Driva river in Sunndalen
|Main source||Dovrefjell mountains, Oppdal|
|River mouth||Sunndalsøra, Sunndalsfjord|
|Length||150 km (93 mi)|
The Driva river runs through Sør-Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal counties in Norway. The headwaters lie in the Dovrefjell mountains in the south, from where it flows northward, downward through the valley Drivdalen in the municipality of Oppdal. In Oppdal it turns westward down the Sunndalen valley to the Sunndalsfjord at Sunndalsøra in the municipality of Sunndal. Some of the other villages along the river include Grøa, Hoelsand, and Lønset. At Gjøra the river changes name to Sunndalselva. (Sunndal river)
Many of the tributaries on the west side of the Oppdal valley are dry; the waters in reservoirs formed from the many mountain lakes in that region flow in pipes through the mountain to Driva hydroelectric station at Fale in Sunndal. The largest lake in the reservoir system is Gjevillvatnet which is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) long and about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) wide.
Before the last ice age, Driva drained northwards from Oppdal and joined the Orkla river. The uppermost part of the river in Sunndalen with the tributaries from Gjevilvatnet, Dindalen and Storlidalen then drained eastwards to Oppdal and joined the older Driva there. These three tributaries flows eastwards even today, until they meet the westward-flowing Driva.
Pilgrims followed the Driva on their way to the St. Olav shrine in Trondheim during the Middle Ages. As a result of the heavy stream of pilgrims who followed the Pilgrim's Route prior to the Reformation, king Øystein erected mountain stations where the pilgrims could find food and shelter. Kongsvoll, located on the Driva River, was one of these stations, another was Drivstua.
The Driva was formerly an excellent salmon river, but the parasite Gyrodactylus salaris has decimated the salmon stock. It is an excellent sea trout river, usually ranked number 1 (or at least 2) in Norway, by total catch. Salmon and sea trout migrate up to Magalaupet (approximately 80 kilometres or 50 miles) and at optimal water discharge probably even further. Especially for sea trout this is an unusually long migration, although the majority of trout in Driva do not wander so far.
The only tributary with a run of anadromous fish, is the Grøvu. A river that enters from the south/west soon after Driva has reached the Sunndal valley. Grøvu is also Drivas biggest tributary, and well known for the "Åmotan". A part of the Grøvu valley where 5 rivers meet, 3 of them coming down dramatic waterfalls. Grøvu is also world known as a good river for extreme kayaking.