Gudbrandsdalen is one of the large valleys in Eastern Norway, between Valdres in the west and Østerdalen in the east. The entire Gudbrandsdalen is located in Innlandet (before 2020 formerly Oppland) county. The valley stretches 230 km from Lillehammer by Lake Mjøsa, 124 m above sea level and up to Lesjaskogsvatnet, 612 m above sea level. Gudbrandsdalslågen flows through the entire valley. The district also includes side valleys with Lågen's bielver.

Gudbrandsdalen including Ottadalen and Gausdal considered as one district consists of twelve municipalities with a total of 71,037 inhabitants (1 January 2015) and a total area of 15,342 km². The three towns in Gudbrandsdalen are Otta, Lillehammer and Vinstra.


The name probably derives from a Gudbrand in the military family at Hundorp. According to Snorre, the valley was also referred to as "in Dalom" with reference to the many valleys that make up the entire district.

Gudbrandsdalen was historically a county in the Oppland region and belonged to Eidsivatinget's jurisdiction. The valley and side valleys were hit by Storflåmen in 1938.

1015 - Gudbrandsdalen is mentioned in Heimskringla, among other things at the Christianization of Dale-Gudbrand.
1349–50 - The population is halved during the Black Death.
1537 - As a result of the Reformation, the king takes control of church property. The crown thus becomes the largest landowner in Gudbrandsdalen.
1612 - A Scottish mercenary army under Captain George Sinclair is stopped by locals at the Battle of Kringen.
1670–1725 - Most of the crown estate is sold away and this provides the basis for a new local upper class.
1789 - Storofsen - Flood in Lågen, especially in Vågå and Fron. Led to a large emigration to Inner Troms.
1850s - New road through the valley improves communications to Lillehammer, which is a transit port for the valley's trade with Eastern Norway. The road was among the better roads in Europe at this time, but the cloud system was deficient.
1896 - Hamar-Selbanen opens to Otta (called Eidsvold-Ottabanen)
1921 - Railway Dombås-Oppdal opened, continuous railway connection Oslo-Trondheim through Gudbrandsdalen. The Rauma line to Bjorli opens, to Åndalsnes in 1924.
1940 - Fights in several places in Gudbrandsalen during the attack on Norway in 1940: Dombås, Dovre, Vinstra, Kvam, Fåvang. British infantry and British aircraft took part in the fighting. Eiliv Austlid falls in battle when government members flee by car at Dombås.
1994 - The 1994 Winter Olympics are held in Lillehammer, with alpine exercises on Hafjell and Kvitfjell.

Mountain areas around Gudbrandsdalen

Important roads and railways run through Gudbrandsdalen. The main road south-north Europavei 6 runs in the valley floor from Lillehammer to Dombås, where it takes off over the mountain towards Oppdal. At Otta, Riksvei 15 takes off through Ottadalen towards Strynefjell and Nordfjord. At Dombås, Europavei 136 takes off from the E6 and goes through the Lesja villages to the county border at Bjorli. Similarly, the Dovre line runs in the valley floor to Dombås where the main line goes over the mountain to the north, while the Rauma line goes over Lesja towards Åndalsnes.