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Norway´s National Parks are regulated by the laws of nature. Nature decides both how and when to do things. National Parks are established in order to protect large natural areas - from the coast to the mountains. This is done for our sake, for generations to come and for the benefit of nature itself.




DOVREFJELL - SUNNDALSFJELLA NATIONAL PARK

Counties: Møre & Romsdal, Sør Trøndelag, Oppland.

Established: 2002
(Replaced Dovrefjell national park, established in 1974)

Size: 1447 km2





Norway´s national mountains

In 1814, the members of the first Norwegian parliament swore in Eidsvoll that they would remain "United and faithful until the Mountains of Dovre should crumble", effectively making Dovrefjell Norway´s national mountain range. For over 200 years, amateur and professional botanists having been coming here from around the world to study and enjoy the unique, rich mountain flora. The area also boasts a practically intact mountain fauna with wild reindeer, wolverine, Arctic fox and golden eagles. The herds of musk ox are also unique to Dovrefjell.




The diversity of the mountain

Hiking in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella brings you in contact with the pulse of the mountain. A pattern of marked trails takes you through a landscape with great diversity. Tourist cabins within and outside the National Park offer you accommodation, and climbing, fishing and hunting is possible. Remember to get your fishing and hunting licenses.




From wild glacial mountains to open plateaux

The stretch from Sunndalsfjella to Knutsh¿ene allows you a glimpse of the heart and soul of mountain nature in all its diversity. The beautiful untamed landscape in the west is gradually replaced by smoother, gentler shapes as you move east across the National Park. The towering mountain Storkalken in the west, followed by the majestic Storskrymten and the famous Sn¿hetta farther east are the predominant features in a plethora of peaks.

The nature is diverse and interesting. The west is dominated by more barren types of rock, while the east has calcium-rich soil that supports a flourishing and varied plant life. The area just east of the National Park is home to the famous Knutshøene hills. And of course no visit to the area would be complete without seeing the convergence of watercourses at Åmotan. The spray and roar of the thundering waterfalls are an impressive reminder of the strength of primal forces unchecked. The nature found in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park and the neighbouring conservation areas are one of Norway´s national treasures.




Survivors of the ice age

In Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, the vegetation ranges from rich wetlands, through lush heaths, to barren hills. The area just east of the National Park is home to the famous Knutsh¿ene hills, which botany researchers have been visiting for more than one hundred years. Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park also has several rare plants that survived the last ice age, such as Norwegian wormwood and various subspecies of the delicate mountain poppy.




The realm of the vulnerable mountain reindeer

Wandering pioneers, the reindeer have stayed put on Dovrefjell despite numerous trials and tribulations. A 100 years ago, the wild reindeer were almost wiped out as a result of intense hunting. More recently, roads, railways, power stations and other disturbances have obstructed the animals´ migration.

The seasonal migration is what allows the wild reindeer to survive on the poor grazing grounds in the mountains. Further division of the mountain areas will make the herds even more vulnerable, causing them to overgraze the few areas left to them and deplete their food supply. This is why it is so very important to preserve large areas of countryside.

Sunndalsfjella provides the wild reindeer with excellent summer pastures and calving grounds; in the winter they move to the drier areas in the east to graze. The stocks in Dovrefjell are the only remains of the wild reindeer that used to inhabit much of Europe. Our main priority now is to gather as much knowledge about them as we can and always apply the "better safe than sorry" principle, to ensure that future generations will also be able to experience the migration of these cautious animals over the mountain plains.

A complete cross section of mountain nature The original equilibrium in the mountain ecosystem has been upset by the activities and encroachments of modern man. Nevertheless, in the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella region, some remains of the original mountain nature is intact. There are wild reindeer and a viable stock of wolverine. The rare Arctic fox has also managed to survive here, despite intense hunting and trapping in earlier times. Particularly unusual are the musk oxen that settled here after being introduced in 1932 and 1947-53.

Previously, this was the natural habitat of this ancient species, but they died out in Europe during the last ice age. Birds of prey are particularly well represented here, including gyrfalcon, golden eagle and rough-legged buzzard. You´ll also find rich wetlands with posturing ruff and lush heaths with clucking grouse.




From hunters to pilgrims and farmers

Cultural-historical traces indicate that people have been exploiting the natural resources in Dovrefjell and Sunndalsfjella for almost 10 000 years. The oldest traces have been found in the western parts, where the first hunters pursued the reindeer northwards with their bows and arrows as the ice began to retreat. The series of reindeer pits across Dovrefjell are the largest in southern Norway and bear witness to the importance of reindeer and the mountain resources for our ancestors.

These unassuming hunters ruled the land here long before the first pilgrims crossed the treacherous mountains on their way to Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim. Mountain cabins and inns were built, and the development of the route between the north and the south led to an increase in trade and communications. Farms were built and the cattle were taken up into the mountains in the summer to graze. Villages began to grow. By looking back, we can find many valuable elements that can help us build the future. We must learn how to use our "national mountains" without using them up.







OPPLAND


Dovre
Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Jotunheimen
Ormtjernkampen
Rondane



HEDMARK


Dovre
Femundsmarka
Forollhogna
Gutulia
Rondane



BUSKERUD


Hardangervidda


TELEMARK


Hardangervidda


HORDALAND


Hardangervidda
Folgefonna



SOGN & FJORDANE


Jostedalsbreen
Jotunheimen



MØRE & ROMSDAL


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella


SØR TRØNDELAG


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Femundsmarka
Forollhogna
Skarvan and Roltdalen



NORD TRØNDELAG


Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella
Børgefjell
Lierne
Skarvan and Roltdalen



NORDLAND


Børgefjell
Junkerdal
Møysalen
Rago
Saltfjellet - Svartisen



TROMS


Reisa
Øvre Dividal
Ånderdalen



FINNMARK


Stabbursdalen
Øvre Anarjohka
Øvre Pasvik



SVALBARD


Forlandet
Nordenskiøld Land
Nordre Isfjorden
Nordvest-Spitsbergen
Sassen-Bunsow Land
Sør-Spitsbergen