Jostedalsbreen National Park
covers an area of 1310 square km and is the 4th largest national park in the
country. The national park was established in 1991 and enlarged in 1998.
Jostedalsbreen is a large plateau glacier with numerous branches and
constitutes the largest ice sheet in Continental Europe. There are a number
of other and smaller glaciers as well in the national park. The glaciers and
melt water runoff have brought about a great many moraines and other
interesting geological formations. The entire area is characterized by great
contrasts and short distances from fjords and lush summer dairy valleys to
barren summits and glaciers. Cascading streams, rivers and waterfalls in the
hillsides identify the area. This national park is one of the largest areas
of true wilderness still existing in Southern Norway. Jostedalsbreen is used
for outdoor recreation, education and research. Some of the glacial branches
represent the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. Active farming is
still carried on in the valleys surrounding the glacier.
The valleys Erdalen, Sunndalen and Bødalen were incorporated in the national
park in 1998 when the National Parliament through the River Conservation
Plan IV decided that the Styn and Loen river systems (Breheimen - Stryn)
should not be developed for hydro power purposes.