Dovrefjell in all its glory...
Dovrefjell in all its glory…

You can explore Dovrefjell National Park on your own accord following the many tracks, or you can head out with a 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! You should also keep an eye out for reindeer and elk. Dovrefjell is a good place to spot these animals, especially at dusk.

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

The best months to go are June, July, August and September. You can depart from several different places, Snøheim Road and the Reinheim hut are the most popular departure points. From there it’s a 14-kilometre round trip.

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.

Camping in Dovrefjell.
Camping in Dovrefjell. Leon Dolman

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.

The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion in Dovrefjell.
The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion in Dovrefjell.

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.

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.

A group of musk oxen in Dovrefjell National Park.
A group of musk oxen in Dovrefjell National Park. Roger Brendhagen

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:
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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