Ottadalen is one of the lateral valleys of Gudbrandsdalen. Others include Gausdal, Heidal, and Vinstradal. It lies on the northern edge of Jotunheimen National Park. Historically Ottadalen has been widely used as artery between western and eastern Norway through the Breidalen in Skjåk to Stryn, Breidalskrysset to Stranda, the Jostedalsbreen glacier to Jostedalen and Luster, and Sognefjellet to Sogn. There is also a road from Vågå, through Jotunheimen to Fagernes.
The Otta river flows through the Ottadal valley. The Otta river begins in Skjåk municipality and flows into lake Vågåvatnet. Exiting the Vågåvatnet at Vågåmo, it continues its journey through the Ottadalen leaving Vågå municipality to meet the Gudbrandsdalslågen at the town of Otta in Sel municipality.
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