Bjørndalen - Ulriken - Isdalen - Svartediket - Bjørndalen (summer/winter)
The route up/down Ulriken through Isdalen valley is a well-known route, but far less traveled than the popular routes leading up from the city. One reason is that one have to go all the way around the Svartediket dam in order to get to the Isdalen trailhead.
The trail's difficulty changes with the season. In summer, the trail is just a little steep in a few places (but not dangerous). In winter, when the trail can be icy and the creek is roaring, Isdalen (ice valley) becomes all the sudden much more dramatic.
Pictures from the trail (June 2002):
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Trip report June 06 2002
This trip report is a "celebration" of my friend Lars Egil Vik's (LEV) first hike (ever) to Ulriken.
One day, LEV gave a vague signal about the possibility for joining me on a hike. When I detect these vague signals, I immediately put the idea into action, and a hike to Ulriken on June 6th was settled. We had never hiked together before, and I'm sure LEV had all sorts of concerns about his hiking condition. I'm sure it had been a while, so Ulriken was a good place to start. Besides, the (very abnormal) heatwave had to be taken into consideration. Joining us on the hike was my dog, who had recently returned from a 45 day vacation. His condition was also a matter of question, so I brought the backpack just in case.
I chose Bjørndalen as the trailhead. Just in case he wasn't in all that bad shape, we could hike down Isdalen and have the car in close proximity. As we reached Ulriken my optimism about the original plan grew. LEV surely "noticed" the steep hike, but obviously able to continue after a short break. Troll was in worse shape. His tongue was collecting ground dust, and he was obviously ready for the backpack.
The break did wonders and LEV, happy with Ulriken on his "list", kept speed like any seasoned hiker on the way towards Isdalen. We also stopped by the Ulriken high point (643m), just to make sure Ulriken "was in the bag". After the high point visit, Troll was communicating that the back ride was over. At the Isdalen trail junction, LEV willingly agreed to a visit to the Byfjellene high point at Haugsvarde (673m). Now the massif was "really in the bag". After enjoying the great views towards Gullfjellet, we headed back to the trail and hiked down Isdalen.
Isdalen was somewhat disappointing. My last hike was in winter, and I remembered the scenery to be quite dramatic. With a raging creek coming down the valley. There was hardly any water left in the creek, and due to the dry trail, hiking was ridiculously easy. As we reached the cars, 4 hours later, LEV surely noticed that we had "been out", but he did very well. He's now qualified for a much tougher hike, and I'm sure he can't wait ...
Pictures from our June 06 hike: