Travelling through Espedalen is a beautiful journey in a lush cultural landscape, ranging from lowlands with picturesque farms to vast open mountain plateaus.
This is where the moose roam, and the chances of meeting this king of the forest are good. There are numerous cultural experiences to be enjoyed along the route, such as herb gardens, the potholes at Helvete, nickel mines, horseback riding and local beer from Norway’s only mountain brewery.
Espedalen has retained its natural character, and is often referred to as our ‘friendly wilderness’. The natural attractions are many, and the valley is the gateway to Jotunheimen from the east. It is the perfect starting point for hikes, and is ideal for less experienced walkers and others who prefer gentle mountain terrain. At the bottom of the valley you will find Espedalsvatnet, a 13 km-long lake.
Dalseter Mountain Hotel
This welcoming family-run hotel was rebuilt in 1964 after a devastating fire. Formerly a lodge before it was rebuilt as a hotel, it was originally designed by the grandfather of the current owner. His unique ideas are particularly apparent in the restaurant and lounge, with windows designed to maximise enjoyment of the view from all angles.
The expansive views are indeed awe-inspiring, taking in the valley, river, lake and mountains. Norway’s highest peak, Galdhøpiggen, which stands at 2469 metres (8100 feet), can be seen on a clear day.
With comfortable accommodation and a huge variety at all buffet meals, Dalseter offers the guest a lovely retreat after a busy day spent enjoying yourself during the summer months at a mind-boggling variety of pursuits: Icelandic horseback riding, mountain hiking, canoeing, fishing in the mountain lakes, and cycling on forest roads.
Public areas within the hotel include the fireplace lounge, several snugs for common use, a small library and a children’s playroom. In addition, a hall and meeting room are available for hire and a small shop adjacent to reception sells all those essential tourist items. With a swimming pool at the south end of the complex and two small saunas and a table tennis room nearby, you will be spoiled for choice. In addition, for two months over summer, an onsite riding school offers horse treks in the nearby trails or riding classes, if you prefer, catering to all levels of experience.
Ruten Mountain Lodge
For over 70 years, Ruten Mountain Lodge has been providing accommodation in traditional rooms in a friendly atmosphere to the visitor in the north of the Espedalen region, and not surprisingly, the hotel is painted in the traditional deep red of the Norwegian countryside. Here, you can relax after a day in the fresh air, in warm and comfortable traditional surroundings, and enjoy the carved wooden features and delightful fireplace, far from the pressures of modern-day living.
Featuring wide-ranging views across the valley to the distant peaks, the hotel is the perfect place for both the active and the more passive traveller — and you make the decision and take your pick. Offering comfortable accommodation along with traditional home-cooked food, the hotel provides an excellent base from which to explore the valley, or simply enjoy being there among the landscape.
After a day hiking in the mountains, or a day simply spent looking at them, you can luxuriate with a long, soothing soak in the outdoor hot tub, while taking in the magnificent views across the lake to the valley and mountains.
An additional benefit to many guests is the onsite craft brewery, which creates a number of distinctive local brews that can be sampled and enjoyed, with examples available for purchase at the hotel.
The scenery in which Ruten Mountain Lodge is located is ideal for walks, bicycle rides and horseback riding. From the top of Ruten mountain (1517 metres above sea level), you can see Jotunheimen and 93 of its peaks — many over 2000 metres above sea level.
The Moose Tower
Experience the moose observation tower in Espedalen, and enjoy a spectacular and unusual outdoor adventure. Stay the night in a 12-metre-high moose observation tower where you get close to nature and wildlife — and you have a very good chance of spotting the king of the forest.
In the moose observation tower there is accommodation for eight persons. In lounges with large windows, you get close to nature and the wildlife in a simple, yet spectacular, way without disturbing the animals.