Hallingskarvet / Prestholt Round
This round tour starts with the famous stairs and leads you to a viewing point with Skarvsenden.
Totall distance 6,5km
Season: July, August, September and October
At the foot of the mighty Hallingskarvet mountains, and at the entrance to the Hallingskarvet National Park, lies Prestholtseter. The stone steps up Prestholtskaret makes the summit trip a pure joy. The steps are laid with the expert help of Sherpas from Nepal. The Prestholt Round is approximately a 2-hour trip of 6.5 km. This is a great scenic hike, whether one chooses to experience the sunrise, morning light, dusk, or perhaps the sunset. A road goes in to the Prestholtseter from Geilo. The most fit can start the trip from the center of Geilo, follow the Pilvegen road up to Geilohovda, and further westward passed Gullsteinhovda and Urundberget.
The Prestholtrunden loop is probably the most popular hike in the Geilo area. The trail leads into the Hallingskarvet National Park and reaches its highest point at Skarvsenden, 1,705 meters above sea level. There are fantastic views of the surroundings and to the west lies the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and Hardangerjøkulen glacier. The trail begins and ends at the Prestholtseter mountain café which serves traditional Norwegian dishes. The trail is steep in parts but a project, guided by Nepalese sherpas, to lay stone steps has made it suitable even for younger hikers.
You will get a fantastic view over the valley and Hardangervidda at Skarvsenden from there the track is sign postet and climbs a bit higher, after the highest point the track follows back to the dirtroad along the way you will pass a hunting pit with information panel about trapping and hunting.
This is a demanding tour! Be prepared with extra clothing and be safe in cloudy weater, just turn around on the stairs when the visability becomes less.
There is a not sign postet track further to an even higher top Prestholtskarvet. Ensure yourselv you are able to do this and that you can navigate in this type of terrain.
Even if it's a nice day, bring warm clothes as it can be considerably colder at the top than down at Prestholtseter.
Reconsider hiking this trail in bad weather as the conditions can be very tough.
Food and drinks are available at Prestholtseter café. You can find some Norwegian specialties like cured meats, sour cream porridge (rømmegrøt) and soft potato bread (lefsekling)
Try the water from the streams along the route, it is very fresh.
Turn by turn:
The entire trail is very well marked and begins at the Prestholtseter café, about 200 meters from the parking lot. From Prestholtseter the trail, made of stones laid by Nepalese sherpas, rises almost 500 metres before reaching Skarvsenden at 1,705 m.a.s.l. The trail then turns east, descending gradually and passing an old hunting trap for wild reindeer, before looping back to Prestholtseter.
From July it is possible to drive to the beginning of the trail at Prestholtseter, about 10 km from Geilo. From Rv 7, turn on to Nye Havsdalsvegen by the Geilohallen sports center. After around 2 km, turn on to Havsdalsvegen road. This road is a toll road, so have some coins handy. Be aware of cyclists on the road, as well on the way down. They might have a higher speed than you!
It's also possible to walk to Prestholtseter from Geilo. Follow the trail to Geilohovda (Pilvegen) and then continue west past Gullsteinhovda and Urundberget.
There is a big parking lod with the cabin.