Kjondalen Hiking Trail
Experience the captivating landscape of Kjondalen Valley
- Destination: Rondane National Park
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 7 kilometers (loop)
- Elevation Gain: 340 meters
- Duration: 3-4 hours
This roundtrip-hike takes you through a fascinating landscape of valleys and rivers. If you want to get an understanding of how humans managed to survive and catch prey hundreds of years ago, take a detour to the nearby trapping site. This detour also gives you astonishing views of the Rondane massif and the vast enveloping plains.
Except for the detour to the trapping site, which has an elevation gain of 110 meters, the trail is easy-going without any steep sections.
While driving along the main road E6 in the Gudbrandsdalen valley look for the sign to Høvringen about a 15-minute drive north of Otta. From the main road, there is a six-kilometer drive up to a fork in the road just before you reach Høvringen. Bear right at this junction and after two kilometers look for a sign to Smuksjøseter on the right side of the road.
Immediately after turning off to the right you get to the toll booth for driving the road to Smuksjøseter. You need to pay 40 NOK by cash here or if you don’t have cash, pay by credit card when you get to Smuksjøseter. Follow this road for five kilometers until you reach Smuksjøs
Take the train from Oslo or Trondheim to Otta. From Otta there is a local bus going up to Høvringen and Smuksjøseter. Note that this bus only operates during summer. It is also possible to ask Smuksjøseter for private transport all the way from Otta. This costs 240 NOK during summer and 320 NOK in the wintertime.
From Smuksjøseter head east past the brown gate. Continue on the trail and look for the sign stating "Dyregrav 1.4km" (trapping site). The trail starts by going up a gentle hill and after only 900 meters you get to another sign saying "Dyregrav", pointing up the hill on your left-hand side. The hike up to the trapping site is recommended, not just for the trapping site itself, but also for the views you get up there. The hike up is 400 meters one-way with an extra 110 meters in elevation.
From the sign follow the trail along the foot of the mountain until you reach the bigger trail through Kjondalen. The trail follows the river that runs through the valley.
After hiking 1.6 kilometers from Smuksjøster you reach an elevation of 1340 meters above sea level. From here and on the trail goes down again to Smuksjøseter. Follow the trail around the mountain and eventually, you get back to the gravel road. Follow this road back to Smuksjøster.
- Drinking water can be found all along the trail
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