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Mørkgonga - a gap for selfie

Updated: May 4, 2021

By Steinsfjorden on the border between Ringerike and Hole is one of the country's most spectacular gorges - a crack in the lava plate that covers Krokskogen.

Mørkgonga nature reserve has an interesting geology and a varied and beautiful nature. The gorge is one hundred meters deep and 3 meters wide.

The path from Steinsfjorden to Mørkgonga is approx. two kilometers long and has a rise of 450 meters with a 45 degree slope in some places.

An alternative is to go from Damtjern in Stubdal. This stretch is approx. five kilometers - ie three kilometers longer - but more comfortable, safer and more child-friendly.

It is also easier to park there. The parking lot by Steinsfjorden is small and fills up quickly.

From Damtjern there are several trips, including to Løvlia. From the car park a couple of hundred meters below the kiosk on Damtjern, there is a marked path to Gyrihaugen.

The trip from Damtjern to Gyrihaugen is approx. 4.5 kilometers. Half a kilometer before you get there, it goes style to the right towards Mørkgonga. From there it is approx. 1 kilometer.

The trail goes through beautiful forest terrain. There is some climbing along the way, but no frighteningly steep sections.

After rain, it can be wet in some places. Boots or hiking boots can be an advantage.

After approx. kilometers you reach some cabins and then a gravel road. Follow the gravel road to the left approx. 100 meters, from there the path continues to the right towards Gyrihaugen.

After approx. half a kilometer there is a sign for Mørkgonga on the right. If you have the strength for it, it is worth the effort to go up to Gyrihaugen first. Then continue straight ahead.

Gyrihaugen is located 683 meters above sea level and overlooks large parts of Eastern Norway.On autumn days, there may be a cloud-like blanket of fog over the landscape.

Between Guyrihaugen and Mørkgonga lies Migartjern. It is a popular excursion place with nice resting opportunities along the beach.

There are two roads from Gyrihaugen to Mørkgonga. One goes in a relatively straight line down to Migartjern. It's pretty steep.

The other option is to go back the same way to the sign for Mørkgonga. It is a little longer, but less steep and more comfortable to walk.

The rewards are great when you reach Mørkgonga at the top of the gorge. When you look down, you're glad you did not take that road up.

The trip up through the gorge in Mørkgonga is very steep, but there are ropes and steel wire that you can hold on to. It is still not a road you should go down again. If you want to get the nature experience by going up the gorge, you should go around Skardtjernet back. It's slacker. From the gorge you follow the path further in the direction of Gyrihaugen. Turn right when you come to an intersecting path where there are signs. Follow the trail to Skardtjernet and from there down again towards the car park.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Hike from Damtjern to Mørkgonga past Gyrihaugen

Suitable for: You should be in normal shape. The trip is moderately strenuous.

Length/duration: The trip from Damtjern to Gyrihaugen and Mørkgonga is 11 kilometers. With a normal speed, it takes approx. 4 hours. The trip from Steinsfjorden to Mørkgonga and via Skardtjernet back to the car park is approx. 5 kilometers. The time you spend depends on how fast you can go up. Set aside a few hours. It is only possible to walk this road in the summer/autumn/spring. In winter it is too dangerous.

Get there: Take the E18 from Oslo towards Drammen. Take the E16 towards Hønefoss by Sandvika. Follow the E16 to Sundvollen. Turn right towards Åsa and Stubdal on Åsaveien. After approx. 6 kilometers there is a parking lot on the left side right by the water (Steinsfjorden). From there there is a path up towards Mørkgonga.

Follow Åsaveien further on until you come to an intersecting asphalt road if you want to go from Damtjern. Turn right there towards Stubdal and Damtjern. Follow the signs to Damtjern. The path to Gyrihaugen and Mørkgonga starts a couple of hundred meters below the kiosk on Damtjern. There is also a parking space.

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