Scandinavian Mountains Accommodation

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

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Gjendesheim Lodge
DNT hotel/lodge with
Tel: +47 61 23 89 10

Gjendesheim lodge is one of the DNT flagship lodges. It is situated at the east end of Gjende lake. It is also accessible by car from the main Riksveg 51 road both in the summer and winter/spring season. As it is so accessible and affords easy entry into the heart of Jotunheimen it is a useful access point. However, due this and also because it is the starting point of the famous and very popular traverse over the Besseggen ridge it is a busy lodge.

Initially established in 1878 as a small cabin it has since been expanded considerably on some 10 different occasions to become what it is today. There are about 170 beds mostly in 2-4 bed rooms with communal showers. These rooms are spread out between 4-5 buildings. The main building contains some bedrooms, the dining room and the sitting rooms. The place is not that traditional but is functional.

The lodge is open in the winter/spring season for about 2 months from mid February until mid April and then is open in the summer for about 4 months from about mid June to mid October. The prices are the DNT standard which is about £50 diner, bed and breakfast. Full details of the opening times and up to date prices are given on their comprehensive website which has an English link. There is no self service accommodation when the hostel is closed.

Access in the summer is by car from either Otta to the north of Fagernes to the south. However in winter the road south to Fagernes is blocked with snow and the only access is from the north. There are buses Otta train station to Vågå and on to Gjendesheim twice a day for 10 days around Easter. During the summer there are twice daily buses going south from Otta to Gjendesheim and the Fagernes with the same bus returning northwards Fagernes to Gjendesheim and the Otta. See the access page for further details

During the summer there is a twice daily boat which plies the length of Gjende lake to Gjendebu lodge at the far end. This boat also stops at Memurubu lodge about half way down the north side. For details on the times of this boat see the access page.

On the south side of the river Sjøa there is the old historic cabin of Jo Gjende. He was a prolific reindeer hunter and well known character in the early 19 century. Before Gjendesheim was established Jo Gjende often played host to visitors to this part of Jotunheimen. It may be possible to get a boat over the river to view the cabin if you ask at the reception.