Tour de Dovre - The family route Cycling
Cycle the family-friendly bike trail over the colourful Dovre mountain
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 29.5 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
- Elevation Gain: 300 meters
- Duration: 96-120 hours
About Tour de Dovre - The family route
Go on a bike ride up in the Norwegian mountains more or less free from car traffic and experience lush greens and hillsides in red, brown and grey along sparkling blue waters. From Dombås the trail takes you up to the Dovre mountain where you will have the Dovre national park to the one side and the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella national park to the other. The trail is also known as the King’s Road since the Danish-Norwegian kings would ride through here on their way to Trondheim for their coronation ceremonies.
On your bike ride you might catch a glimpse of some muskoxen. After finding fossils of muskoxen scientists were inspired to bring the animal back to Dovre and so there has been a herd of them there since 1947. The muskoxen are usually not too interested in humans, but to avoid an unpleasant meeting keep a distance of at least 200 meters from the animal.
The ride is classified as being of medium difficulty, mainly because of the steep ascent at the beginning and because of its length, but can still be taken on by children as well as adults. It is possible to divide the trip into several days by spending a night or two at one of the cabins or camping sites along the way. If you wish to return to Dombås on the same day, but your time and energy is scarce, you could also bike one of the ways and take the train between Dombås and Hjerkinn the other way.
The recommended time to go on this adventure is from June to October. You'd might be able to go earlier, depending on whether there is snow on the roads or not, so check the weather forecast before you go. The weather can change pretty quickly up here, so wear several layers of clothing and be prepared in case of rain.
There are several daily train connections between Oslo and Dombås as well as between Trondheim and Dombås. If you travel by train, double check that the train allows bikes onboard. Alternatively, you can rent a bike (regular or electric) at Dombås.
If you go by car from Oslo, you can follow the road E6 north and it will take you about 4,5 hours to reach Dombås. From Trondheim it's approximately 3 hours on the road E6 heading south. While from Bergen it takes from 8 to 9 hours depending on which road you take.
Start your adventure from Dombås public transport hub by biking down road 490 to the central roundabout. Go through the underpass and follow the path for bikers and pedestrians. Cross the road E6, keep to the left on the bridge over the railway, then pass under the railway again. At the top of the hill you cross the road E6 again and continue up through the residential area until you reach the ski lifts at Trolltun Gjestegård.
After crossing the parking lot, you follow the gravel path up to Dombås ski arena. From here you get on the old mountain road, “Gamle fjellveg”, which is the beginning of the bike path across Dovrefjell, also known as “Nasjonalparkvegen over Dovrefjell”.
The first 10 kilometers make out the steepest part of your ride as you start out at about 650 meters above sea level and reach approximately 990 meters before the trail evens out across the Dovre plateau. On the road between Dombås and Hjerkinn there is almost no motorized traffic and you’ll be biking surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.
There are several options for eating and resting along the way, such as the Fokstugu Fjellstue, Furuhaugli Turisthytter and Dovregubbens Hall, as well as fishing and camping opportunities. For the last leg of the trail you will be biking along the lakes Vålåsjøen and Avsjøen before there is a small ascent up to Hjerkinn.
- After reaching Hjerkinn you could add a detour to Viewpoint Snøhetta for a breathtaking view of the mountain plateau where the mountain reindeer and the imported muskox grass. Viewpoint Snøhetta is about 8 kilometers away from Hjerkinn by bike.
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