Designated National Park status on February 6th, 1970, Ånderdalen National Park is the oldest National Park in Troms. Since its establishment, the Park’s area has been expanded three times, most recently in 2018 whereby 133.9 km2 of Senja municipality came under Park protection.

The Park is located in the southern end of Senja Island, and stretches up from the wide ocean adjoining steep hillsides, over mountaineous terrain, eastwards through rolling valleys and fenlands towards Solbergfjorden. In the Park you will find old-growth Pine forest, woodlands of Birch and a mountain and fjord landscape typical for the outer coast of Troms County.

View from the Tverrdalen valley; Sørkapervatnet lake in the centre of the picture. Photo: Ingve Birkeland

Wind-shelter (‘gapahuk’) at the Ånderdalen Viewpoint. Photo: Ingve Birkeland

In the Park there are signs of its early human use through indications of meadows and earlier forestry activity, also ancient paths, and tracks. We also find remains of hunting locations and now-derelict turf dwelling places (traditional ‘gamme’ huts). Such signs are evidence that both Sami and other early settlers had the means to support their lifestyles here.

You’ll find there are some tracks and roads offering possible starting points for entering the Park, from the various houses (privately owned) around the Park’s periphery. Many houses have bus-stops and local bus-routes connecting them; road access is otherwise by private car. There are four official National Park entry-points and trail heads along the coastal belt from where you can take marked trails that link up with the Norwegian Tourist Association DNT (‘Den Norske Turistforegning’) ‘Senja Traverse’ trail. This long-distance marked summer hiking path traverses the whole of Senja island, of which a section passes through the Park. At Åndervatnet (lake) there is Åndergammen, a modern-day replica of a traditional turf-dwelling gamme, also Ånderbu, an open unmanned hut of simple standard. We recommend you take with you a tent with provisions including fuel and mattress if you are planning an overnight stay in the Park.

Why a National Park?

The aims relating to protecting Ånderdalen are specifically,

  • To protect an extensive and considerably intact natural habitat of old-growth Pine forest, Birch woodland and a mountain and fjord landscape that is typical to coastal Troms County. To protect a natural habitat with Sami heritage,
  • also other cultural and historical significance.

Looking after the natural resources to be found in the Park’s area is important for Sami culture and income. The Park is only to be used for reindeer farming, and nature experiences and low-impact outdoor activities that require minimal infrastructure.

Herding the reindeer, Kaperdalen. Photo: Anne Berit Påve Kristiansen.

On the trail towards Åndervatnet lake. Photo: Andre Bonotto

Ånderdalen National Park: 50 Year Anniversary The 50th Anniversary of the Park was marked on

February 6th, 2020 with festivities at the National Park Information Centre and displays at Sážžá, and at the visitor site of Álddovuopmi, an entry-port to the Park. This occasion celebrated the establishment of Troms County’s first National Park. Yet on the same date 50 years ago, two other National Parks were also established in the neighbouring County of Finnmark. Yet on the same date 50 years ago, two other National Parks were also established in the neighbouring County of Finnmark.