Dalarna, with its rich nature and history, is home to many natural wonders, including Helvetesfallet and Storstupet, two impressive gorges that stand out among the region’s beautiful landscape.
Helvetesfallet, located in Älvdalen municipality in northern Dalarna, is a gorge created by erosion through centuries of water flow from the Ovansjöån river. The name, which directly translates to ‘Hell’s Fall’, aptly describes the raw and dramatic beauty of the site.
The ravine is about 36 metres deep, 8 metres wide and 200 metres long, making for quite a powerful sight. According to legend, the gorge got its name when a bull happened to fall into it and only the scream could be heard as it disappeared into the darkness.
Image: Commons Wikipedia
A signposted trail leads visitors to viewpoints over the gorge, and there is also a suspension bridge that spans the gorge, providing a unique view of the deep drop below. The area around Hell’s Fall also offers other nature experiences, including hiking, fishing and bird watching.
The Great Plunge
Just a few kilometres from Helvetesfallet is another deep gorge, known as Storstupet. This gorge is slightly smaller in size, but still an impressive natural phenomenon, with a depth of about 24 metres.
The story goes that Storstupet got its name, meaning ‘the great fall’, from an incident where an elk hunt ended with the elk, pursued by hunters and dogs, falling into the gorge.
Both Helvetesfallet and Storstupet offer fascinating examples of the power of nature and its ability to shape the landscape. Both falls are open to visitors all year round, but it is always important to follow safety guidelines when visiting these types of natural areas, especially in wet or icy conditions.
FAQ about Hell’s Fall and the Great Plunge
1. What are Helvetesfallet and Storstupet?
Helvetesfallet and Storstupet are two natural ravines located in the municipality of Älvdalen, Dalarna. They have been formed by thousands of years of erosion from flowing water.
2. How deep are Helvetesfallet and Storstupet?
Helvetesfallet is about 36 metres deep, while Storstupet is about 24 metres deep.
3. How do I get to Hell’s Fall and the Great Plunge?
Both gorges are located close to each other in Älvdalen municipality. Follow the road signs from Älvdalen or use a GPS to find exact directions.
4. Is it safe to visit Helvetesfallet and Storstupet?
Yes, it is safe to visit these sites, but it is important to follow all safety instructions and to be careful, especially in wet or icy conditions.
5. What can you do at Helvetesfallet and Storstupet?
As well as admiring the gorge, visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing and bird watching in the area.
6. Why is it called Hell’s Fall and the Great Plunge?
Legend has it that Helvetesfallet got its name when a bull fell into the gorge and only the scream was heard. The Great Plunge is said to have been named after an elk that, chased by dogs and hunters, plunged into the gorge.
7. Are Helvetesfallet and Storstupet open all year round?
Yes, both sites are open to visitors all year round. However, it is always best to check local guidelines or weather conditions before visiting.
8. Are there any fees to visit Hell’s Fall and the Big Dipper?
Typically, there is no fee to visit these natural areas. However, it is always best to check the latest information from local tourist offices or their websites.
Summary of Hell’s Fall and the Big Dipper
If you ever find yourself in Dalarna, don’t forget to take the time to visit these impressive natural phenomena. While they may be less well known than some other places in the region, they offer a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers.