(Ytste Mardalsfossen, Nordre Mardalsfossen, Mardølafossen)
Ytste Mardølafossen, also known as Nordre Mardalsfossen or Mardølafossen is a nice waterfall in the Eikesdalen (Nesset) in the region Møre og Romsdal, Norway.
Eikesdalen is not far away from Åndalsnes but it still takes a two hour drive on road 660/Fv191. First thing you will notice is the Eikesdalsvatnet, a big lake, which is fed by numerous rivers. You have to wait until you are halfway the lake before seeing the biggest waterfall in the Eikesdalen, Mardalsfossen.
Last time I was at the Eikesdalsvatnet was July 2017 I stopped several times to makes pictures of the Mardalsfossen. It was early in the morning and Mardalsfossen was lying in the shade. Because Mardalsfossen is falling towards the north and is surrounded by mountains the sun hardly reaches the waterfall.
Coming closer to Mardalsfossen, at the end of the lake, suddenly his neighbor waterfall showed up, Ytste Mardølafossen, also nice to see but less impressive. From the restaurant, at the Eikesdalsvatnet, you have a good view on the waterfall.
Unfortunately the waterfall is regulated just as his famous neighbor, the Mardalsfossen. Nevertheless, when I was in the Eikesdalen (twice, in June and July), the flow of the river Ytste Mardøla had a significant volume. According to the map the waterfall has a total height of 450 meters and directly ends in the Eikesdalsvatnet.
It is also possible to view Ytste Mardølafossen from nearby. Driving further you will see a road going right, signed with “Mardalsfossen 2,5 km”. The road is called Mardalsvegen and is a toll road, 30 NOK (in the year 2017). It is possible to pay with a creditcard. At the end of the dust road there is a cafe, tourist shop and information board at the parking. The walk starts here. Actually everybody is walking the track to see Mardalsfossen but before the base of the waterfall you are standing in front of Ytste Mardølafossen.
The walk to Ytste Mardølafossen and Mardalsfossen is pleasant goes slightly up with some lightly steep parts. But I didn’t bothered because the surrounding is beautiful. The walk goes through a forrest, mostly following the river. After crossing the bridge over the river Mardøla you will see Ytste Mardølafossen at the right side of the path.
I walked almost to the bottom of Mardalsfossen where you can feel the power of the river Mardøla plunging down before it ends with great force on the rocks. The walk to the base only takes 30 minutes (1,9 km) and has a descent of 150 meter.
Ytste Mardølafossen is being fed with melted snow and rain from the lake Nedste Mardalsvatnet. But at the Mardalsbotnen, at an altitude of 1000-1500 meters, there are also several small glaciers and lakes that feed the lower lake Nedste Mardalsvatnet (nedste means bottom).
Eikesdalen is a valley with many big waterfalls and is a visit worthwhile. There is a nice campingsite in Eikesdal, a perfect base to explore the area. Other nice waterfalls, further into the valley: Kjøtåafossen, Ramnåafossen and Aurstaupetfossen. You will see a lot more waterfalls on the road to Aursjøvegen and at the end of the Aursjøvegen.
After Finnset the unpaved road (Aursjøvegen) starts and adventure begins.You have to pay toll for this part of the road. The dirt road follows the river Aura which lead to Aurstaupetfossen, from the road visible form a distance. There isn’t a real trail from the road to the fall but I have seen photo’s with another perspective then from the road.
I drove the Aursjøvegen two times. A beautiful road but its tays a gravel road with parts of poor quality. The first time almost all the way Aursjøvegen was covered in a thick fog. The last time, July 2017, the weather was good and the views on the valley were awesome. Certainly the first part, from Finnset up the mountain. Here you see several waterfalls coming down the mountain but I particularly liked one called Slaettabakken. At first I thought this was the Breimegafossen, but this one is regulated and probably doesn’t exist anymore.
After 1 hour on the Aursjøvegen I wished for a normal road. Luckily at the end there were several waterfalls falling down that distracted me. I was looking forward to my next waterfall, Vinnufjellfossen, one of the highest waterfalls in the world.