Gamle Strynefjellsvegen

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen is a scenic drive in Norway

Straddling Innlandet and Vestland counties in western Norway, the stunning Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen (Old Strynefjell Mountain Road) is a throwback to late-19th century engineering. It’s one of the most famous scenic drives in Norway.

How long is the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen?

The road, officially called RV 258, is mostly unpaved. It’s 27km (16.77 miles) long, running from Grotli (in Innlandet county) to Videseter (in Vestland county). It is a National Tourist Route. In places this stretch is narrow -only about 3.5–4.5 metres (11–15 ft)- with a number of bends and there are restrictions. Vehicles that are more than 8 metres long and have an axle load of more than 8 tonnes will be banned from driving on Gamle Strynefjellsvegen from Grotli to the Sogn og Fjordane county boundary.

Is the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen open?

Leading through the mountains and topping out at 1.139m (3,736ft) above the sea level, this road is usually closed in winter. It normally opens in June, and closes in late autumn, depending on the amount of snow in the mountains. At Tystigen it is still possible to ski far into the summer. Otherwise, high summer and autumn is the time for walking in the mountains. The road is also excellent for cycling. Right up until the 1950s, snowploughing the road was manual labour. Two hundred men with spades dug their way through miles of several metre high snow banks, but that is history now. These days the snowploughs clear the road in a matter of days.

When was the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen built?

The road was opened to traffic in 1894. Built by manual labour, it has a long history. Between Skjåk and Stryn there were several ancient routes for the transport of people and essential goods. It was a strenuous and slow journey, but in 1881 it was built a road between Grotli and Hjelle. Swedish navvies and local people from both sides of the mountains took part in the hard work of construction. In 1894 the 27-kilometre long road was ready for use, a masterpiece of road building and engineering. In 1978 the road was bypassed by a new 12-kilometre long road with three tunnels that remained open all year.

Is the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen worth it?

The drive is very scenic and features stunning views, running along the northern shore of Langvatnet and Heillstuguvatnet lakes. The road is a museum experience in itself. The Tystigbreen glacier lies just south of the road. Nature displays its contrasts along this stretch of road, with the rounded, glacier-scoured forms to the east and a steeper, more precipitous topography to the west. 

 

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