Hallingskarvet National Park

Hallingskarvet National Park was protected in 2006, making it one of the newest national parks in Norway. The national park is 450 km2 and extends beyond three municipalities in two counties: Hol municipality in Viken, Ulvik municipality and Aurland municipality in Vestland. The national park covers the plateau itself, as well as the high mountain areas to the west.

Hallingskarvet National Park is accessible from several sides, including from Haugastøl on road rv 7 and Storestølen Fjellhotell along road fv 50, but this requires you to walk or strap on your skis. In the summer months, you can drive to Prestholtseter from Geilo, this takes you to the foot of Hallingskarvet National Park. The large area is widely used for outdoor activities, and has an extensive network of marked paths and cross-country tracks. Hallingskarvet National Park offers great nature experiences in both summer and winter.

Hallingskarvet has been a favorite place for philosophers and lords!

Popular hiking trails on Hallingskarvet

Hallingskarvet offers great trips in both summer and winter. You can travel freely in the national park, but we recommend that you follow the marked paths. In the national park, there are no serviced or self-serviced cabins, but there are a few emergency shelters where you can spend the night. It is not far to the nearest serviced cabin, they are located just outside the border of the national park. The weather at Hallingskarvet can change fast, so we recommend you bring a map and compass on longer trips, always have first aid and report where you are going.

Family-friendly trips in Hallingskarvet National Park

Prestholtstien also called Prestholttrappa was made by Sherpas in 2013. The trip starts and ends at Prestholtseter is approx. 3 km one way, and parts of the trip consist of 2,000 steps. The Sherpa stairs have made it easier for people to get to the top. At the top approx. 1705 meters above sea level, you get a fantastic view over Hallingdal, Hardangervidda and in clear weather - all the way to Gaustatoppen. The trip up and down suits most people, and you don't have to go all the way to the top, many choose to stop at Prestholtskaret in approx. 1600 meters above sea level.

Hallingskarvet panorama is a round trip starting and ending at Prestholtseter. This is an easy trip on flat terrain and is approx. 8.5 km. A very nice walk in beautiful nature that is suitable for everyone, all the way you will have the majestic Hallingskarvet towering in the background.

Tvergastein was built as Northern Europe's highest private cabin at 1,505 meters above sea level. This is a slightly longer, but manageable trip for most people. If you choose to go from Prestholtseter, there is not as much of a climb as if you go from Ustaoset. The trip from Prestholtseter is approx. 12 km round trip.

Prestholtseter is a small cafe cabin at the foot of the Hallingskarvet at 1,242 meters above sea level and the starting point for the mountain tours mentioned above. From Geilo it is approx. 25 minutes by car, remember cash to the toll road. The road is only open in summer. Prestholseter is open all summer, every weekend in autumn and winter as well as during holidays. In the cafe, they can have traditional food and home baked goods. 

More hiking suggestions in summer

Tour map of Hallingskarvet

Ut.no has an extensive interactive map that gives a good overview of hiking areas, cabins, summer trails and winter trails, in and along the entire national park. Tour map at ut.no

What to experience in Hallingskarvet

Humans have wandered on Hallingskarvet for almost 8,000 years, and you can see several cultural monuments from hunting and trapping facilities, and traces of prehistoric and medieval use. In recent times, there are many exciting things to experience in Hallingskarvet.

Skarverennet is the world's third largest cross-country skiing event, it was organized for the first time in 1974. The track is 37 km long, and runs from Finse, over the high mountains, to Ustaoset. More than 12,000 ski-loving exercisers take part in the race every year in the last part of April, hence the slogan "Spring's most beautiful adventure!". The unique view, the fascinating landscape and the fantastic atmosphere makes this event very special.

Lordemarsjen is a great trip in a majestic terrain. The trip goes from Raggsteindalen across Folarskaret to Haugastøl tourist center, this is an organized trip in early August. But you can walk it on your own too. The highest point on the trip is Lordehytta at 1,620 meters above sea level, after 9 km. The whole trip is approx. 21 km and follows a nice path all the way.

Sherpatrapper at Prestholtseter, takes you up to Prestholskaret. The staircase consists of 2,000 steps built by Sherpas in 2013.

Tvergastein and "Skarvereiret" was built by the famous philosopher Arne Næss. Tvergastein is located below the steep edge, built in 1937 and was used as a place to relax and work, while Skarvereiret was built as a climbing hut on top of Hallingskarvet.

The winter at Hallingskarvet on a good day is a fantastic sight. A snowy landscape as far as you can see with a large mountain towering over the area. There are ski tracks on both sides of the mountain, and it is possible to cross-country ski, snowshoe or you can make your own way on mountain skis. Prestholtseter is located directly below the mountain, they offer home made food and baked goods both in summer and winter.


Fishing in Hallingskarvet

Part of the waters on the south side of the Hallingskarvet belongs to Geilo Hunting and Fishing Association, most on the north side belong to Østre Hol Hunting and Fishing Association. Fishing licenses for Geilo JFF can be bought at the Tourist Information and the sports shops in Geilo. But also at most tourist cabins. There are also a number of private waters, usually you can buy a fishing license for these at the nearest tourist cabin. Fishing license for Østre Hol JFF can be bought at Kiwi in Hagafoss and Coop in Hovet. More about fishing in Geilo


Facts about Hallingskarvet National Park

  • Hallingskarvet National Park was established in 2006 and is 450 km2.
  • The highest point is Folarskardnuten at 1933 meters above sea level.
  • Folarskardnuten is also the highest point in the entire Viken county.
  • The plateau is approximately 35 km long and varies in width from 1-5 km.
  • Many cultural relics from hunting up to 8,000 years ago.

Hallingskarvet is a mountain with character

The mountain Hallingskarvet rests on the surrounding plains, with steep mountain walls to the north and south, and Folarskardnuten is towering at the top. To the east and west the terrain flattens out, and on the north side there are several glaciers. Between the challenging high mountain plateau and the lush surrounding area lies the characteristic steep edge that has given Hallingskarvet its name: Skarv means naked mountain. The high cliffs and landscape that characterize Hallingskarvet are almost unassailable and the erosion has led the hard rock at Hallingskarvet standing alone. The shape of Hallingskarvet is the result of geological processes that have taken place for more than 1.5 billion years.

With a height of 1,933 meters above sea level, Folarskardnuten is the highest point on Hallingskarvet. Nearby is Hardangerjøkulen and Hårteigen, together with Hallingskarvet they form the last remnant of a sliding cover that once covered the entire Hardangervidda. The steep south and north walls are the fronts of this sliding deck. Flakavatnet on the west side of Folarskardnuten is Norway's highest lake, at 1,453 meters above sea level. There are several high peaks on Hallingskarvet, including Storeskuta 1870 m.a.s.l. and Prestholtskarvet 1859 m.a.s.l.

Plants and wildlife in Hallingskarvet National Park

Much of the plateau is covered by a lot of rocks and sharp-edged boulders, this means that only resistent vegetation such as ice soleie manages to survive here. Further down the mountain there is a milder climate and rich soil. There is a rich and varied mountain flora here, including snow sweet, mountain veronica and mountain white curlew. In the ground up towards Hallingskarvet there is a lot of phyllite and lime in the soil, which makes the mountain flora particularly rich.

Hallingskarvet National Park is one of the few places in southern Norway where the arctic fox can be found. The steep rock walls are excellent for many bird species, both peregrine falcons and golden eagles nest here. The grazing areas north and south of Hallingskarvet are excellent for reindeer herds. In Ulvik municipality there is a biotope protection area, the purpose of this area is to secure an important migration area for wild reindeer, and to connect living areas for wild reindeer in Nordfjella and on Hardangervidda.

Accommodation near Hallingskarvet National Park

Haugastøl is a family-run hotel in Haugastøl, they offer modern apartments, breakfast and dinner service, coffee bar, bike shop, bike hire, as well as meeting rooms. They are located at the foot of two national parks, Hardangervidda and Hallingskarvet.

Storestølen Fjellhotell is located at 1013 m.a.s.l. by road fv. 50 between Hol - Aurland. The hotel is close to Hallingskarvet National Park and focuses on short-travel food and good outdoor experiences!

Geilo is located at the foot of Hallingskarvet. A short drive by car approx. 20 minutes and you are in the national park. The road to Prestholt, Vestreim and Raggsteindalen is privately owned, and requires a toll, it is not plowed in the winter and is usually drivable at the beginning of July.

Camping in Hallingskarvet

Free camping/tenting is considered to be traveling and staying in nature, and this is regulated by the Norwegian Outdoor Activities Act "Everyone is allowed to travel and stay in the outback in Norway. The right is a free public good and part of our cultural heritage." But there are some rules for accommodation in the outback:

  • You can camp/sleep at least 150 meters from the nearest inhabited house or cabin.
  • You can camp/sleep for up to 2 days in the same place, longer if you are on high mountains or far from built-up areas.

Show respect for each other, the animals and nature. Always take your trash with you!


History and cultural relics from Hallingskarvet

In Hallingskarvet National Park, there are several cultural monuments from, among other things, hunting and trapping facilities as far back as 6000 BC, and traces of prehistoric and medieval use. In modern times, farmers often bought horses and cattle down in the western countryside and took them across the national park to sell them in the east. Simple sleeping places were then built, often called felæger (huts), of which you can still see remains.

On the south side of Hallingskarvet, there are goats in the summer, they supply milk to the award-winning Prestholt Geitost. If you want to buy the brown goat's cheese or other local cheeses, we recommend a trip to Ostebygda in Hol. You can also find the cheeses in local shops such as Matkrok`n and Spar Geilo.

Both lords and philosophers have wandered on Hallingskarvet

Irish lord John Garvagh liked to hunt reindeer in Hallingskarvet and in 1880 he got help from Lars Lein to build a stone hut in Folarskardet 1620 m.a.s.l. The stone hut is only accessible on foot, it is approx. 3 1/2 hours' walk up there from Haugastøl or from the Raggsteindalen. Lord Garvagh met Lars on one of his first trips to Hardangervidda, Lein was a skilled hunter and trapper. He eventually got to know Lord Garvag well and went with him on hunting trips and learned him to catch reindeer. Lordehytta, as it is now called, has been restored and can be used by everyone.

The Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Næss sought the mountain already at the age of 10, and at the age of 25, he realized his dream of living below Hallingskarvet. Under the steep wall, he built "Tvergastein" in 1937, this became a dear place for the philosopher. He was also a mountain climber, and in the mid-1930s he introduced bolt climbing to Norway. This led to the climbing technique in this country becoming much better and free climbing becoming safer. As a mountaineer, Arne Næss also built a climbing hut at the top of the Hallingskarvet, with the appropriate name "Skarvereiret". Arne Næss is considered one of Norway's most important philosophers.


Hardangervidda National Park

Hardangervidda National Park is the largest national park in mainland Norway, it is 3422 km2 and extends beyond counties of Hordaland, Viken

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