Hallingskarvet National Park
Hallingskarvet is a very distinctive landscape element, with lots of nice paths and trails and versatile hiking, summer and winter. The terrain is varied with gently undulating moors to the south to the high plateau atop the Hallingskarvet.
The National Park (450 sq. km) is dominated by Hallingskarvet itself. The plateau lies at 1800 masl, with Folarskardnuten at 1933 masl as its highest summit. Hallingskarvet’s topography is a result of geological processes that have gone on for more than 1.5 billion years.
The national park is dominated by the mountain Hallingskarvet. The plateau is located at just over 1800 over sealevel, with Folarskardnuten at 1933 meters as the highest peak. Of other peaks, Storeskuta 1870 masl. and Prestholtskarvet 1859 masl. Hallingskarvet's landscape shape is the result of geological processes that have taken place for more than 1.5 billion years.
Later erosion has given Hallingskarvet its characteristic landscape form. The word ''skarvet'' means "naked mountain".
The plateau is 35 km long and up to 5 km at its widest. The most typical landscape characteristic from the south side are the steep precipices 4-500 metres down from the plateau. Towards the east and west, the terrain flattens out. On the northside, there are several glacial cirques that have been formed by head of valley glaciers.
There is a lot of phyllite and lime in the soil on the slopes up towards Skarvet. Here the mountain flora is particularly rich; including small-white orchids, alpine gentian, field gentian, alpine speedwell, mountain avens and glacier buttercups.
Reindeer use the grazing areas north and south of Hallingskarvet. Gluttons have established themselves north of the National Park and Hallingskarvet is one of the few places in southern Norway where Arctic fox can be found. The steep rock walls provide good conditions for many species of birds; golden eagles and gyrfalcons nest here.
Icon Arne Næss
Arne Næss (1912 - 2009) is known as the founder of the deep-ecological movement, which means that all beings are one, all things are connected - as a whole. Our planet is seen as a living system that requires our care, so-called extended care. Such an understanding must, according to Næss, characterize our actions in general, as well as our personal lifestyle. Arne Næss is considered one of Norway's most significant philosophers.
As early as the age of 10, Arne looked up to the great mountain, and in 1937, at the age of 25, he realized his dream of living up under "Skarvet" – in his own cabin on Tvergastein. In the mid 1930s, Arne Næss brought the bolt climb to Norway. This gave the climbing technique a powerful push forward in this country, and the use of bolts for anchorage for the rope also made the free climbing safer.
Icon Lord Garvagh and Lordehytte
Lordehytta cabin at Folarskardet (1620m above sea level) was built around 1880 by Lord Garvagh.
There were two generations of Garvagh lords from Scotland. The eldest son visited Aurland in the 1860’s and found his way up into the mountains, hunting reindeer and building cabins. It was his son who would later build Lordehytta cabin in Folarskardet.
Lordehytta is today the oldest cabin on Hallingskarvet, and is used as both a trip destination and emergency shelter. Lord Garvagh published a book in London in 1875 entitled: The Pilgrim Of Scandinavia, which illustrates his love of the mountains and natural beauty in Hol. He died in England in 1915.
The cabin is open for use, take with you gas, food and cooking equipment, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Leave the cabin nice and clean.
There are more cabins build by English lords in the Hallingskarvet and Norway, the other one close by is in the Finse area. This one is also open for use with payment.
Cultural monuments and farms
Hallingskarvet has several traces of deer traps and other prehistoric and medieval uses. Between 1600 and 1800 there was summer traffic with horses and cattle for trade. Simple accommodation was built - lægre - where the remains still can be seen.
At the south side of the mountain, you will meet goats. They deliver milk where a local farmer makes the typical Norwegian brown cheese, this one has received lots of prices. Brown cheese from goat milk tastes different then made with cow milk. You can buy this famous cheese in the supermarket Spar and Matkrok'n in Geilo center or visit the local cheesemakers Ostebygda.
Tours in the National Park Hallingskarvet
The National Park offers a variety of excellent trip opportunities. A map of the area including trails can be obtained at the Tourist Information office. Do try the stone stairways up Prestholtskaret. Sherpa from Nepal have done a wonderful job laying stones on parts of the trail that were particularly exposed to erosion. The work is completed during the summer of 2013. The annual Lordemarsj hike follows marked trails from Raggsteindalen over Hallingskarvet via Lordehytta (1620 masl) to Haugastøl. This is a 25 km hiking trip. Lordehytta was built around 1880 for the Irish Lord Garvagh. The cabin is newly refurbished and used as a trip destination and for emergency quarters.
See our iconic 10 tours.
We advise you to use the website and app www.entur.no for all public transport in Norway. The easiest way to start is to come to Geilo by train or bus, from here you can start walking, biking or skiing your way in to the Hallingskarvet. Are you coming by car to Geilo and want to use the mountain roads you need to pay toll, since the roads are private owned.
What can you do?
The Hol municipality with Geilo in the center is a typical tourist place all year around. You can book a wide range of activities like rafting in summertime and dog sledding in the winter. There are several kind of accomodations to choose from, everything from camp sides, to luxurious hotels or cosy cabins. In the city center of Geilo you can find a nice shopping area and restaurants. For more information and booking visit our website www.geilo.com
10 popular tours
A whole year experience without special equipment or knowledge. During winter time there are several groomed cross-country trails on both sides of the mountain. You can use the same skis as in all other cross country slopes.
During summer time you get walk or bike to the National Park Hallingskarvet from both sides of the mountain. We aware that most of the tracks starts in the valley and you need to walk your way up. For some of the walks you need a car to get up to the mountain. Do you want to go with a guide on the Hallingskarvet, then this is possible as well.
On the website or in the app from Outdoor Active you will find more tours to do. The offer is for free againts some advertisement, you do not need to make an account. When you do so, you can download the tours on you local devise.
Last updated: 01/02/2024
Source: Visit Geilo AS
Hallingskarvet National Park