History of the Jotunheimen

The ancient inhabitants of Jotunheimen have been long gone, taking their myths and legends with them. What they left behind besides spears, fish-hooks, pitfalls and trapping systems was an unspoiled wilderness with abundant plant and wildlife. A rough but beautiful landscape which in 1862 was christened Jøtunheimen  - Home of the Giants by Norwegian poet Aasmund Olavsson Vinje.

The remains of (dairy) farms, ancient track-ways and the huts used by live falcons trappers in Aasmund Olavsson Vinje’s time, can still be found when you roam the 300 kilometres of hiking trails in what became a Norwegian National Park in 1980. This was the same year Jotunheimen’s neighbour, Utladalen was designated a Protected Landscape, presenting Northern Europe with an unprecedented gift of nature.

Since 1980 the parks have been made increasingly accessible. Trails have been marked, ski routes flagged and (un)manned huts and cabins have been built for overnight stays. The glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains and valleys of both Jotunheimen and Utladalen have attracted an increasing number of (international) visitors in the past decade but still offer endless solitude for those looking for peace and the Zen of nature.

Thanks to its status of National Park, Jotunheimen has turned into a sanctuary for both plants and wildlife. All four members of the deer family (wild reindeer, elk, red deer and roe deer) live here as does the wolverine, lynx and polar fox. Bird-life is abundant as well, filling the air with songs of life, joy and freedom.

Muskus history

When the pyramids where built, hunters and fishermen already lived in what we now know as Jotunheimen. Trout, elk and reindeer were crucial for the livelihood of these early Norwegians of whom the remains of habitation sites dating back to 3000 BC are still found near Gjende and Russvatn.

Where to find us


nature's guest

In Jotunheimen you are nature’s guest. Please remember the following gidelines.

You can walk, bike or ski wherever you like but engines are prohibited

Feel free to stop, enjoy the scenery and set up your tent as long as you tidy up after yourself and don’t leave litter.

You can build a fire, apart from April 15 to September 15 when there is a general ban on fires in forests. Please restrain yourself when collecting firewood.

Berries, mushrooms and common plants can be picked for your own use and risk as long as you show consideration of cultural relics, vegetation and fauna.

Remember, you are a guest of nature so be extra careful during the breeding and nesting season.

When you plan to make use of the Jotunheimen’s hunting and fishing opportunities remember you need a license. Do not use live fish as bait or transfer live fish from one watercourse to another.

Dogs are welcome as well, just remember to keep yor dog on a leash between April 1 and August 20.