The first humans that established themselves in Høvringen were the wanderers. Probably they arrived about 7000 - 8000 years from the east. Hunting and fishing
formed their food basis. When they found iron in the moors around
Høvringen, this became an important piece of trade. With the arising of
the domestic animal cattling the farmers from the valley began to use
the area as summer pasture.
Høvringen developed in such a
way to one of the largest pasture places in Norway, with over 40
buildings. The first tourists arrived around 1880 and thus began the
tourism, which shapes the area today. The road from E6 up to Høvringen is driveable all year and is of high standard. Høvringen lies approximately 950 metres and is the gate to Rondane from vest. The name Høvringen
comes from the horse shoe. The area has a long history of satisfied
visitors. Tourists have been coming to the region for more than a
hundred years. Easely access to well-prepared and well-marked cross-country tracks, summer and winter.
road is of high standard during the summer, while during the winter all
guests are transported by snowmobile. During the summer, there is a
twice-daily bus service from Otta Station.
The great view, which opens up at the arrival in Høvringen, has inspired many well-known writers and artists since. Sigrid Undset describes their first impression of Høvringen and Rondane in such a way in her novel about Kristin Lavransdatter:
"Kristin stared with large eyes, she had never thought that the world
is so far-reaching and large. Everywhere was green mountain sides, and
the valley was only one gap between the enormous mountains and the side
valleys appeared like still smaller gaps.
There were many valleys, but nevertheless fewer valleys than mountains. In all directions the grey summits, radiating gold from lichens, rose up highly over the forest. Under the horizon far away the blue mountains with their white views of snow mixed in the eye with the grey-blue and white-bright summer clouds."
The blue mountains, which are described in the quotation, are today a part of the Rondane National Park.
Rondane National Park is approximately 963 km2 and located at the Counties of Hedmark and Oppland. Rondane National Park was Norway´s first National Park. It is particularly important as the home of one of our country´s last
herds of wild reindeer, and covers a varied mountain landscape of high
peaks, lichencovered plateaus and lush valleys. The park is dominated
by the high peaks, narrow ravines and deep valleys of the Rondane
massif. The poor bedrock supports only a sparse vegetation of mainly
lichen and heather. Numerous traces of an early hunting culture can be
seen. As a special measure for the protection of the wild reindeer,
the park was significantly enlarged in 2003, its area increasing from
580 to 963 km2. The park was enlarged mainly to the north-west, and
slightly in the east and south. In addition, areas with lesser
protection (landscape protection as well as nature protection areas)
were established in connection with the park.
Rondane is a typical high mountain area, with large plateaus and a total of ten peaks above 2,000 metres (6.560 ft). The highest point is The Rondane Castle (Rondeslottet) at an altitude of 2.178 metres (7.146 ft). The lowest point is just below the tree line, which is approximately 1.000 to 1.100 metres (about 3.300 to 3.600 ft) above sea level. The climate is mild but relatively arid. Apart from the White Birch trees
of the lower areas, the soil and rocks are covered by heather and
lichen, since they lack nutrients. The largest mountains are almost
entirely barren: above 1.500 metres (5.000 ft) nothing but the hardiest lichens grow on the bare stones.
The mountains are divided by marked valleys through the landscape; the deepest valley is filled by Rondvatnet, a narrow lake filling the steep space between the large Storronden-Rondeslottet part and The Forge (Smiubelgen). The central massif is also cut by "botns": flat, dead stone valleys below the steep mountain walls of the peaks. Generally, Rondane does not receive enough precipitation to generate persistent glaciers, but glacier-like heaps of snow can be found in the flat back valleys.
The centre of the Park is the Rondvatnet lake,
from which all the peaks beyond 2.000 metres (6.560 ft) of altitude can
be reached in less than one day´s walk. In this central region and
north of it, the altitude is quite high compared with the flatter
plateaus of the south. Rondane has ten peaks over 2.000 metres, Rondeslottet (2.178 metres), Storronden (2.138 m), Høgronden (2.114 metres), Midtronden western summit (2.060 metres), Vinjeronden (2.044 metres), Midtronden eastern summit (2.042 metres), Trolltinden (2.018 metres), Storsmeden (2.016 metres), Digerronden (2.015 metres), and Veslesmeden (2.015 metres).
In many parts of the park, there are spread-out holes (kettle holes) created by small remains of ice age glaciers, and peculiar small hills called "eskers" made by ground moraine released by melting glaciers.
Today´s visitors in Rondane are mainly fell-walkers or hikers. Rondane National Park
is a popular area, due to dry climate and firm terrain, even if
boulders and scree make the access difficult at times. There´s a
network of marked trails and several tourist cabins. You can fish and
hunt for hare, grouse and wild reindeer. Remember to get your fishing
and hunting licenses.