GETTING THERE: Unless you have a car, a combination of train and bus transporation is required to reach the Jotunheimen region. From the Oslo train station, there are five trains a day departing to Otta, about a four-hour ride. From Otta, buses run at least twice day to Gjendesheim, the most convenient gateway to hiking in the area. The cost of the train and bus ride is approximately $40 one way, but the scenic journey alone is worth the cost. The whole trip takes about 6 1/2 hours.
WHERE TO STAY: The lodge at Gjendesheim sleeps more than 100 persons and is a starting point for a number of hiking routes. There are at least a dozen other lodges in the region and several smaller self-service huts that are unstaffed. The lodges charge from $15 to $30 a night, which includes a bed, dinner and breakfast. They also provide blankets, pay showers, beer and wine, and lunch. You are required to bring your own sheets. In the self-service huts, there is a stocked larder and an honor system for payment for food and the small, varying fee listed for overnight stays. The busiest season is from July 15 to Aug. 15, but although the huts get crowded, no one is ever turned away: mattresses are handed out and people camp on the floors. Best hiking usually is either before or after this 30-day period. The hiking association, or DNT, is located at 28 Stortingsgaten in the heart of Oslo, and should be visited for help in planning your itinerary. It publishes a hiker's guide in English, and provides maps and a list of what to bring, as well as indicating what kind of weather you can expect.
MORE INFORMATION: The Norwegian Tourist Board at 655 3rd Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017, 212-949-2333, will send a DNT brochure and assist in travel arrangements.