Name of Waterfall



Skytjefossen is found near the end of Simadalen in Eidfjord. From Highway 7 in central Eifdjord, follow the signs pointing north to Simadalen (Route 103), following the paved road for 9.2km. Shortly after crossing the river a second time, bear left at a Y junction (if you miss this junction you’ll encounter a dead-end) and follow this gravel road for about 2.7km further to a power line clearing. The falls will be visible high up the side of the valley to the right (south) of the road.For perhaps centuries Skytjefossen has been among the most frequently cited waterfalls in the world, appearing in textbook and encyclopedia references discussing the world’s most notable waterfalls, but little information beyond a name, height, and general location were ever provided. This is quite odd considering that Skytjefossen is a very easily accessible and very significant waterfall. Situated near the end of beautiful Simadalen at the head of Hardangerfjord, Skytjefossen is a massive plunging waterfall, dropping 345 meters into Simadalen, 291 meters of which drops in a nearly sheer fall while the final 55 meters cascades down a sloping protrusion of the cliff face.
For several decades reference sources cited the falls as dropping 198 meters (650 feet), and some even mistakenly claimed 600 meters (nearly 2,000 feet) – which would be accurate if the long talus runout below the actual waterfall were taken into account, so this measurement would almost certainly stem from surveys by the hydropower industry. More recent sources suggest a height of 300m (984 feet) which is clearly a ballpark estimate. When we surveyed the falls in June 2011, we found the falls to be situated too far away from the road to take an accurate measurement with our equipment, however utilizing one meter topographic data available from Norway's national mapping agency, a clear and accurate picture of the true height of the falls can be established at 345 meters.
A major reason Skytjefossen has been referenced in encyclopedias for so long is its proximity to and partial regulation by the Sima Hydroelectric system. The Skytjedalselva is fed by melt from the Hardanger Icefield, which provides a consistent flow of water all year. However, the majority (if not all) of the water flowing from the glacier is diverted into a tunnel well upstream of the falls which sends the water into nearby Rembedalsvatnet instead of toward the falls. This leaves Skytjefossen considerably diminished in volume throughout the year, however because the diversion takes place nearly five kilometers upstream from the waterfall, enough water remains in the rest of the drainage basin to allow the falls to flow strongly during the spring and early summer months. By the late summer the flow will generally be considerably reduced.Because of the extra vowels in the Norwegian languages this waterfall has been known under multiple different spellings. Skytjefossen is the correct spelling according to Statkart, but also acceptable are Skykjefossen and Skykkjefossen and Skykkjedalsfossen. Additionally, the wholely incorrect Skytjedalsfossen has sometimes also been applied, but this is the name of a waterfall located further upstream near the diversion dam.

Other Names

['Skykkje', 'Skykjefossen', 'Skykkjedalsfossen']



Absolute Magnitude


IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Maximum Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

50 cfs (8 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

5 cfs (4 months)


85 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream