Name of Waterfall



Vettisfossen is usually the destination of choice in the Utladalen area near Jotunheimen National Park. Take Route 53 to Øvre Årdal, then turn north onto Route 301, following signs pointing to Vettisfossen. The trailhead is found at the end of the road about 7-1/2 km from Route 53. There is room for maybe 20 cars at the end of the road, while a larger parking area is found just before Hjellefossen further back down the road if the smaller one is full. The first five kilometers of the trail follows a single-track gravel road to the Vetti farm, which is used as a bed and breakfast during the summer months. Once at the farm, follow the road to its very end at a barn marked with a sign reading "Vetti". Walk past the barn then make a hard left on a narrow path towards one of the farm houses then very shortly after head uphill and to the right, looking for a sign marking the trail to Vettisfossen. From this point the trail becomes much narrower, rocky, root-filled, muddy and steep. The trail drops back down to the Utla River and follows along the rocky bank for another kilometer to the outwash plain at the base of the falls, just over 6km from the parking area. The trail basically ends when it encounters the river below the falls. The majority of the falls can be easily seen from here. Better views of the falls might be possible from the opposite side of the Morka-Koldedøla, but under no circumstances should attempts be made to cross the river outside of the absolute lowest flow periods.With a sheer plunge of 275 meters (902 feet), Vettisfossen is among the tallest free-falling waterfalls on the planet. Flowing from a marshy, tundra like valley on the Jotunheimen plateau, the Morka-Koldedøla (also known as the Morkaelvi) accelerates across the lip of the valley and hurtles into a huge semi-circular amphitheater with sheer thousand-foot tall cliffs lining all sides and moss coating just about every surface it can grab hold of. The river is fed largely by meltwater from three glaciers (two of which are fairly insignificant), which ensures a consistent volume throughout the year. But during the spring and early summer months when the winter snowpack is melting, the added water gives the falls quite a bit more oomph. When we surveyed the falls in June of 2011, the plume of mist rising from the base of the falls could be seen from over a kilometer away drifting out of the amphitheater and rising to elevations nearly above the top of the falls, essentially creating its own clouds.
Vettisfossen is often claimed to be the tallest waterfall in Europe, the tallest unregulated waterfall in Norway and sometimes even the tallest free-falling waterfall on the planet. None of these are accurate claims, but there is some merit to such claims. Further survey work will have to be undertaken to validate any such statements, but the most likely scenario is that Vettisfossen could be the tallest waterfall in Norway which consists of only one drop which is entirely free-falling, is not regulated, and flows with a considerable volume (this last stipulation is necessary because there is at least one free-falling waterfall which is taller, but dries out during the later summer months).The falls were named for the nearby farm, Vettigard.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

75 cfs (8 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

15 cfs (4 months)


90 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Utla Morka-Koldedøla