Norsk

Welcome to Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer!

Foto: Ketil Jacobsen

We are now closed. Thank you for visiting us and see you again in June 2024!

At Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer you can experience the mountains the wild reindeer call home. 

Visit our new exhibiton and discover fascinating facts about the wild reindeer. The Viewpoint SNØHETTA is also a must see for a spectacular view to the mountain Snøhetta. We are located right next to the E6 between Oslo and Trondheim. 

We are open all day during the summer season and everything is free of charge! Viewpoint SNØHETTA might temporarily close on short notice. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to be see the latest news. 

Foto: Martin I. Dalen

Dos and don'ts when visiting Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer

Conservation of wild reindeer and the mountains wild reindeer call home is the main purpose of Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer and Viewpoint SNØHETTA. Dovrefjell is a popular area for tourists, and we therefore ask you to please follow our dos and don’ts. This way we can take care of the wonderful nature and it can keep being a safe home for wildlife in many years to come. 

Dos

Use the trails

By following the trails, you help to take care of nature. This avoids unnecessary wear and tear on the vegetation and any disturbance to wildlife.

Did you know that lichens grow only 1 mm per year?

Eating lichen is how the wild reindeer survive the harsh winter months. 

If many people trek around in what is essentially the food of the wild reindeer this could affect their ability to survive.

Be an ally to wild reindeer

The best thing you can do as a wild reindeer ally is to keep your distance, giving them peace. 

Did you know that the reason wild reindeer are afraid of humans is due to us hunting them for generations? 

Here yoy can learn more about the fantastic wild reindeer (in norwegian)

Keep your dog on a leash

You are more than welcome to bring your dog hiking, but please be considerate towards wildlife, livestock and other visitors. Your four-legged friend can not join you inside viewpoint SNØHETTA but there are leash attachment points located outside the toilets. 

All dogs must be kept on a leash between the 1st of April and the 30 September in Dovre municipality and 30 October in Oppdal municipality. 

Foraging

You are welcome to picking berries, mushrooms and wildflowers for your own consumption. Please note that some species are endangered and protected. 

Don'ts

Camping and caravanning

We understand the temptation to camp and park your caravan overnight at the parking lot, but camping and overnight parking is prohibited. It is also prohibited to stay the night at viewpoint SNØHETTA. 

Please check out Visit Norway for camping grounds. 

Littering

Please leave no trace. Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella is a national park with important areas for endangered wildlife. Your trash does not belong here, thank you for not leaving it behind. 

Disturbing wildlife

Thank you for stopping and turning around if you locate any wildlife. Wild reindeer are very shy and will flee far if frightened. This energy should have been spent on grazing and resting. If you come across musk oxen, make sure you keep a safe distance of at least 200 m. It is also important to remember that it is prohibited by law to disturb, damage or destroy Arctic fox dens. Always keep more than 300 meters away from Arctic fox dens. 

Read more about musk ox here

Biking

Biking on the trail from the parking lot up to viewpoint SNØHETTA is prohibited. Please leave your bike at the designated parking spots for bikes at the parking lot. 

Campfires

Campfires are prohibited from 15 April to 15 September. 

Drone

The use of drones is prohibited at viewpoint SNØHETTA. Drones may disturb the vulnerable wildlife in the area and other visitors.

Foto: Martin I. Dalen

Opening hours

We are now closed. Thank you for visiting us and see you again in June 2024!

From June through October we are open 24/7. We follow the seasons of the mountains and do not open before the snow has melted. We close as soon as the snow returns in the fall. 

Read more about why we close during winter here

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!

Foto: Kristin Gansmo Brenna

What is Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer and why did we build the Viewpoint SNØHETTA?

The main aim of Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer and Viewpoint SNØHETTA is conservation of the wild reindeer and their home in the mountains. By visiting us you can experience the mountains on nature’s own terms and learn more about the fascinating wild reindeer. Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer consist of an exhibition located next to Hjerkinn Train Station and Viewpoint SNØHETTA, which is located about 1,5 km northwest of the exhibition. 

The wild reindeer was vital for the survival of our ancestors for thousands of years. In our exhibition you can learn more about this and se a mounted wild reindeer and skeleton. Both are from animals who lived in these mountains. The history and current challenges of wild reindeer are also topics for exploration here. In the outdoor area you will find reconstructions of the pitfall traps our ancestors used. We also have a reconstruction of the typical historic shelters people would use when travelling across the mountains by foot or by horse. 

Viewpoint SNØHETTA was built as an attempt to provide the opportunity to experience the mountains without actually visiting the most vulnerable areas. Dovrefjell is a very popular area for both locals and tourist from all over the world. The area around the mountain Snøhetta is especially popular but it is also an essential grazing area for the wild reindeers, especially during winter. Consideration of wild reindeer and musk ox is the reason for closing Viewpoint SNØHETTA as soon as the first snowfall of the fall season. 

Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer is part of the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre North at Hjerkinn. 

Read more about the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre here (English)

Did you know there are visitor centres for themes such as national park, wetland, predator, world heritage, the Oslofjord and forest? 

Check out all Norwegian visitor centres here (English)

Planning your visit

Visitor Centre Wild Reindeer is located next to the E6 between Dombås and Oppdal. It is accessible by car, train, bus or foot. The Visitor Centre is just between Hjerkinn station and the E6. (see the map). The parking lot for Viewpoint SNØHETTA is located 1,5 km northwest as the crow flies. The trail from the parking lot up to the actual viewpoint is 1,5 km. It is a wide gravel trail and the hike will normally take 20 – 30 minutes. 

You can park for free, but camping and overnight parking is prohibited. Biking on the trail to viewpoint SNØHETTA is also prohibited. 

Foto: Martin I. Dalen

Why are we closed during winter?

The area around Viewpoint SNØHETTA is an important habitat for wild reindeer and musk oxen. The animals especially use the area for grazing during the winter. Human disturbance causes the wildlife to flee and use unneccesseary energy. This is the reason that Viewpoint SNØHETTA closes during the winter. 

The transition between fall and winter at Dovrefjell is hard to predict. Sometimes the first snowfall will come as early as September. 

Follow us on Facebook for updates

Photo: Ketil Jacobsen

The view from Viewpoint SNØHETTA

Viewpoint SNØHETTA offers a panoramic view to the surrounding mountains. Maybe you’ll spot wild reindeer or musk oxen in the binoculars at the viewpoint? 

 

Names of the mountains visible from Viewpoint SNØHETTA:

Acitivities and hikes

Viewpoint SNØHETTA

Please enjoy our famous viewpoint. Along the 1,5 km long trail you will find 20 slabs of slate that have been recessed into the ground, giving visitors insight into the natural and cultural history of Dovrefjell. 

Viewpoint SNØHETTA is open from June through October, dependent on snow conditions. 

Go to map

The King's Road over Dovrefjell

The King’s Road over Dovrefjell was built more than 300 years ago. It was the first road accessible for horse and carriage in a mountain pass in Norway. 

Read more about it here (Norwegian)

Read more about it here (English)

Fokstumyra

Did you know that the railroad at Dovrefjell crosses a wetland of international importance?

At Fokstumyra you will find a bird tower allowing visitors to experience the birds in the wetlands. 

Read more about Fokstumyra here (Norwegian)

The Pilgrim Path

The Pilgrim Path over Dovrefjell is one of the most popular stretches of the old hiking route from Oslo to Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral. If you walk the entire distance over Dovrefjell, you pass four old mountain lodges that have welcomed pilgrims and other travelers over many centuries. The section of the route over Dovrefjell mainly follows the old thoroughfare over the mountains, the old King’s Road.

Pilgrim Center Dovrefjell provides further information about the Pilgrim Path

The Musk Ox Trail

The Musk Ox Trail opened in the summer of 2017 and is a network of adapted trails where there are good chances of spotting musk oxen.
You can choose circular trips of varying lengths, from 4.5 to 15 kilometers. Departure and return points are Kongsvoll or Grønbakken. Some of the trail goes through mountain birch forests and bare mountains, and it is possible to take a side trip to the Høgsnyta lookout point (1,320 meters above sea level).

You can encounter musk oxen along the entire trail on the west side of the E6 highway, but musk oxen are a common sight particularly from Høgsnyta. In early summer, musk oxen can sometimes be found down in the birch forests, so stay alert.

Read more about the Musk Ox Trail here (English)

The Vang Burial Site

A few kilometers west of Oppdal city center is the Vang burial site. Just like today, Vang used to be strategically located along the main roads between east and west, north and south. The Pilgrim Path and The King’s Road over Dovrefjell also run through this important junction. The Vang site is by far Norway’s largest Iron Age burial site, and one of the largest in Northern Europe. In total, there are approximately 900 differently sized burial mounds and cairns that are concentrated in one area.

Go to map her

Read more about it here (English)

Download the guidebook: The Vang Burial Ground here

Kongsvoll Alpine Garden

If you are driving over Dovrefjell, we recommend making a stop at Kongsvoll Alpine Garden. Visitors get a unique opportunity to see and experience (almost) all of Norway’s alpine flora in one place. The garden was established in 1924 by Thekla Ressvoll, the first woman in Norway to get a PhD in Botany. Her field of research was alpine plants, and how they had adapted to the harsh conditions in the mountains.

Read more about it here (Norwegian)

Nasjonalparkvegen over Dovrefjell

The hiking and cycling trail over Dovrefjell provides fantastic views of the mighty mountains, takes you through beautiful mountain pastures and is well adapted for both adults and children traveling on two wheels. You can follow the marked route from Dombås to Hjerkinn, or cycle the full «Tour de Dovre» to Folldal and through Grimsdalen. This trip takes you through three national parks. It is also a hiking and cycling route so electric bicycles are allowed here.
Parking is possible in the center of Dombås. You can also park in many rest areas and parking spaces along the E6 between Dombås and Hjerkinn, or
near Hjerkinnhus at Hjerkinn which charges a parking fee.

Read more at ut.no (Norwegian)

The pitfall trapping systems at Dovrefjell

You will pass over 1200 pitfall trapping systems when driving from Dombås to Kongsvold. 

If you park at Storrhusranden and follow the bike trail north and then the marked trail you will se 10 of these pitfall trapping systems. 

Snøhetta

The majestic Snøhetta mountain at Dovrefjell is Norway’s highest peak outside Jotunheimen. The trip starts with a 30 minute bus ride from Hjerkinn to the Norwegian Trekking Association cabin Snøheim. From there, the trail is well marked, and you reach the summit after a 6 km and 800 meter ascent through varying scree and boulders.

During the summer season, there is a shuttle bus that departs five times a day from the yard between Hjerkinnhus and the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre. This is to limit the traffic along Snøheimvegen road, which is an important migratory area for the reindeer in the Snøhetta wild reindeer area. It is prohibited to drive motorized vehicles on the road, and regular cycling is only permitted during the period 1 June – 15 July. It is also important to note that e-bikes are defined as motorized vehicles in the national parks and are therefore prohibited. 

You can find information and bus schedule here