Rondane National Park is located on the eastern side of southern Norway in Innlandet county, which was formally Hedmark and Oppland counties. The park covers an area of 372 square miles (963 sq km). Dovre National Park and Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park are two neighboring protected areas.
Rondane, established in 1962, is the first national park in Norway. It is renowned for its diverse mountainous region featuring remarkable mountain landscapes that surround extensive plateaus. Striking valleys separate the mountains.
The elevations vary from around 3,300 feet (1,000 m) above sea level up to 7,146 feet (2,178 m). Most of the park is above treeline with white birch trees found in the lower elevations of the park.
Rondvatnet Lake is located in the middle region of the park. There are ten peaks with summits over 6,560 feet (2,000 m), which are all accessible within a day’s hike from this lake area. Many of the plateau and valley areas are riddled with kettle holes from glaciers of old.
Wild reindeer roam the arid terrain, which is one of the few places in all of Europe where wild reindeer may be experienced as compared to other areas that feature domestic reindeer. Estimates suggest that over 2,000 reindeer are roaming across the terrain.
Other popular wildlife sightings in the park include bear, lynx, moose, musk ox, roe deer, and wolves. The musk oxen are sometimes seen in the park; however, they are more commonly seen in the neighboring Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park.
Some would ascribe that Rondane is a magical place where trolls and fairies roam amongst the landscape and between the mountains. It won’t hurt you to daydream as you explore this majestic, serene terrain.
The diverse mountain region with varied arid landscapes and chances to see one of Norway’s last remaining herd of reindeer is often considered the highlight of the park. Mountains, waterfalls, and stunning valleys are all possible highlights. Ten peaks reach summits of at least 6,560 feet (2,000 m).
Rondslottet is the tallest summit in the park, reaching a height of 7,146 feet (2,178 m). The majority of the mountain is barren, with lichens being the only real sign of any vegetation.
As the tallest mountain in the national park, it is a targeted destination to both see and hike up. It is affectionately known as “The Rondane Castle.”
Ulafossen features multiple drops with the most significant plunge falling 164 feet (50 m). This is one of the pinnacle attractions of the falls, and visitors can hike right up to it with views up close and personal.
Scenic Route Rondane
The Norwegian Scenic Route Rondane travels from Venabygdsfjellet to Folldal and then from Sollia Church to Enden. The total journey covers a distance of (75 km). The route meanders along the Rondane massif, which serves as the picturesque backdrop for many of the views. The route also travels past some cultural heritage landscapes giving a taste of history.
Trails of Rondane National Park
Hiking is the most common activity in the park, and there are plenty of opportunities to hike and explore this phenomenal mountainous region. Hiking is permitted throughout the park. The T-trails are marked with red Ts that are easy to find.
These T-trails are paths between each of the cabins scattered across the park. The T-trails travel cabin to cabin. One of the highlights is what some would call hassle-free hiking. Here porters connected to the cabins carry your backpacks to the next cabin while you take a more leisurely hike exploring the area.
Ulafossen Trail: This is a loop trail that is rated easy, covering a distance of 1.49 miles (2.4 km). It only has an elevation gain of 196.85 feet (60 m). The roundtrip trek takes about 1.5 hours but can be made in less time, depending on how much you spend viewing Ulafossen Falls.
Rondvassbu-Storronden Trail: this is a combination trail trekking from the Spranghaugen Car Park up to Rondvassbu over a distance of 3.75 miles (6 km). The trail continues with an ascent up Storronden at 7,013 feet (2,138 m) above sea level. This trek up takes about 5 hours.
Mysusaeter – Peer Gynt Cabin Trail: This is an 11.2-mile (18.02 km) journey that ascends 1,627 feet (459.9 m) before returning down the same path. Hikers will see a river, a waterfall, a forest, and panoramic views of the terrain. There are chances to see wildlife along the way.
Illmannhoe Trail: This is a shorter 2.2-mile (3.54 km) trek that ascends 1,473 feet (448.97 m) to the lookout point providing panoramic views of the area along the way. The trail is rated moderate with chances to see wildlife and wildflowers. There are also views of the lake.
Hogronden Trail: This loop trail meanders 13.2 miles (21.24 km) along the river and through the forest. Birdwatching is one of the popular attractions of the trail, along with chances to see wildflowers and other wildlife. The accumulative elevation gain is 4,878 feet (1,486.8 m), and the trail is rated difficult.
Spranget-Rond-Doral Trail: This 13.8-mile (22.21 km) trek travels up and between the mountains. There is an elevation gain of 3,011 feet (917.75 m). The trail provides views of a lake, a river, and chances to see wildlife. Panoramic views are one of the most astounding along the way. The one-way trail is rated difficult.
Rondane National Park the first national park created in Norway in recognition of the pristine and picturesque wilderness found in the diverse mountainous region. The park seeks to protect the herd of wild reindeer, which is one of the last remaining herds that are not domesticated by breeding.
The park also protects the wilderness that supports a series of wildlife species that roam amongst the birch forest and across the lichen-covered valleys and mountains.
- Ulafossen Waterfall
- Scenic Route Rondane
- All Trails, Best Trails In Rondane National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/norway/oppland/rondane-national-park, retrieved August 2020.
- Britannica, Rondane National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Rondane-National-Park, retrieved August 2020.
- Frommers, Things to see and do in Rondane and Dovrefell National Park, https://www.frommers.com/destinations/rondane-and-dovrefjell-national-parks/attractions/overview, retrieved August 2020.
- Mountains of Norway, Explore Rondane, https://www.mountainsofnorway.com/adventures/signature/explore-rondane/, retrieved August 2020.
- Nasjonalparkriket, Rondane, https://www.nasjonalparkriket.no/en/rondane-national-park, retrieved August 2020.
- Nasjonale Turistveger, Rondane, https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/rondane, retrieved August 2020.
- Norway Travel Guide, Rondane National Park, https://norwaytravelguide.no/norways-national-parks/rondane-national-park-, retrieved August 2020.
- Outtt, Rondane National Park, https://outtt.com/en/norway/rondane, retrieved August 2020.
- Visit Norway, Rondane National Park, https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/eastern-norway/the-rondane-mountains/, retrieved August 2020.