We recently took a fantastic 7 Night Cruise to Norway on Celebrity Silhouette with our wonderful group of wine lovers and our Ascension Cellars winery hosts. When I was recommending shore excursions, I had many people ask me how strenuous the Briksdal Glacier hike was, so I thought I would describe each stage of the hike and provide photos for each step of walk here for future reference for other cruisers and travelers. There is also the option of paying to be driven in the troll cars (Off Road Vehicles) up the hill. However, even from where they drop you off, which is about 90% of the way, there is still one more elevation change to get to the glacial lake.
Here is my section-by-section explanation of the hike.
The hike starts at the little restaurant and car park that you see below. The first part is a walk up a fairly gentle slope but it is up hill. Next you approach the bridge that crosses over the creek just below the waterfall. That part is pretty flat.
After you cross the bridge you have the biggest elevation change of the whole hike as your go to the level of the top of the waterfall.
This elevation change can be traversed either via the switchbacks which are used by the Troll Cars or if for example you were pushing a stroller. The stairs are more direct but can be slippery in the rain in a few spots. We just held the railing so as not to slip. Once past the elevation change by the waterfall, there was a long flat part next to the glacial stream.
At the end of the flat part there was a picnic area, the drop of location for the folks in the Troll Cars, and one more ascent to the glacial lake. In the picture below with the fence you can catch a glimpse of the road below on the left hand side and a parked troll car.
Finally to address the troll cars. They are at an extra charge and cannot be guaranteed. They take guests 90 percent of the way up, but if guests want to get up to the lake they have to do that last elevation change on foot.