Padjelanta Nationalpark Things to Do

  • Through the woods: Dwarf Cornel, bunchberry
    Through the woods: Dwarf Cornel,...
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    Balancing over branches
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Best Rated Things to Do in Padjelanta Nationalpark

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    Arriving at Bäcken

    by sim1 Updated Feb 25, 2007

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    From Kvikkjokk to Njunjes
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    The hiking trail from Kvikkjokk towards Njunjes is an easy hiking trail. The terrain is quite flat and the trail itself easy to hike. In some parts there are some rocks, but not so bad that it is too bothersome. The distance from Kvikkjokk towards Njunjes is 16 kilometres in total, but by taking the boat, this will be 3 kilometres less, so 13 kilometres. Njunjes is located at 475 metres above sea level.

    Most of the trail leads through a forest of birches. The area is lush of green vegetation, with lots of flowers on either side of the trail. Along the way you will pass several bridges, of which this one (second photo) is most clearly recognized as a ' big bridge'. On the map you can see 6 bridges; the first one is where the boat usually drops off its passengers. The other ones are located from each other in regular intervals, making it a bit easier to navigate the terrain and know where you exactly are on the map. The only little problem is that it is sometimes hard to see the different between a small bridge (not indicated on the map) and the bridges that are indicated on the map. But after a few bridge crossing you will get the hang of it.... I did anyway, hahaha, and that says a lot! ;-)

    After approximately 8 kilometres of hiking you will start hearing the sound of a waterfall. This is a perfect spot to make a nice long stop during your hike, maybe eat some lunch or just have a rest. The trail leads right beside the waterfall. It only takes a few metres of making your way through the dense vegetation to get to the waters edge.

    About 1 to 2 kilometres after the waterfall we called it a day and our stop of the night is "Bäcken", which is located just before you go over the bridge over the river Njunjesjåkhå. A perfect spot to camp, with the river close at hand, a nice open spot inside the wooded area, a fireplace at hand, and even a little bench to sit on.


    You can read more on my Njunjes page about my this first leg of the hike

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    From Njunjes to Tarrekaise

    by sim1 Updated Jan 20, 2007

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    The moutain hut of Njunjes in the valley below
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    After a nice long rest and lunch break at the Mountain Hut of Njunjes we get on our way again. The first little part of the trail makes us feel like being in a jungle of flowers. We cut our way through the plants while the trail slowly makes its way up out of the valley. But suddenly in front of us we see the 'big climb'; the dreaded climb that the Stugvärd of Njunjes warned us for. Luckily we are mentally prepared for the steep climb that is ahead of us which just made me determined to get to the top as so quick and fit as I can.

    But the climb is worth it! The view from the top is wonderful; looking over the valley below us we can still spot the Mountain Hut of Njunjes, which is now nothing more then a little dot in an oasis of green trees. And in front of us opens a whole new landscape. The next kilometres we make our way over a rocky surface and enjoy the lovely views over the mountains that are surrounding us. The snow covered mountain peaks, the sound and the sight of the waterfalls in the distance, and the river that seems to follow us with every step we make are a feast for the eye and soul.


    You can read more on my Tarraure page about my this second leg of the hike towards Tarrekaise

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    How the dream started.....

    by sim1 Updated Sep 10, 2006

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    Padjelanta 2006, a travel dream that started exactly one year ago......

    Last year, on our way back from our Abisko hiking trip, we started dreaming a little about where to travel next year. One thing was for certain: it had to be hiking again in the Fjällen area (= Swedish mountain area). And one dream that came up was hiking in Padjelanta National Park, a long cherished dream of Åke. It didn't seem so realistic because you need 3 days of hiking to get to the entrance of the park, but then again, what is 3 days on an adventure like this. So our minds were made up in no time: Padjelanta it is going to be!!!

    The first rough plans were made on the train, and it was a looooong train trip, so enough time to do some serious planning. Over the year the plans evolved little by little, making us more and more enthousiastic about the upcoming trip. One condition was made by me though: it had to be after the strawberry season! Last year I missed eating all those delicious red strawberries freshly picked from my own garden. Instead the birds had a real party eating them all. And THAT I promised myself, shouldn't happen again this year. The 19th of July we decided as the perfect date for our upcoming trip.

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    Njunjes - Tarrekaise

    by sim1 Updated Jan 20, 2007

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    Fields of flowers just before arriving in Njunjes
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    Friday, 21st July 2006, Bäcken

    Today we have 4 kilometres to 'catch up with' as we stopped a bit earlier yesterday. But on the other hand: we have all the time in the world, so no need to keep to a tight schedule but can just relax and enjoy our hike. It's good to know there is no pressure and we can adjust our schedule on a daily basis, adjusting to our form of the day, enthusiasm and of course the weather conditions. So relaxed we start to go on our way.... the first few metres are steep up a hill, but after that the hike towards Njunjes is easy.

    Just as yesterdays hike, the trail goes through a forest of birches. It is a rather comfortable trail to hike... but having said that..... I am watching closely where I put my feet! The trail is at certain points scattered with stones, and I certainly don't want to fall down. Not here anyway! We walk slowly but steadily on, and after about 2 kilometres the landscape starts to open up before our eyes. The landscape changes and we are able to view over parts of the valley, and cross some filled with flowers.

    The wooded area we went through at the beginning of the day was dominated by the Wood Crane's-bill flower, but out here, in the open meadows, the Stormhatt (in Swedish) / Wolf's-Bane (in English) is the flower that clearly has the upper hand. I take a deep breath and smell the wonderful scent of the flower and breathe in the fresh air. The sun is shining, the world around me looks bright and happy, and so do I... this northern part of Sweden is such a beautiful place to be.


    You can read more on my Tarraure page about my this second leg of the hike towards Tarrekaise

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    The start of our hike

    by sim1 Updated Feb 25, 2007

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    After a long long travel to get to the North of Sweden, we finally arrive in Kvikkjokk. In total almost 24 hours in train, bus and car, but now we are here; at the start of our hiking trip! The Padjalanta dream is about to begin.....

    Thursday, 20st July 2006, Kvikkjokk
    The sun is shining brightly and I can hardly believe our luck with the weather. Just down the road from the bus stop are some little boats and one of those is our 'ferry' that will bring us to the start of the hiking trail. We are the only ones there, but soon after arrives the boatman. What a perfect start to our hiking trip we have: fantastic sunshine, the view over the mountains in the distance, and a small boat tour on the river. Happy smiles and happy looks, this is going so much better then I could ever have dreamed of! The ferry cost is 100 SEK per person (around 14 USD / 11 Euro), but it is worth every Swedish Krona! The good thing is that it also shortens our hiking trip with 3 kilometres, something we don't mind at all.


    You can read more on my Njunjes page about my trip towards Padjelanta and the first leg of our hike.

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    From Tarrekaise to Såmmarlappa

    by sim1 Updated Feb 25, 2007

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    At Tarrekaise
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    Late morning, Saturday 22 July 2006, 11:00 o'clock
    Location: At Tarrekaise, beside lake Tarraure / Darrávrre

    Today we have a relatively easy hike in front of us, only 13 kilometres and the terrain doesn't look too challenging. The perfect excuse to make a lazy start to the day, and leave our campground a bit later then usual. The sun is shining brightly bringing us into a good mood. I toss my backpack on my back again and it feels lighter then before, I most be getting used to the weight! Hahaha, or maybe it is because we ate up some of the supplies ;-)

    The hike of today is easy, and the second part of the day is without a doubt the most beautiful! After having hiked through the forest most of the day, the landscape finally opens up. The surface isn't an easy hiking trail anymore (over lots of boardwalk and a nice even trail through the grass), but instead we walk over a somewhat uneven rocky surface. In front of us the views open up, and our hiking speed goes down considerably. We've reached the 'Fjällen' speed.

    We don't go slower because the trail is difficult, or because we are tired. Neither are the backpacks too heavy or we need a break. No, the reason is something totally different. We finally have left civilization behind us, not only in the sense of surrounding, but also mentally. In this enormous empty mountain area, there is no urge to haste and hurry on. There is no reason to run and be at a place before a certain time. Here you are to enjoy, to soak in the surroundings, its immense beauty and to relax the mind. This is Fjällen' speed, leaving the hasty life behind and finally come to ease. We pause often during this part of the hike, just to sit on one of the big boulders on the side of the trail, while we enjoy and stare over the landscape displayed in front of us.


    You can read more on my Såmmarlappakåtan page about my this third leg of the hike

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    Good morning at Såmmarlappa

    by sim1 Updated May 24, 2008

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    The weather forecast
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    Sunday morning, the 23rd of July

    It is early morning and I rub in my sleepy eyes. The night has been tough, but I think I did get some sleep. The location of our tent was far from perfect, located on a surface filled with bumps and holes, and like the 'The Princess on the Pea' I seem to feel each and every one of those ;-) But well, something to quickly forget: a new day has started, with new highlights and adventures in front of us.

    Early mornings always seem to be the most difficult part of the day in the Fjällen for me. Inside the tent is relatively warm and cosy, especially inside the super comfortable and warm sleeping bags, but outside, brrrr, I know it is cold! With temperatures dipping to around zero Celsius at night, and only slightly above during the early morning hours, I always seem to find it hard to get up and moving. But as usual after a (long) while I gather enough energy and courage to do so.

    I quickly run from the tent towards the mountain hut of Såmmarlappa which is about 50 to a 100 metres away (don't really know, hahaha, but it feels forever when running towards it in the rain, lol). There is a drizzle of rain outside, and I feel a bit worried and dubious what today’s weather is going to bring. Inside the mountain hut it is cosy and warm, and not only warm in temperature, also warm in feeling, as it is so welcoming to go in here. The kettle is already on for a cup of tea, and a sunny smile is greeting us from the weather chart. A mixture of weather it promises us on this early Sunday morning, the 23rd of July, with some rain and temperatures ranging from 14C to 20C. But the part that catches my attention the most is the nice bright yellow happy sunshine peaking out from the clouds.

    You can read more on my Kartevarekåtorna page about my this fourth leg of the hike.

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    A shocking change in landscape

    by sim1 Updated May 24, 2008

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    Padjelanta National Park
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    Once again the trail leads through a forest of birches, leaving not that much chances for a nice place to stop along the way. But no worries, there is a perfect spot for a short break or picnic when you arrive at the river at Slihtavagge.

    It is only a short steep climb up from the river at Slihtavagge and then all of a sudden the landscape opens up. Before your eyes is the immense landscape of Padjelanta National Park. The sudden change in landscape is so very shocking, from endless days in the forest to, without any forewarning, this wide open valley and views as far as the eyes can reach. The photos don't do this landscape justice; no they are not even close to showing its true beauty. But it is engraved in my mind and heart and I wish I could share this moment with you somehow.

    While I write down these memories I get goose bumps again and tears cloud my eyes. Yes, these are the exact same feelings I had when standing there, at the entrance of Padjelanta. The only thing not present now is the pounding heart and heavy breathing, while trying to catch my breath after the short steep climb. I wonder how my face must have looked, probably stunned, and in awe at the same time. I remember not being able to utter words for a few minutes as the landscape totally absorbed my mind and emotions. Yes, we are finally here, at Padjelanta, and yes, this is only the very beginning of what Padjelanta has to offer....

    You can read more on my Kartevarekåtorna page about my this fourth leg of the hike.

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    Not really out of the woods yet

    by sim1 Updated May 24, 2008

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    Through the woods: Dwarf Cornel, bunchberry
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    Although the landscape opened dramatically in front of us when entering Padjelanta, we are not really 'out of the woods' yet. For once again we dive into the woods on a winding path that seems to go on forever. It does feel more like wilderness here as the trail isn't that easy to walk. I am manoeuvring left and right to avoid branches hanging over the trail, whilst we are climbing up and down, not knowing where the path is going to lead. The dense growth of small trees is blocking all the views and we have no clue how far we have to go.

    And as trail continues we arrive into a part of the hike which is probably the most challenging of the entire Padjelantaleden, as we now start to cross numerous creeks and little rivers. With every creek we pass the crossing seems to get a bit more challenging. There are no bridges here, so alternative routes are the way to go! Our eyes search over the river for the best place to cross. Sometimes the route is easy as pieces of wood are in place, and with a bit of a balancing act, we are able to cross the creek while keeping our feet dry. Others are more challenging, and we try to find the most logical and easy way to jump from one boulder to another. And yes, another successful crossing is made! Depending on the time of year, and thus the amount of melting water and/or rain, these rivers and creeks can get easier or far more difficult to cross. But luck is on our side, and we crossed them all without any major problems.

    Finally the landscape opens up again and the day is getting to an end. It is time to put up the tent again and call it a day. Not far after the end of the woods we found our own little perfect spot beside a lovely waterfall with views to die for. Aaah, this is life! Welcome to the 'river with no name' ((at least no name on the map), a dream spot located in the middle of no where.

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    What to do after a long day of hiking?

    by sim1 Updated May 24, 2008

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    So what do you do after a long day of hiking to relax when you are camping in the middle of nowhere far far away from the civilized world? Well, walk a little bit more of course! ;-) No seriously, it really is great to stretch the legs a bit after dinner and explore the surroundings. As you won't have any backpack to carry with you, this will feel like a lovely leisurely walk. And when you stay at this particular spot, you really have to walk a tiny bit into the valley below. The river cascades slowly down the slopes into the valley below, displaying some wonderful cascades/ mini-waterfalls. We didn't have the energy to walk all the way down into the valley, as this would mean climbing up the same way as well. Hahaha, and that was a bit too much to ask! But we did go long enough to take in some of the wonderful views.

    Even if you are not staying for the night at this particular spot, it might be a nice suggestion to make this little detour during your hike. You can leave your backpacks at the top of the hill and walk down into the valley. It isn't too far and it would make a lovely spot to take a break during your hike, for a quick lunch or coffee break. Don't forget to bring your camera though!

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