Hiking Sweden around the King’s Trail (Kungsleden). The best of Swedish Lapland packaged into a six day hike. All inclusive. This is the way to go if you want to fully recharge and focus on the wilderness experience.
Last year, my colleague Johan and I started our trekking company Nord Nature. Nord Nature offers all inclusive hiking trips in Swedish Lapland. Everything except clothes and boots is included. This is a trip report (from our guides’ perspective) from our Signature Trek in August 2014.
This trip is a great way to experience Swedish Lapland if you don’t want to do-everything-yourself.
Destination: Abisko, Kungsleden, Nikkaluokta, Lapland, Sweden
When: 19 to 24 August 2014
Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Tour company: Nord Nature
The Nord Nature concept
First, a few words about how we think. Nord Nature’s goal is to make the treasure of the Swedish northern wilderness (the largest wilderness in northern Europe) – accessible to you in an as simple and convenient way as possible. The only thing you need is proper clothing and shoes. When hiking with Nord Nature everything is included: our personal guiding through the best of the Swedish mountain world and all hiking and safety equipment. We also keep you satisfied and not hungry – all meals are included and are carefully planned to give you the energy you need. We provide no boring freeze-dried meals. We work with our own dried ingredients and are proud to offer the best tasting food available this far outside civilization. A vacation with Nord Nature gives you lots of energy and mental recovery to enable you to perform at your maximum when returning from your vacation.
The Signature Trek around the King’s Trail
With this trip, we have tried to create the ultimate way of experiencing all the Swedish mountains and Lapland wilderness have to offer without taking more than a week to do. We have spent years of preparation to find a magnificent route outside the more frequently hiked tracks which is still possible to access and do in six days. The result is a trip with a variety of surroundings; mountain birch forests, bare mountain terrain, stunning u-valleys created by the inland ice during the ice ages, turquoise mountain lakes, waterfalls and true isolation. We will follow the King’s Trail (Kungsleden) for shorter sequences but the majority of the hike will be through unmarked terrain.
The tour begins in Abisko and ends in Nikkaluokta, both easily assessable by train or bus from Kiruna (where several flights depart on a regular basis).
Day 1: Abisko – Ballinvaggi
Distance: approx 11 km
After a proper breakfast in Abisko we put on our backpacks and started hiking around 9 am in the morning. We walked south along the King’s Trail (Kungsleden) but after only a couple of kilometers we left the trail and headed for Ballinvaggi. We walked through the birch forest and after a while passed by an old a camp established by STF (the Swedish Tourist Association) which have not been used since the 60’s. We continued next to the creek Ballinjohka towards the beautiful valley Ballinvaggi. The narrow path eventually disappeared and the final part into the valley was in pathless terrain. We set up our camp all alone in the middle of the valley and got accustomed with the feeling of quietness. Imagine, no cell phones, no facebook, no e-mails….
Day 2: Ballinvaggi – Adnetjårro
Distance: approx 12 km
The first ”real” day. This day we continued deeper into Ballinvaggi on an exciting (and sometimes challenging) direction totally without trails towards the next valley – Gardenvaggi. We passed the creek Siellajohka – the only creek which required us to take off our boots to ford – exciting! We continued on the southern side of Gardenvaggi. Before long an amazing scenery opened up before us – the lakes of Ahpparjávri, Radujávri and Alisjávri – situated on the northern side of the Kebnekaise massif (the highest mountain in Sweden) and the peak of Kåtotjåkka (1991 meters above see level). We set camp on the hills above the lakes with a stunning view over the lakes and peaks.
Day 3: Adnetjårro – Balip/Vuolip Cazajávri
Distance: approx 20 km
After breakfast we joined Kungsleden which continues along the lakes Radujávri and Alisjávri where we took a swim (in the ice cold water…). We passed the cabins of Alesjaure which is run by STF (the Swedish Tourist Association). After the cabins we left Kungsleden again and headed for the opening of the valley Vistasvaggi. On the way we passed Alisjávri which is an small Sami village. A quite demanding climb took us up to a barren but beautiful plateau with two small lakes – Balip Cazajávri and Vuolip Cazajávri. Plenty of nice camp sites here!
Day 4: Balip/Vuolip Cazajávri – the Vistas cabin
Sträcka: approx 12 km
After three days above the tree limit we hiked down into the birch forest in this the upper part of Vistasvaggi. We followed the valley south all day. Just before the cabins of Vistas we turned left to climb a steep hill (which your legs will certainly feel this late in the afternoon). The goal of the climb is one of the most stunning campsites we know where you can see into the two valleys Vistasvaggi and Stuor Riedarvaggi. On a good day this place is magical!
Day 5: Vistasstugan – Kåkittjårro
Distance: approx 15 km
The farther south we walked, the more birch forest and swamps surrounded the river of Vistas. The valley is surrounded by the great walls of the Kebnekaise massif in the west and the lower and more rounded fjeld landscape in the east. The river water is turquoise due to its glacier origin which almost creates a tropical feeling (until you feel the temperature of the water…). We found a nice camp site by the river and actually had another swim…
Day 6: Kåkittjårro – Nikkaluokta
Distance: approx 20 km (minus boat trip the last 12 or 7 km)
The last day. We were picked up 7 kilometers upstream from Nikkaloukta, i.e. the walk of this day was as short as 8 kilometers. Once in Nikkaloukta we had a well-deserved rest, lunch and waffles with cloudberry jam!
Want to join?
Does this trip sound like you? Check out Nord Nature’s website on www.nordnature.se.