Visitor management of Jotunheimen National Park

The cabin at the top of the highest mountain in Norway, Galdhøpiggen, is a popular destination for visitors in Jotunheimen National Park.
The cabin at the top of the highest mountain in Norway, Galdhøpiggen, is a popular destination for visitors in Jotunheimen National Park., Foto: Bjørn Ola Volden


Jotunheimen National Park is one of the best known protected areas in Norway. The first visitors came to these mountains for more than 200 years ago. All of the highest peaks in Norway (above 2300 mas.) is situated here. Here is also the most famous mountain-track Besseggen (on the list of world’s best hikes by National Geographic in 2014) and the highest free dropping waterfall Vettisfossen.

With a long history of tourism and a well-developed system of cabins and tracks, Jotunheimen National Park has been working with visitor management for many years. But the first visitor management plan was adopted in 2012 by the board of the Jotunheimen National Park. The three aims of the plan are:

1. Improve the visitor's experience of the area 
2. Increase revenue for the local business
3. Improve the natural qualities and strengthen the protection


One of the main strategies to accomplish these aims is to have more focus on information and infrastructure at starting-points and even outside the protecting areas. Then we can introduce more people to the protected areas and also give them an experience of the protected area. Some stay maybe a bit longer or come back later. This also gives awareness of the value of the nature within the protected area.

Another strategy to maintain some part of the protected area free of infrastructure, is the use of partial management. The protected area is divided into smaller areas with different conservation management strategies. Here is the map showing the different areas. Within the protection areas (marked green) there shall be no infrastructure such as marked paths or cabins, whereas the other areas (marked yellow) can be some infrastructure to make it easier for hikers to get around. 

(Publisert:07.07.2015)