□ Blå Jungfrun
□ Dalby Söderskog
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□ Haparanda Skärgård
□ Norra Kvill
■ Stora Sjöfallet
□ Store Mosse
I really love the Swedish National Parks and it is my dream to visit them all one day. In list above you can see all the 28 National Parks of Sweden. The 'marked' ones are the parks that I've been to so far :-))))
The more I read about the parks, the more I fall in love with them. All of them are different, but have something special to offer. They are spread out over the whole country, so whatever part in Sweden you are in, you really should try to visit one! I know you won't regret it!
The list contains links to my VT pages about the different National Parks, telling in short where they and what is so special about them. On that page you can also find the direct link to the National Park website.
The Kungsleden is approximately 440 kilometres long and can be divided in several separate parts.
(I've hiked parts of the Kungsleden and the underlined words are links to my pages about that particular part of the trail.)
From Abisko to Saltoluokta
* start at the Abisko-Turiststation (easy to reach by train)
* Abiskojaure approx. 15 km
* Alesjaure approx. 20 km
* Tjäktja approx. 13km
* Sälka approx. 12 km
* Singi approx. 12 km
* Kaitumjaure approx. 13 km
* Teusajaure approx. 9 km
* Vakkotavaare approx. 16 km
* The hike ends at Saltoluokta (Kebnats). This last part of the stretch is done by bus. From Saltoluokta you can take the bus towards Gällivare and from there continue your trip by train.
A popular alternative is not to walk all the way to Saltoluokta, but take a sidetour from Singi to Kebnekaise Fjällstation (approx. 14 km) and finish the hike in Nikkaluokta (approx. 19 km). Nikkaluokta can be reached by bus.
This first part of the Kungsleden is by far the most popular, especially with the alternative route to Kebnekaise. A lot of people seem to think that this it 'the' Kungsleden, but as you can see below this is only the first part of the official Kungsleden and the trail continues to more of the beautiful Fjällen landscape towards the south. The total stretch from Abisko to Vakkotavaare is 110 km. The transport by bus from Vakkotavaare to Saltoluokta is 34 km.
From Saltoluokta to Kvikkjokk
* start at Saltoluokta (can by reached by taking the train to Gällivare and from Gällivare by bus to Kebnats. Crossing from Kebnats to Saltoluokta by boat)
* Sitojaure approx. 20 km
* Aktse approx. 13 km
* Pårte approx. 24 km
* Kvikkjokk approx. 16 km
From Kvikkjokk you can take the bus to Murjek and from there continue your trip by train.
The total length of this part of the Kungsleden is 73 km with 4 mountain huts on the way. Minimum time required to hike this stretch is 4 days. Some basic supplies can be bought at Saltoluokta, Aktse and Kvikkjokk (nothing available in Sitojaure and Pårte). A great sidetrip is a hike up the Mount Skierfe from Aktse. Here you'll have an amazing view over the Rapadalen (Rapa Valley) and the mountains of Sarek National Park.
From Kvikkjokk to Jäkkvik
* Tsielekjåkkå 15 km
* Piteälven 18 km
* Barturte 20 km
* Vuonatjviken 13 km
* Jäkkvik 8 km
This is the least popular part of the Kungsleden. This is probably not due to the beauty of the area, but due to the fact that the Swedish Tourist Organization doesn't have any mountain huts along this part of the trail. Some stops along the way have alternative accomodation, but some night you do need a tent. All in all it makes planning this hike more demanding, and therefore it is not the most logical option to choose for most. The total stretch from Kvikkjokk to Jäkkvik is 74km.
From Jäkkvik to Ammarnäs
* Pieljekaise approx. 8 km
* Adolfström approx. 14 km
* Sjnjultje approx. 15 km
* Rävfallet approx. 25 km
* Ammarnäs approx. 21 km
The total stretch from Jäkkvik to Ammarnäs is 83 km.
From Ammarnäs to Hemavan
* Aigertstugan approx. 8 km
* Servestugan approx. 19 km
* Tärnasjöstugan approx. 14 km
* Syterstugan approx. 14 km
* Viterskalsstugan approx. 12 km
* Hemavan approx. 11 km
The total stretch from Ammarnäs to Hemavan is 78 km.
Alternative routes and planning
This is the official Kungsleden, but there are many hiking trails crossing the Kungsleden, which you can combine into an endless combination of wonderful longer and shorter hikes. It might be worth your while to look into some is these endless combinations to make your plan perfect trip. The Kungsleden is the "highway" through the area as it is most well known; the side trails are in my opinion just as beautiful or even better. The side trails are maybe a bit more challenging but definitely less crowded (although you can hardly call this part of Sweden 'crowded'). Another famous and beautiful hiking trail in this part of Sweden is the Padjelantaleden
Keep in mind to plan in some 'extra' days as the weather is very unpredictable and you might need a spare day when hiking is difficult or even impossible due to severe weather conditions. Also a good idea is to plan in some extra time to make one or more daytrip in the area. Many mountain huts are starting points for beautiful day hikes, something I can really recommend considering.
I am talking a lot in these pages about "The Fjällen", but what is the Fjällen exactly? The Fjällen is the Swedish mountain area that borders Norway. It's a huge area in total, covering the western parts of North Sweden. It consists of the western part of the provinces of Lappland, Jämtland/Härjedalen and the western part of Dalarna.
As you can see in the next tip, Abisko National Park is high up in the Fjällen area. This hiking adventure was my first one in the Fjällen. My second hiking trip in this area has been to Padjelanta National Park during the summer of 2006. The newest of my travels (but certainly not the last!) was to Sarek National Park during the summer of 2008.
So how busy are these trails really? And which are the most popular ones?
Between Abisko and Abiksojaure (Through Abisko National Park) and the hike between Kebnekaise and Nikkaluokta are the most popular ones with over 3000 hikers per year. Runner up is the biggest part of the Kungsleden with 2000 to 3000 hikers a year. Most of the normal sidetrails are visited by around 500 to 1000 hikers per year and if you are looking for a quiet trail I would like to suggest to make the sidetrip to Unna Allakas, where less then 500 hikers per year go. If you click on the map you get a nice overview of the most popular and the quieter trails of this area.
So how much can you hike each day?
Distance is not the only thing to worry about when hiking in the Fjällen, also the type of trail you are following can influence a lot how much you can hike on a day. I rather plan my trip in hiking hours instead of in kilometres.
It all depends on the type of trail: up the mountain, down again, steep or graduate climbing, flat landscape, etc, etc. With use of a good detailed map and this table, it is rather good to predict how long a hike will take.
For example: 5 kilometres on a very easy trail (like a road) will take you an hour. The same distance, but climbing steep, will take 3 hours and 20 minutes. If you click on the picture you can read the table much better.
When calculating hiking times I also take into account breaks, like short breaks and a lunch break. An extra time is also calculated for passing difficult objects, like a ford (wading across a river).
I already mentioned the distances between the mountain huts before. They are about a days hiking distance from each other. Here is an overview of the mountain huts in this area: The first section of the Kungsleden from Abisko to Nikkaluokta and various side trails.
From Abisko to Abiskojaure it is about 15 kilometres. From Abiskojaure to Alesjaure is about 20 kilometres. An important note to make there though is that you can shorten this trip by 5 kilometres by taken the boat over the lake to the mountain hut (see my Alesjaure page).
Please take a look on the map to see on overview for the other distances.
P = provisions / shop
p = shop with small assortment
H = Hotel: more luxury, shop and restaurant
Note: the distances are approximately. Hahaha, strangely enough every map and every sign you see along this trail seems to give another number of kilometres. So please take this as more of a general idea.
The Kungsleden (Kings Trail) is Swedens most famous hiking trail. It leads you through the beautiful mountain area of Sweden. And its most Northern point, and starting point for many people, is here at Abisko!
The trail is about 440 kilometres long and leads from Abisko, the most northern point, down to Hemavan. The total of 440 kilometres sounds very long, but please don't let that scare you away. It is possible to divide the trip up and just do part of this hiking trail. I think most people do that. A popular one is the oldest part of the trail, which leads from Abisko to Mount Kebnekaise (Sweden's highest mountain) and ends in Nikkaluokta.
Along the whole Kungsleden, you will find mountain huts where you can stay overnight, or use their facilities, like the kitchen. These Mountain Huts are a day trip apart from each other. Mostly around 15 kilometres, but in some cases this can be more. Quite a few of them have a little store where you can stock up on provisions.
The Kungsleden is not only the most famous, it is also the most popular and most visited trail, making it rather busy. But what is busy in Sweden? The part that I hiked on average you meet about 20 people a day on a 15 kilometres stretch. If you go off this main hiking trail and take one of the side trails, you will notice that the amount of people you meet will drop dramatically to 1 to 2 a day.
The best season to hike this trail is after 21 June until half of September. In the winter you can ski on this trail, best season: end of February until mid of April.
We went up to the snow, hopening to see some beautful rivulets! And we sure did!
The best thing about these wonderful small brooks is the delicious fresh water! I'll never bring something to drink when I'm out hiking in these areas in north Sweden. I just take it for free instead!!
Favorite thing: This is the visitor centre at this beautiful National Park. Here you can find maps and other information you might need for you adventures.
There are thousands of small lakes in Abisko and it's fashinating to take a swim and at the same time look around and see the beautiful enviroment!
It was freezing cold but it was all worth it!
We were also hopening that the weather would clear up but as always when I'm out hiking to places I havn't been to before...
But I'm happy that I could take some pictures
We walked far from the station and out in the wilderness!
Here are some Sami Camps with a high mountain in the background