Trekking the Kungsleden
The King's Trail through Northern Sweden
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Guide to the Kungsleden (King's Trail), Sweden's premier long-distance trek. Lying mostly within the Arctic Circle, the 460km route across Lappland is presented in 28 stages but can be walked in shorter sections if preferred. Includes an optional ascent of Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak, plus notes on huts and wild camping.
SeasonsBest walked between late June and early September.
CentresAbisko, Kebnekaise Fjällstation, Nikkaluokta, Saltoluokta, Kvikkjokk, Jäkkvik, Adolfsström, Bäverholmen, Ammarnäs, Hemavan
DifficultyThe five trail sections are non-challenging and suitable for all able walkers; a thru-hike is more demanding in terms of time, commitment and planning. Many opt to make use of the huts found on three of the trail's sections to minimise weight. Some sections are suitable for family groups.
Must SeeAbisko, Nikkaluokta, Lapone Mountains, Arjeplog Fells, Aktse, Syterskalet and Tjäktjavagge glacial valleys, five national parks including Sarek, Kebnekaise (Sweden's highest peak at 2098m), Hemavan
Sweden's most famous long-distance trail, the Kungsleden (King's Trail) traverses the land of the Sámi people and the midnight sun, showcasing an ever-changing landscape of snowy mountains, deep glacial valleys, open fell, expansive lakes and verdant forest. Stretching 460km between Abisko and Hemavan, around half the route lies within the Arctic Circle. The fully waymarked trail is comprised of five continuous and distinct sections: these can be walked individually or a thru-hike will take around a month. The guide also includes the popular Abisko to Nikkaluokta circuit, which can be completed in a week, and an ascent of Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak at 2098m.
In addition to clear route description and mapping, you'll find a wealth of practical advice covering accommodation and facilities, equipment and resupply and detailed notes on how to get to and from the section start and finish-points. A Swedish and Fell Sámi glossary can be found in the appendix. Although there are plentiful opportunities for wild camping, three of the five trail sections are equipped with huts (many including a shop and a sauna) making them easily accessible to all. The remaining two sections have a more remote feel that will appeal to those intent on finding some solitude. To add further colour, there are seven mandatory lake crossings on the trail with the option of rowing or using the motorised service: full details are provided in the text.
The Kungsleden passes through five national parks, including Sarek. Other highlights include the striking Tjäktjavagge glacial valley and the famous hay meadows of Aktse, perfectly framed by the azure Lájtávrre delta and the sheer chiselled face of Skierrffe. The Kungsleden invites you to step into a new world, and it may well prove to be the start of a long and rich association involving many repeated visits.
The subarctic environment
Plants and animals
When to go
Planning your walk
Hut life and facilities
The truth about sauna
Trail marking and access
What to take
Mapping and GPS
Communications and electronics
Safety and wellbeing
Using this guide
Section 1 – Abisko to Saltoluokta
Stage 1 Abisko to Abiskojaure
Stage 2 Abiskojaure to Alesjaure
Stage 3 Alesjaure to Tjäktja
Stage 4 Tjäktja to Sälka
Stage 5 Sälka to Singi
Stage 6 Singi to Kaitumjaure
Stage 7 Kaitumjaure to Teusajaure
Stage 8 Teusajaure to Saltoluokta via Vakkotavare
Additional itinerary 1 Singi to Nikkaluokta (alternative finish to Section 1)
Additional itinerary 2 Kebnekaise summit
Section 2 – Saltoluokta to Kvikkjokk
Stage 9 Saltoluokta to Sitojaure
Stage 10 Sitojaure to Aktse
Stage 11 Aktse to Pårte
Stage 12 Pårte to Kvikkjokk
Section 3 – Kvikkjokk to Jäkkvik
Stage 13 Kvikkjokk to Tsielekjåkkå
Stage 14 Tsielekjåkkå to Gistojávrátj
Stage 15 Gistojávrátj to Gásakláhko
Stage 16 Gásakláhko to Vuonatjviken
Stage 17 Vuonatjviken to Jäkkvik
Section 4 – Jäkkvik to Ammarnäs
Stage 18 Jäkkvik to Luvtávrre
Stage 19 Luvtávrre to Bäverholmen
Stage 20 Bäverholmen to Tjiegnatisjávrrie
Stage 21 Tjiegnatisjávrrie to Rävfalls
Stage 22 Rävfalls to Ammarnäs
Section 5 – Ammarnäs to Hemavan
Stage 23 Ammarnäs to Aigert
Stage 24 Aigert to Serve
Stage 25 Serve to Tärnasjö
Stage 26 Tärnasjö to Syter
Stage 27 Syter to Viterskals
Stage 28 Viterskals to Hemavan
Appendix A Summary of facilities
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Summary of boat crossings
Appendix D Language
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