In managing the protected areas, the regulations is about preserving the landscape against changes that would affect its unique appearance, such as geology, shape of the landscape, flora, fauna, and traces of cultural heritage. Even so, “invisible” or immaterial values, such as stories and local legends, that belongs to the areas must also be taken into consideration as it is part of the values we want to convey. The center part of Navitdalen is classified A1: One-of-a-kind landscapes within the region.

Photo: Jan R. Olsen
Photo: Rune Benonisen


The bedrock in and around Navitdalen also mostly consists of quartz slate. Towards the southeast, however, the bedrock consists of harder materials like gabbro, metagabbro, amphibolite, diorite, and gneiss with layers of amphibolite. Ice and meltwater have been primary contributors to shaping the natural landscape we can see and enjoy today. The hardier types of rock have a greater resistance to weather and erosion and remain standing, also today. The tallest mountains are Meastogísa (1157 m.), Iŋggágáisá (1194 m.) and Oahpis (1295 m.). The ground of the valley proper consists of less resistant layers of quartz-enriched sandstone, and mica slate. Navitdalen is a classic example of how the contents of an area’s bedrock is decisive in how external factors shape the land.

Flora and fauna

Some threatened species of vascular plant have been found in Navitdalen. One such plant is cat’s-foot, a highly vulnerable species found only a very few places in Troms & Finnmark. Other species of flora such as Micranthes foliolosa, Ranunculus nivalis, and Ranunculus glacialis (nearly threatened) are known to grow in the area.

The knowledge of Navitdalens flora is unfortunately quite poor. The nature types have been examined, and the forest north of Sáiva were found to have been affected by grazing reindeer, which increases its natural value. Unfortunately, there are not categories in the system of classifications that account for the value of an area affected by this type of grazing. The fauna isn’t closely examined, but some red-list species of predators have been known to appear, including golden eagles, wolverines, and lynx.

Photo: © Petr Pavlíček – Visit Lyngenfjord

Culture and history

We can claim that parts of Navitdalen, as it is today, is a major domain for modern reindeer husbandry. Parts of the valley bears the sign of ATV tracks, fences, and cabins scattered about the area. The way the land and its resources have been utilized has changed over time. Reindeer husbandry has been a part of Navitdalen for a long time but has intensified over the last few generations. There are signs of older dwellings and cultural heritage from olden times, such as traps set for wild reindeer or hunting spots. For generations the locals and the nomadic Sami exchanged goods and services. They traded the bounty of the coast against reindeer meats and bones and given shelter to those following their herd. This relationship is called “verddevuohta” and is an important tradition even today. In addition to husbandry, other local use also have a long history. The land has been grazed by live stock, used for hunting, foraging, fishing, and logging. Such activities seldom make lasting marks on the landscape, but the stories remain.