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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.


County: Finnmark

Established: 1970

Extended: 2003

Size: 119 km2

The largest area of primeval forest in the north

Long and open pinewood draping low and gently sloping ridges, glittering lakes and wide bogs - a landscape unchanged since the dawn of time, where the nature´s own rhythm has ruled. The pine forest on the Finnish and Russian borders is one of the largest virgin forests in Norway, a lobe extending from the Siberian taiga. Many easterly species of plants and animals are found here, being rare or unknown elsewhere in Norway. One of them is the Labrador Tea.

Wandering by water

There are few outdoor recreational facilities provided in Øvre Pasvik National Park, but the area is still inviting to hikers. When going hiking in the National Park, it´s a good tip to follow the rivers, streams and lakes, so as not to lose your direction. The fishing is excellent, and you can catch for instance trout, grayling, burbot, pike and perch. Remember your fishing license.

The forest with a thousand lakes

The Øvre Pasvik landscape is mainly flat with some low and wooded ridges. Two rivers run through the park, and 25% of the area is water. The largest lake Ellenvatn with its outlet to the north, is situated in the northwest part of the park. Two of the smaller lakes in the south, Parvatn and Skinnposevatn, are somewhat more than bays in Ellenvatn, whereas Grenseparvatn and Dagvatn are connected to the other lakes by short streams.

Ødevatn has its outlet towards east-southeast, connected to the other river in the park. The terrain between Ødevatn and Ellenvatn is flat and boggy with countless small lakes and large tracts of forest. The most prominent landscape element in the park is Roudaguorra, or Revsaksskaret, situated east of the hill Steinfjellet. Roudaguorra is a magnificent gorge with steep sides and deep pools on its floor.

Climatically, Øvre Pasvik is a typical inland district with cold and dry winters. Most of the annual precipitation of 300-400 millimetres falls during the summer. The soil is relatively poor in nutrients, due to weathering of local granitic gneiss.

A virgin forest with its own character

Øvre Pasvik is dominated by pristine pine forest with several dead and fallen trees. More than 50% of the park is dominated by pines. One single spruce tree can be observed on the west side of Ødevatn. Single birches are scattered within the pine forest and mainly growing along the streams, where they form a woodland together with a few alders and aspens.

Due to the flat terrain with little run-off, bogs are easily formed in Øvre Pasvik. 17% of the park consists of bogs. Although the flora may seem poor at first sight, 190 flowering plants have been recorded in the area. Some of these plants are characteristic taiga plants, seldom or not at all found elsewhere in Norway. One typical example is the Labrador-tea. Other taiga species include Lapland buttercup, Rusty cottongrass, Salix Myrtilloides (a willow) and Carex Laxa (a sedge).

Fascinating eastern species

Øvre Pasvik has a special bird fauna. Like other animal groups there are the species native further east that are most fascinating. Siberian jays are relatively common and their trusting nature often leads to interesting observations for people visiting the area. Pine grosbeaks and waxwings are typical representatives of the Siberian fauna, but more common passerines like redstarts, Siberian tits, pied flycatchers and redpolls can also be observed.

Despite the few numbers of waders in the national park, both whimbrels and wood sandpipers have settled. The whooper swans are nesting each year in or close to the park. The cranes, usually hiding in the wilderness of the park, have now become a common sight in populated areas. The bean goose is also common in the park, though difficult to spot, and the smew, seldom observed elsewhere in Norway is a Siberian species.

The osprey and the rough legged buzzard are also observed. The hawk owl can often be seen in the Øvre Pasvik national park, and sometimes the great grey owl can be observed from one year to another.

Exciting fauna

The animal life in Øvre Pasvik is rich and includes taiga species like the northern Red-backed vole. Hares and squirrels are common, as well as a number of other small rodents. Even the rare wood lemming has been recorded. Large mammals like the elk are settled in the park, and semi-domesticated reindeers during the winter. The valley has the densest population of brown bears in Norway, and the she-bears may be observed with their cubs every year.

Wolves and wolverines as well as the rather special raccoon dogs are occasionally visiting the area. Small predators like red foxes, stoats, minks and pine martens can also be observed in numbers in the park, while the otters are rarer. Frogs and lizards may also be observed, but are not particularly abundant this far north.

The waters in the park have considerable numbers of pike and perch. Trout are less widespread, and so are vendace, grayling, minnows, burbot and three-spined sticklebacks.

Stone age people

Findings prove that people have inhabited the Pasvik valley since the early Stone age. A Sami (Lapp) population settled in the valley from approximately year 500 till the end of the 19th century, but gradually had to yield to immigrant settlers intent on farming and forestry. However, old cabins and ancient pitfalls show that hunting was an important subsistence for those living in the valley in earlier times.


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella












Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Skarvan and Roltdalen


Skarvan and Roltdalen


Saltfjellet - Svartisen


Øvre Dividal


Øvre Anarjohka
Øvre Pasvik


Nordenskiøld Land
Nordre Isfjorden
Sassen-Bunsow Land