Nigardsbreen

Ice and snow and flowing waters have played their part in forming the landscape around us into deep valleys and fjords, into high mountains and peaks. Glaciers provide a good deal of information about the climate after having expanded and melted away over the ages. The glaciers are mystical and exciting and attract people for adventures, research, and recreation.
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Langsua nasjonalpark

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Breheimsenteret
6871 Jostedal, Norway
T: +47 57 68 32 50
E: jostedal@jostedal.com

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Nigardsbreen
The Nigardsbreen glacier lies in the innermost part of the elongated Jostedalen valley, between high mountains and surrounded by the Breheimen and Jostedalsbreen National Parks. The sight of the ice between the towering mountains is overwhelming. Nigardsbreen is one of the most visited outlets of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. It has won such widespread fame because it is so easy to get to and also because it is possible to walk on it. With the aid of crampons, climbing harnesses, ropes, and a skilled guide, visitors can experience the magical atmosphere of blue glacial ice in all its crystal-clear, dripping, and glittering splendour.
Painting of Nigardsbreen

The nature reserve

Founded in 1985, the Nigardsbreen Nature Reserve covers 28.1 km². It borders on the Jostedalsbreen National Park and lies in Jostedalen in Luster municipality. The natural reserve includes historical and geological phenomena that tell us a good deal about how the glacier has expanded and receded. The area is protected because of the glacier and its deposits. For that reason, visitors are not permitted to move rocks, damage vegetation, or camp in the nature reserve.

Picture of Nigardsbreen nature reserve
The ice has left many visible traces in the Nigardsbreen Nature Reserve, for instance moraines, glacial striations (or “scratches”), and glacial potholes, also known as giant’s kettles. The reserve also serves as a reference area for plant growth after the glacier’s withdrawal. The Nigardsbredalen valley is of interest to researchers from the entire world.

New methods can also help us find out what the landscape looks like beneath the ice. That might be useful in a warmer climate where the ice melts more quickly.

People in nature hiking towards Nigardsbreen

Moving about safely

Nice hikes are possible to several of the glaciers in Jostedalen. Nigardsbreen and Bergsetbreen are the two most visited glaciers, but Tuftebreen and Fåbergstølsbreen are also worth a visit. It is possible to hike safely for those who are familiar with the area or who receive tips from locals.

Follow the signs and respect barriers for both your own and others’ sake, and enjoy the experience of hiking to Nigardsbreen or other glacier arms.

Picture of warning signs at the glacier.
Isbrear er i rørsle og det kan rase store isblokker frå den utan forvarsel. Isras kan vere farlege, og kan også sperre for smeltevatnet slik at det oppstår plutselege flaumar eller endring av elveløp. Stein kan losne frå dei bratte fjellsidene, særleg når det er regn og uver. Unngå å opphalde deg i område der det kan kome isras, plutselege vassmengder eller steinsprang.

Skal du opp på breen eller heilt bort til den, rår vi deg til å gå med ein guide som kan vurdere forholda. Svaberga blir glatte når det er vått, så sko deg godt! Følg skilting av omsyn til deg sjølv og andre, og få ei god oppleving ved Nigardsbreen, eller andre breutløparar.

Falling ice

Isras-symbol

Glaciers are in movement, and large blocks and chunks of ice may fall from them without any warning.
flooding

Flooding

Ice may also obstruct the melted water, leading to flash floods or the transformation of river courses.
Falling ice

Falling rocks

Rocks may suddenly loosen from the steep mountainsides, especially in the event of rain and bad weather.
Avoid staying in areas that are exposed to falling ice, flash floods, or falling rocks. If you intend to make your way onto a glacier or all the way over to it, we recommend that you follow a guide who can assess the conditions. Slopes of naked rock are slippery when wet, so make sure to choose appropriate footwear!
People behind a barrier at the glacier
Glacier in mountain.

Clothing and equipment

The weather is ever-changing in both summer and winter. You must assess the weather and the hiking conditions yourself, as well as your own personal shape and skills, and choose the appropriate clothing and equipment. Good hiking boots are a necessity for mountains and rocky areas. When on top of the glacier, visitors should also have sunglasses and gloves. Hiking in the mountains can be challenging. Choosing to use a guide provides security and useful advice.

People at Nigardsbreen

The Nigardsbreen Viewpoint

Nigardsbreen is the glacier in Norway that provides the easiest access. Visitors can walk to Nigardsbreen by foot from Breheimsenteret, or partially get there by car on the toll road to the car park at the Nigardsbrevatnet lake. From the lake it is possible to travel by boat for a short distance, but the final stretch requires in any case a hike of around 40 minutes.

View of Nigardsbreen
From the car park it takes a bit over 1 hour to walk to the viewpoint. Signposts along the trail guide the visitors there. Since the glacier is in constant movement and change, the viewpoint may also be relocated. Therefore, follow and respect the posted signs – they are there to make the trip safe! You may perhaps encounter hiking groups that choose a different course, but we recommend that you use a guide if you want to deviate from the signposted trail, unless you yourself are experienced with glaciers and glacier hikes.
View of Nigardsbreen

The Brevegen road

The Brevegen road goes from Breheimsenteret to the car park at the Nigardsbrevatnet lake. Visitors pay a toll with their bank cards at the road’s boom barrier – follow the instructions there! The road is closed during winter. For more information and prices, please see www.brevegen.no.

Picture of the Brevegen road with the glacier in the background.

Boat to the glacier

A boat service operates on the Nigardsbrevatnet lake between June and September. The opening and closing of the season depend on the lake’s water level, so the exact dates may vary. The boat is in continuous service during the day, and no reservation is required. The boat makes the trip to Nigardsbreen much easier, since the trail along the lake is hilly and at times challenging. The boat ticket may be bought on the pier, using a bank card or the Vipps payment service. For more information and prices, see www.brevegen.no.

People in a boat heading for Nigardsbreen
Title Address Description
Utsiktspunkt
M6H3+MG Mjolver, Norge
Båt
M6FH+H7 Mjolver, Norge
Parkering
M6FM+2P Mjolver, Norge
Brevanding
M5JX+3H Mjolver, Norge