Dovrefjell National Park

The empire of the king of the ice: the musk ox

Dovrefjell National Park is the best place to see musk oxen in Norway. But you can also spot them in the lower areas in forests and streams, and even along the E6 motorway.

You can explore Dovrefjell National Park (officially Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella NP) on your own accord following the many hiking paths. Or you can head out with a special guide. When you encounter a musk ox, make sure you give it plenty of space, because they’re fast and they use their horns when they charge!

The highest peak in Dovrefjell is the Snøhetta mountain, it’s 2.286 metre high. It’s fairly easy to climb, you can pretty much just hike up it. You are likely to end up in the snow when you do so.

A musk ox in Dovrefjell in Norway. ©Corno van den Berg

Wildlife of Dovrefjell

You should also keep an eye out for reindeer and elk. Dovrefjell is a good place to spot these animals, especially at dusk. But most people just want to see the iconic musk ox.

Musk oxen in winter in Dovrefjell.

Overnight in cabins

Another way to explore Dovrefjell National Park is to hike between the public huts in the park. The huts belong to Den Norske Turistforening (DNT), the Norwegian Trekking Association, and you don’t need a key to enter the huts. To get a discount on the rates you can become a temporary member. Your money will help with the maintenance of the huts.

Camping in Dovrefjell

There is a free camping rule in the national park, which pretty much means you can pitch your tent wherever you like. Do keep the musk oxen in mind, and you have to keep a minimum of 150 metres distance from houses, but that will be no issue at all here.

And what can be more exciting here to wake up in the morning, zip open your tent be face-to-face with a musk ox, reindeer or elk? Not that that happens frequently, the animals are rather shy.

The entrance sign of the Dovrefjell National Park.


De hoogste top van Dovrefjell is de berg Snøhetta, de hoogte is 2.286 meter. Hij is redelijk eenvoudig te beklimmen, of eigenlijk te bewandelen. Wel is de kans groot dat je sneeuw tegen komt. De beste maanden om te gaan zijn juni, juli, augustus en september. Je kunt op verschillende plekken vertrekken, maar Snøheim Road en de Reinheimhut zijn het meest populair. Vanaf de hut is het 14 km (heen en terug).

Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion

One such hut is the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion, which has very crisp, modern architecture, that contrasts fantastically with the rugged Norwegian landscape here. It’s located near Hjerkinn and it’s a perfect location for reindeer spotting. But make sure you also look at the building itself, it was a winner at the World Architecture Festival 2011.

Nearby hotels

The Kongsvold Fjeldstue.

The park also has several hotels where you can spend the night. Two of them are worth a mention, and both are owned by the same people: Kongsvold Fjeldstue en Kongsvold Fjellhage. They are 18th-century wooden lodges, and both located along the E6.

They are each good spots to depart from for a walk to go musk-ox spotting. They are seen regularly in the mornings here, so if you’re staying there, keep an eye out of the windows. Both lodges have large gardens with many endemic plants.

Best time to visit

Dovrefjell is not far from the polar circle and so there is an arctic climate. This means the weather can be unpredictable. For example: icy temperatures at night, sudden storms and regular snowfall. In summer it gets to 20 degrees Celsius with a nice amount of sun.

Because of its location near the arctic, the days are extremely short in winter, so the best months to go walking around here are June, July, August and September.

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