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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.




RONDANE NATIONAL PARK

Counties: Hedmark, Oppland

Established: 1962

Extended: 2003

Size: 963 km2





The last outpost of the vulnerable wild reindeer

Rondane National Park was Norway«s first National Park, established in 1962 and extended in 2002. 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.




Popular among hikers

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.

At certain periods of the year, the park is heavily visited and it is of major importance that the vegetation and wildlife are treated with care. Some trails have been resited in recent years to avoid conflict with the grazing areas and migratory routes of the wild reindeers.

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.




A glacial landscape

Rondane is a typical high mountain landscape with 10 peaks over 2000 metres. In the mountainous central region of the park, the Ice age has left many traces: deep glens gouged out by glaciers and narrow ravines cut by glacial rivers.

Extensive terraces in the Døråldalen valley consist of gravel deposited by the melt waters, and at Skranglehaugan south of Dørålsæter there is a weird landscape, formed when the ice trapped inside the gravel finally melted.




Hardy vegetation

The bedrock makes a poor soil with minor nourishment for the vegetation. In a few low lying areas there are mountain birch and pine, but most of the national park consists of bare mountains dominated by hardy lichens and heather.

In wide areas, the ground is covered with a pale yellow-white carpet reindeer moss, an essential food resource for the reindeers during the winter. One of the flowers managing to survive at high altitudes is the Glacial Crowfoot, which can be found above 1.700 metres.




Vulnerable reindeer

Rondane National park is home to all typical species of the reggion, but is especially important as a life supporting area for the native reindeer. Previously, there was one large herd of reindeer, which migrated annually from Rondane over Dovrefjell and westward to the mountains of Sunndalsfjella. However, the railway, roads and human habitation have encroached on their living area and also cut off the reindeers´ migration routes.

Consequently, the original herd is now divided in two. The wild reindeers are the remains of the original mountain reindeers settled in large parts of Europe after the last Ice age. The animals are easily frightened and if they flee from important grazing land, they may not return.




From hunters to fell-walkers

Ever since the Stone age, man has visited the Rondane mountains to harvest the natural resources. The possibilities for hunting and trapping wild animals attracted man, and traces of pit-falls and other trapping devices are found in great numbers in the national park. Remains of early settlement sites and burial mounds are also found.

Stone-built shelters for the hunters, mainly dated from the 19th century, are parts of the more recent cultural heritage. Later, the shelters were used by the famous Norwegian folktale collector, Petter Chr. Asbjørnsen or by visiting British aristocrats.




 

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


Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella
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