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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.




SALTFJELLET - SVARTISEN NATIONAL PARK

County: Nordland

Established: 1989

Size: 1850 km2





From fjord to mountain and glacier

Saltfjellet-Svartisen is the most varied of Norway´s national parks, stretching from the green but wild Nordfjord in the west, over high mountains and eternal ice to fertile valleys and mountain birch with still rivers, and in the east the open fells of Saltfjellet with their great glacial sediments. Svartisen glacier is the largest ice-sheet in northern Scandinavia, covering 370 km2. The limestone bedrock supports a rich flora with many rare species. The traditional reindeer herding areas include an outstanding collection of Sami monuments.




A multitude of activities

Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park offers attractive wilderness for outdoor recreation. Here you can participate in glacial walks and cave exploration. A wide range of marked trails attracts the hiker. For instance, the old route from Rana to Salten is now marked as a footpath. You´ll find accommodation in unstaffed tourist cabins. Many of them old log cabins and mountain farms used by the tourist association and open to the public.

Saltfjellet is an attractive area for hunting and fishing. The National Park offers fine trout and char fishing, in some valleys there are many elks, and in good years grouse are in abundance. Remember to get hunting and fishing licenses.




Northern Scandinavias largest ice-sheet

Covering 369 km2 Svartisen is the largest glacier in northern Scandinavia. In numerous valleys, tongues of ice spread down from the ice-sheet to form valley glaciers, which often calve with a great noise. Svartisen actually consists of two glaciers, Vestisen and Østisen, separated by the valley of Vesterdalen, which became free of ice quite recently. The outwash deposits of sand and clay are constantly changing as the streams of glacial meltwater change their courses.

The limestone bedrock in the central part of the national park produces a typical karst landscape. For thousands of years the water has found its way down into fissures and has engraved the rock, forming numerous tunnels and caverns of all sizes and some of them being more 350.000 years old. The most varied karst landscape is found in Pikhågan in Glomdalen. The national park offers vast stretches of undisturbed wilderness free of any technical installations.




Rare plants and fertile mountain valleys

The calciferous bedrock supports a rich plant life, including several rare species, such as the Arctic Rhododendron. Some of the species are found in great quantities: the great carpets of Mountain Avens are particularly impressive. In Stormdalen some 250 higher plant forms have been recorded and beneath the mountain birch there is a rich undergrowth of tall, unusually fertile plants. The valleys of Tespdalen and Bjøllådalen are also rich in vegetation.

Saltfjellet seems to act as a barrier for several plant and animal species. Storlia nature reserve in Nordland has marked the natural northern limit of spruce as a forest tree for a long time, but now seems to be spreading northwards across the mountain.




Plenty of trout and char

In some valleys there are many elks, and in good years grouse are in abundance. There´s plenty of trout and char in the lakes and rivers. There are also wolverine and lynx in the area.




Past use of the mountains

The Sami were the first to hunt and trap wild reindeer in Saltfjellet. Traces of sacrificial sites, pit-falls and fences for trapping are dated from the 9th century at the earliest. Domestic reindeer herding is dated from the 16th and 17th centuries, centred in the valley of Lønsdalen that is outstandingly rich in Sami monuments.

The mountain valleys also contain many remains associated with the first farmers in the 19th century. Several valleys have been abandoned a long time ago, but old mountain farms and hay barns in the clearings of the birch forest remind us of the hard life of these pioneer settlers.

Traces of several ancient trackways are found, and one of them is the old route from Rana to Salten. This old route was chosen for the telegraph line in 1867. Stone shelters erected at that time were later replaced with log cabins.




 

OPPLAND


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