Norwegians take great pride in their largest national park, which is also Europe's largest mountain plateau at 10,000 square km (3,861 square mi). Hardangervidda is home to the largest wild reindeer herds in Europe and is the southernmost outpost of the arctic fox, snowy owl, and other arctic animals and plants. A plateau with a thousand lakes, it has gently rolling hills and wide stretches of level ground. In the west the mountains are more dramatic, the plant life richer, the climate wetter, and temperatures more moderate. In the east the small amount of snow means that it's an almost barren, windswept moorland.
Some 250 Stone Age sites have been found in Hardangervidda. The earliest date from 6,300 BC, which proves that man reached the plateau at the same time as the reindeer. When touring the plateau, either on horseback or on foot, you can find a trail for any level of ability. Den Norske Turistforening (DNT; The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association) has built cabins along the trails. The association organizes tours and activities. All plant and animal life is protected by law. Respect the area to make sure it remains a thing of beauty.
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