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Almost half of the Jostedalsbreen National Park is covered by the Jostedalsbreen glacier, which is the largest glacier in mainland Europe.
The national park is famous for its wide variety of natural environments all within a short distance of each other, ranging from valleys with lush vegetation to bare mountain and glacier landscapes. A short hike in this area is like hiking from one season to another. The Jostedalsbreen National Park is easiest to access in Jostedalen (Luster), Fjærland (Sogndal) and Veitastrondi, and you can participate in glacier hikes and visit glacier museums in Jostedal and Fjærland.
The purposes behind establishing the National Park were:
- to protect a large, varied glacier area with associated fauna, flora and geology.
- to permit enjoyment of nature not dependent upon technical facilities.
- to protect our cultural heritage.
Facts about the Jostedalsbreen Glacier
Area: 474 km² (183 sq. miles)
Length: 60 km (37 miles)
Highest elevation: 1957 m asl. (Høgste Breakulen)
Lowest elevation: 60 m asl. (the foot of the glacier Supphellebreen)
Maximum thickness: 571 m
Greatest snowdepth measured: 12 m
Total erosion of rock material: 400 000 tons/year
Glacier volume: 73 km³ (95 • 10 cu.yd)
Fresh water equivalent: 73 • 10¹² litres (16 • 10¹² gal.) = 300 thousand millions bathtubs of water or the water consumption in Norway for 100 years