With leaves turning yellow, temperatures dropping and days that are getting shorter and shorter September signals the end of summer in western Norway. Yet, September is arguably the best time of the year to bag the tallest peaks in the region: There’s still a decent chunk of daylight around, the air is crisp and the snow pack is at its lowest for the season. What better way to spend a fine September day than to hike the 1816 meter tall Dronningkrona in Sunndal.
At 1816 meters Dronningkrona (The Queen’s Crown) is the second tallest summit in the Vinnufjellet massif in the Trollheimen mountain range. The nearby Kongskrona (The King’s Crown) summit stands 2 meters taller, but is less accessible (and less popular) as you have to cross a glacier to reach it. In spite of stopping 2 meters short of its sibling the views from Dronningkrona are just as impressive, or perhaps even more so.
360 degree view from the summit
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- Elevation: 1816 meters above sea level
- Trailhead: Dalsbøen in Viromdalen, Sunndal municipality
- Distance: 7,5 km one way
- Elevation gain: 1600 meters
- Time: 3-4 hours one way (6-8 hours round trip)
- Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there
Take highway 70 (Riksvei 70) west/north from the town of Sunndalsøra and then exit east towards Viromdalen and Innerdalen after the tunnel. Follow the road for 5,5 kilometers and park the car at the small settlement at Dalsbøen. I was never able to find a designated parking lot, but there were plenty of places to park alongside the road. Just make sure to park so that you don’t block any farming operations.
The trail picks up at 200 m a.s.l. on the south side just behind an old farm building at the edge of the forest. Once you’re on the trail it’s easy to follow as it climbs its way through the birch forest up and out of the valley. As you climb above the tree line the terrain levels out a bit onto the plateau at Dalsfjellet. Continue south into the valley for just over a kilometer until you see a suitable ascent route (there’s no trail anymore) up onto the ridge on the left, i.e. to the east. Once you’re on the ridge follow it southeast for approximately 2 kilometers until you reach the summit of Dronningkrona. Return down the same way you came up.
The trip to Dronningkrona is non-technical and does not require ropes or special equipment. I actually found it to be easier than expected. I will still categorize it as a moderate to strenuous hike though. Mostly due to the 1600 meters of elevation gain. The hike is 7,5 km one way and it took me 3 hours to get to the summit (6 hours for a round trip). Please be aware though that once you’re above the tree line the terrain is very exposed and there are few if any places to seek shelter. This is not a hike for cold, windy or rainy days. Happy trails!