparent that the sign referred to the loud crashing waters on the Hjelledøla.

The Hjelledøla got its power and volume from the melting snow and glacial ice as the river sat deep in the Hjelledalen just north of the Jostedalsbreen and its associated arms.

According to my measurements on Norgeskart, this waterfall could have a 70m drop over its steepest run covering about 100m in length.

Experiencing Øvstefossen

Long cascade beneath the Godtidsskaret that I thought at first was Øvstefossen

The view from the immediate lookout area adjacent to the pullout only yielded unsatisfying top down views over the Øvstefossen (though the view of the long cascade beneath Godtidsskaret was quite good).

That was when I noticed a trail descending a series of steps and railings alongside the thundering waterfall itself.

Some parts of this trail were slippery and wet due to the spray from the adjacent waterfall so I had to exercise some caution.

But eventually after 10-15 minutes of this descent (though I took my time), I reached the very bottom of the sanctioned trail where I managed to get a somewhat awkward side view of perhaps the most vertical part of Øvstefossen.

Looking back up towards the upper part of Øvstefossen with someone at the main overlook for a little sense of scale

With the lookout so tantalizingly close to the rushing river and falling water, it definitely felt as if the ground had vibrated with the pumping action of the waterfall.

This was my turnaround point, and after climbing all the way back up to the car park (I only took five minutes on the ascent), I had spent about 20 minutes away from the car.


Øvstefossen resides in the Stryn Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.



Øvstefossen or Øvstebrufossen sat right next to the Rv15 near its junction with the Fv258 (both roads were part of the Gamle Strynfjellsvegen in this stretch).

From Geiranger, we rove south on the Fv63 for about 24km eventually reaching a junction with the Rv15.

This was the view of the Rv15 as well as the Hjelledal Valley (Hjelledalen) from the pullout for Øvstefossen

We then turned right onto the Rv15 and passed through a series of tunnels as we followed this road for about 14.5km.

The signed pullout for the overlook of Øvstefossen was on the left side (about 500m from the exit of the Ospelitunnelen).

This drive would take about an hour without stops.

From Stryn, we drove east along the Rv15 for about 36km.

The pullout for Øvstefossen was on the right side of the road (about 10km past the northernmost turnoff for Hjelle).

This was the view of Øvstefossen from the pullout by the Rv15 road

This drive would take a little over 30 minutes without stops.

For context, Geiranger was 75km (90 minutes drive) northeast of Stryn, 448km (6 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, 371km (6.5 hours drive with some ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen, and 376km (5.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim.

Find A Place To Stay

Examining the falls from the end of the official trail from as many perspectives as I could safely attain

Long video starting with a view close to the falls then climbing up to the road where I got the remaining perspectives from the top including a distant view towards another glacier

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Tagged with: vidsaeter, vidseter, skora, videdalen, hjelledalen, stryn, sogn og fjordane, norway, waterfalls, godtidsskaret, strynevegen, strynefjellsvegen, strynefjellet, jostedalsbreen

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