Big parts of the valley Smådalen is protected because of its special morene landscape. This landscape was formed during the ice melting for about 9000 years ago. Through the valley there is the characteristic ice-age landscape, with terraces and ridges.
The protection is done to keep the characteristic and open landscape. It is also interesting in a natur historical perspective because of its geological formations. The protected are is 32,4 km2, and goes from about 1000 meters above sea level up to 1900 meters. In the southern part of the valley there are moose, grouse lives everywhere, and during spring and autumn herds of reindeer walks through the valley.
The name "Smådalen" means "The small valley", which is rather misleading, as the valley is big. The name comes from all the small valleys along the moutain sides, dug out over years by the streams running down the sides.
The mountains Grindafjellet, Rankonøse og Ranastønge are popular tours, where you get up towards 1900 meteres. This part of the valley is alpine, where as the southern part is more green and prudent.