Sjodalen is in Langmorkje Crown Lands in the Vaga district. This mountain valley is renowned for its distinctive countryside. Through the valley runs the river Sjoa, which is permanently protected against development as a hydro-electric power source. The melting snow gives the river a constant fast flow in the summer. Sjoa is a very popular fishing river, which is also used for many types of water sports.
Beyond the valley sides the pine forest dominates, in some places up to almost 1100 metres above sea level. Great pines, their branches covered with lichen, denote virgin forest flourishing in unpolluted air. Sjodalen has also a rich cultural history with, amongst other things, many old mountain farming commu nities and trapping areas for moose and wild reindeer. The availability of outdoor pursuits is varied and the valley is a central starting point for walks in Jotunheimen and in the surrounding mountains.
Ridderspranget is a gorge in the river Sjoa, and is well known in legend. The story teils of the knight Sigvat of Kvie in Valdres, who in the 1300s stole a girl from the knight Iva Gjaesling at Sandbu in Vaga. Iva was the most powerful man in Gudbrandsdalen at that time, and he and Sigvat were enemies.
The girl was called Skarvangs-sole („the Skarvang sun“) because she was so beautiful. The girl loved Sigvat and did not want to marry Iva. Sigvat rescued the girl, set fire to the Sandbu farm, and then headed off up Sjodalen. Iva took up the chase with his men and caught up with Sigvat at the river gorge. Sigvat took the girl up into his arms and jumped the gorge. His page followed, but Sigvat turned and pushed him down into the waterfall. Iva did not dare to follow whilst Sigvat stood on the other side prepared to push everybody into the waterfall. The Gorge has been called Ridderspranget „Riders Leap“ from that day to this.
Source: Information board on site