alpine walking trail in Sweden

Kungsleden ("King of Trails") is a 430-km-long walk in northern Sweden, from Abisko to Hemavan, through part of Sápmi, the region inhabited by the Sámi people. The trail passes through the Laponia national parks, the largest wilderness area of Europe.

Map with the wilderness huts along the path highlighted with their name
Kungsleden (yellow highlight) in Waymarked Trails where you can browse the individual stages and see geographic details on a map

At Sälka, the trail passes Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden.

Stages edit

Stage Distance (km) Stage Goal Other
Abisko Everything
1 15 Abiskojaure Food, bath
2 19 Alesjaure Food, sauna, bath
3 13 Tjäktja
4 12 Sälka Food, sauna
5 12 Singi
6 13 Kaitumjaure Food
7 9 Teusa Sauna, boat
8 14 Vakkotavare Food, boat 60 kr (2011, member), bus
9 - Saltoluokta Food, sauna, WiFi, bus 47 km 55 kr (2011), boat 2 km 100 kr (2011)
10 20 Sitojaure
11 9 Aktse Food, boat 200 kr (2011)
12 20 Pårte Bath, boat 200 kr (2011)
13 17 Kvikkjokk Food, sauna, WiFi, bus
14 12 Tsielekjåhkåstugan Boat 150 kr (2011)
15 20 Falesjavrre strömmar
16 17 Gasaklahko
17 13 Vuonatjviken
18 18 Jäkkvik Food, sauna, boat 300 kr (2011), boat (only rowing), bus
19 21 Adolfström Food, sauna
20 17 Barasjuhka
21 14 Laddiebakttie
22 19 Rävfallsstugan Sauna
23 24 Ammarnäs Food, sauna, bath, WiFi, bus
24 8 Aigertstugorna Food, sauna, bath
25 20 Servestugorna Food
26 14 Tärnasjöstugan Food, sauna, bath
27 14 Syterstugorna Food, bath
28 12 Viterskalsstugorna Food
29 11 Hemavan Everything

Abiskojaure - Alesjaure edit

Boat option to Alesjaure, 240 kr (2011)

Tjäktja - Sälka edit

View from Tjäktjapasset

The pass somewhat before Sälka is the highest point of Kungsleden, at 1100 m. From Abisko to Sälka the trail coincides with Nordkalottleden, which then turns to the Norvegian Narvik fells and ends in Kvikkjokk farther on Kungsleden.

Vakkotavare - Saltoluokta edit

Saltoluokta, kayaks for rent.

Sitojaure - Aktse edit

Near Aktse is Skierffeklippan. Skierffeklippan is popular to climb.

Pårte - Kvikkjokk edit

Rapids near Kvikkjokk

Don't miss the classic camping ground Rosbacken in Kvikkjokk.

Gasaklahko - Vuonatjviken edit

On this stage the polar circle is passed.

Vuonatjviken - Jäkkvik edit

From Saudal Kungsleden has a rather new route. Be careful and follow the signs. In Jäkkvik it is possible to tent by Kyrkans Fjällgård.

Jäkkvik - Adolfström edit

Campsite Adofström, Adolfströms camping[dead link].

Adolfström - Barasjuhka edit

Boat option to Bäverholmen, 150 kr (2011). Restaurant in Bäverholmen, open 12:00-18:00.

Laddiebakttie - Rävfallsstugan edit

On this stage the border between Norrbotten and Västerbotten is passed. To stay in Rävfallsstugan one has to reserve and pick up a key in advance - cost 150 kr (2019). The cabin also has a sauna, for which you have to chop wood yourself.

Rävfallsstugan - Ammarnäs edit

The solitary former settlement Örnbo

Food Ammarnäs, Ammarnäs Livs. At the bus stop in Ammarnäs there is a free toilet and at the lawn behind the bus stop it is possible to camp for free. Guidecentrum close to the bus, Ammarnäs Wärdshus and Ammarnäsgården for eating. Ammarnäsgården also hosts Naturum, with tourist information and nature guides. Fjällvilt sells local reindeer and game products.

Ammarnäs - Aigertstugan - Servestugan edit

Possibility of skipping Aigert stretch by taking boat taxi over Tjulträsk with Thorbjörn (Ammarnäs Båt-Taxi), who also offers taxi between Ammarnäs and the lakeshore (about 8 km). Cash only. This leaves about 15-20 min walk inland to Servestugan. Servestugan doesn't have a sauna, but a good platform in the stream for washing. Camping on the Aigert stretch if one doesn't want to stay by the cabin is best done at Vuomatjåhkka in the narrow valley west of the shelter - the rest of the stretch is either without water nearby, exposed, or very rocky. Around Servestugan, one can walk a little further along the path westwards and camp in the stream delta.

Servestugan - Tärnasjöstugan edit

Good camping options by the lakes.

Tärnasjöstugan - Syterstugan edit

Näsbergstjärnen in Vindelfjällen

Boat option over Tärnasjö no longer operational (since 2017). Syterstugan takes card payments. Good tenting spots close to the cabins (pay small fee to use kitchen and facilities, as with all STF cabins). Eastern trail up to Sytertoppen accessible from here.

Syterstugan - Viterskalsstugan edit

Good tenting spots through all of Syterskalet, especially closer to the meeting with Viterskalet. Bridge over stream at the western mouth of Syterskalet now built for easier access to Sytertoppen from the west.

Viterskalsstugan - Hemavan edit

Gondola finished in 2019 (after closing of old lift) for transportation into valley if one doesn't want to walk down. 125 kr single journey for an adult (2019), running 10:00-17:00 in the summer. Several restaurants open at various times throughout the year. Bar at Hemavan Vandrarhem stocks craft beer. Hemavans Wärdshus open 18:00-21:00 weekdays and 18:00-22:00 weekends.

Get in edit

It is most common to start in Abisko (Abisko Turiststation). It is possible to reach Abisko with the night train from Stockholm. With aeroplane it is possible to reach Kiruna from Stockholm and continue with train or bus to Abisko.

Hemavan has an airport with connection to Stockholm. Reaching Stockholm with bus and train is also possible. Lapplandspilen is a direct coach route between Hemavan and Stockholm.

For those not going to hike all the trail, there are bus connections to Vakkotavare (the bus to Ritsem), Saltoluokta (boat from Kebnats, which has bus from Gällivare via Porjus), Kvikkjokk, Jäkkvik and Ammarnäs. Nikkaluokta, near Kebnekaise, is also a popular starting point although not on Kungsleden by itself; the trail reaches Kungsleden by Singi (the next cabin after Sälka if coming from Abisko).

Helicopters are common in the Kungsleden area, some days it is possible to see more helicopters then people. Two operators are:

Maps edit

There are free digital maps available. Download them, as you will not have fast data (or even any mobile phone coverage) available at all places. And do not drop the device, have it drenched in rain or a river, have it stop working because of moisture, or have the batteries go flat. A paper map is recommended.

Sleep edit

Mountain cabin at Singi; mountain slope to the left covered in clouds

Lodging edit

Price for a night in a hut is 360–420 kr/person (children 50 kr) for members, 460–520/150 kr for non-members (2017). Shared rooms, outhouse, cooking facilities. Own linen or sleeping bag. Household duties (such as firewood chopping and carrying water) are shared by the guests.

The cabins are closed off season, still with at least an unlocked emergency room and an emergency phone available.

Camping edit

It is possible to stay by the cottages with tent if one wants to use the facilities. The price is 100 kr (member) or 200–250 kr (non-member). Children 6–15 years half price. Day visit free/100 kr.

Backcountry edit

Allemansrätten allows you to legally camp in most places for free, except within 100 m of a house. At this trail the main exception is in certain protected areas, such as the Abisko national park. It is also inadvisable to stay close to main reindeer pastures if herds are nearby, since this disturbs a vital economic activity in the area.

Eat edit

There is some food at sale in many cottages on the trail, and at some Sámi camps. The assortment is not the best, so you should carry some of your food. Picking berries and mushroom (with the ordinary caveats) is allowed at most places along the trail.

Fishing edit

Fishing by the trail is mostly allowed, but requires paying a fee to get a permit. Check details.

Drink edit

Plenty of water is available along the trail in most areas. Higher plateaus can be devoid of good sources especially in dry years, so it is worth checking with locals if conditions are drier than normal. It is fine to drink as long as the water is either moving (streams should be at least half a meter in width, as a thumb rule), or large/deep enough to not get stagnant. Special care should be taken in lemming years, since dead carcasses may contaminate the water.

Books edit

  • Berggren, Annika, Vandringsturer på Kungsleden: Abisko - Kvikkjokk, Vildmarksbiblioteket, Växjö, 2008.
  • Berggren, Annika, Vandringsturer på Kungsleden: Kvikkjokk - Hemavan, Vildmarksbiblioteket, Växjö, 2009.
  • Feldt, Kjell-Olof. Vår bästa tid är i fjällen. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1993.
  • Grundsten, Claes. Kungsleden The Royal Trail Through Arctic Sweden. Herefordshire: Carreg Ltd, 2009.
  • Grundsten, Claes. Abisko, Kebnekaise : [leder, utflyktsmål, bestigningar, stugor]. Stockholm: Norstedt, 2010.
  • Hennemann, Michael. Schweden: Kungsleden. Welver: Stein, 2011.
  • Karlsson, Bo. Sareks fyra årstider. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1982.
  • Magnusson, Lars, Vandra i Sverige: en vägvisare till sevärdheterna längs Sveriges vandringsleder, Prisma i samarbete med Svenska turistföreningen, Stockholm, 2002.
  • Neregård, Fredrik, Fjällvandra längs Kungsleden: Abisko - Kebnekaise, Calazo Förlag, 2011.

eBooks edit

Fjallflora [dead link] - ebook of some of the most common flowers along Kungsleden.

Go next edit

This itinerary to Kungsleden is a usable article. It explains how to get there and touches on all the major points along the way. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.