Norway

Jutulhogget – a canyon created by mythologic creatures?

The 240 metre deep canyon Jutulhogget in Alvdal has been surrounded by myths. Was it really created by mythological creatures? Or do they live among the rocks in the canyon?

Standing by the edge to the 2,4 km long and up to 240 metre deep canyon Jutulhogget gives special feeling. It is like something made the terrain tear up in front of you. No wonder there are plenty of old myths about Jutulhogget in Alvdal.

Sunset on a cloudy evening above Jutulhogget canyon and Rondane

HOW TO VISIT JUTULHOGGET

Even though Jutulhogget is one of Northern Europe’s largest canyons, it is still sort of a secret. I had never heard about it until this summer. Like most natural attractions in Norway, Jutulhogget is free to visit. In addition to that it is easy to find. As long as you have a car and are in the area, off course.

Driving between Oslo and Røros you are likely to take Norwegian National Road (rv) 3 through Østerdalen valley. Approx 20 kilometres south of Alvdal you will see signs to the canyon, and another 400 metres from the main road you find the parking lot.

Woman with cap and glasses sitting on the edge of Jutulhogget canyon

From the parking lot it is less than 100 metres to walk to the edge of the canyon. There are some natural view points where you can get an overlook of the dramatic landscape.

SEE MORE OF THE MYTHIC CANYON

Our initial plan was to spend half a day walking down into and through the canyon. However, looking into it from the natural viewpoints the evening before, it looked too rugged to bring the dog into.

Jutulhogget canyon in Alvdal, Norway, with Rondane mountains in the background

Instead of scrambling through rocky canyon, we decided to walk along the edge. And I could not be happier about our decision. I am positive the experience of seeing Jutulhogget from different angles is far better than crawling on your hands and knees 240 meter below. According to other tour descriptions, that is exactly what they had to do.

Another perk of walking in the open forest above the canyon, is the majestic Rondane National Park as a backdrop. The landscapes of Norway truly are spectacular!

Black and beige dog with orange harness looking into the camera while lying on the edge of Jutulhogget canyon in Alvald Norway

There is no marked trail along Jutulhogget. We mainly followed a rather clear deer track and took detours to the edge here and there. The forest is open and, except for a few places, easy to walk.

Getting close to the edge, just be aware where you put your feet. It is not without reason the canyon is filled with rocks…

Man and dog walking in open forest towards the Jutulhogget Canyon in Østerdalen in Norway

HOW WAS JUTULHOGGET CREATED?

That is a question being askd by many during the years. In earlier times, before learning abote ice age’s and such, it is no wonder people created myths of how Jutulhogget was created.

As many of Norway’s natural phenomenons, Jutulhogget was created about 9000 years ago, by the end of the last ice age. Ice and melting water carved its way through the softer stone and mountain beneath the ice, and the canyon was formed just the same way the fjords were. While the fjords were carved all the way out to the sea and then filled with water, Jutulhogget is an inland canyon almost as far away from any sea you can come in Norway.

But hey, if you rather want to believe it was created by a feud between two norse creatures you are most welcome!

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