Snøhetta is the highest mountain in the mountain range of Dovrefjell, and the highest mountain in Norway outside of the Jotunheimen range, making it the 24th highest peak in Norway, based on a 30 metre topographic prominence cutoff. It also has Norways third largest primary factor. The mountain is inside Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park.

The mountain has several peaks.
  • Stortoppen, the highest summit, 2,286 meters.
  • Midttoppen, 2,278 meters, prominence 35 m
  • Hettpiggen, 2,261 meters, prominence 50 m
  • Vesttoppen, 2,253 meters, prominence 70 m

Dovrefjell is a mountain range in central Norway that forms a natural barrier between Eastern Norway, Western Norway and Trøndelag, the area around Trondheim. As a result, it has been heavily trafficked during and probably preceding historical times.
Several mountain inns were established in the Middle Ages to house pilgrims traveling to Trondheim, and there are even ruins of an old leprosy colony in the northern area.

Since reintroduced with muskoxens in the early 20th century. They have become symbols of Dovre Mountains and the area has 2 national park and also houses rare plants and wild reinfeer. This oxen stands like sentinel at the permanent display of Dovre Mountain in the railroad station at Oppdal.

...Slay him!
May I hack him on the fingers?
May I tug him by the hair?
Hu, hey, let me bite him in the haunches!
Shall he be boiled into broth and bree?
Shall he roast on a spit or be browned in a stewpan?
Ice to your blood, friends!....

(Peer Gynt)

It is hard to find any more accessable mountain pass in Norway than Dovre. Though it has its share of tourist traps, and near the peak of Snøhetta it still has kept its pureness and grandiour. The main south-north highway (E6) and railway Dovrebanen in Norway runs over Dovrefjell. The highway is a year-round highway but is at rare occasions closed for short periods during heavy winter weather conditions.

If you go by car, right on the foot of it in south is Dombås which is not only the last stand but also a junction for the route to the Romsdalen. Also the railroad has a junction there with a branchline to Åndalsnes over the Romsdal. In north Oppdal is the last stand, a bit further away but alos a drive from north is as spectacular as from the south. Most of the people rushes through this area. But it is very much recommended for a stop, here at the hall of the famed Dovregubben.

The natural habitat for many rare plants and animals, it has become a national park in several stages starting in 1911, when some plants were put under protection. When the railroad was built from Oslo to Trondheim in 1921, one of the marshes was reserved. In 1974, parts of the range became a national park and the park was extensively enlarged in 2002. Together with Rondane it has Norway and Europe's last stock of wild reindeer of Beringia origin. Dovrefjell (west of E6/Dovrebanen) also has a stock of musk oxen, imported from East-Greenland in 1932.

Dovrefjell offers a year around display of colors ranging from Sunsets in bitter cold in winters to mix of snow and growing plants of the spring. These photos were taken in mid June in 2007 in lush vegetation in the southern part of the mountains, right by the enterence of a national park. Still in midsummer green. High lighted with its flowers, the area was indeed very rich in colors.

From Hjerrkinn, which is the summit, northbound the scenery changes. The plains gives away to a narrow valley and along the highway there is small brook which at some parts have created a small canjon and one of the highlights is the railroad line hugging the the high mountain walls. As the road decents the valley becomes broad enough to house a few farms and passing Drivstua, which was small railroad station to house powerful steam engines to push the trains over the mountains, the valley gets more populized all the way to the northern poin, the town off Oppdal. The E6 i srunning through the entire country and does resemble a spine is a popular among the tourists and there a quite a few tourist traps, camping sites etc. But the valley is not entirel living on farming, at som places a few large stone quarrys had made large scars on the mountains. But never the less the northern section is very scenic and enjoyable to drive and expolre.

(To Dombås) (To Oppdal) (To Rondane)
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Copyright © 2005 Olavi Ahokas