Kvikkjokk (Lule Sámi: Huhttán) is a village in the municipality of Jokkmokk. It is known as trailhead for Padjelantaleden and Kungsleden hiking trails through Laponia, and for the delta of the rivers Gamájåhkå and Darreädno. The area is traditionally Sámi, but mining, and later tourism, has brought in Swedish people.
The Swedish name comes from the old Sámi name of the river Gamájåhkå: Kuoihkajohko ("rapids river"). The Sámi name is from the Swedish "hyttan", a building for metal works.
In 1659 it became known that there was silver in the mountains 50 kilometres (30 mi) away. The site by the river was chosen for melting the silver, with the first batch melt in 1662. The first mine was opened in Kedkevare, later called Silbbatjåhkkå in Sámi (silbba=silver), another five years later in Alkavare (Sámi: Álggávárre). A mining town resulted.
The mining did not become profitable, and when the mines were laid down 1702 only the priest and the sexton remained, with missionaries to the Sámi using Kvikkjokk as base. In 1760 a church was built. Swedish settlers arrived in the 19th century, living from hunting and fishing.
Work with the Kungsleden trail started around 1900, with the first mountain cabins built 1907. The fjällstation of the Swedish tourist association in Kvikkjokk (the older building) was built in 1928.
Kvikkjokk is at the end of the road from Jokkmokk 120 km (75 mi) to the south-east. There are regular bus services from Jokkmokk and from Murjek (180 km) at the Malmbanan railway between Luleå and Narvik.
The town itself is small, use your feet. Feet (or skis) are used also for getting around a much bigger area. Also canoes and bikes are available. There are ferries across the rivers; in winter they can often be crossed by ski.
The main sights are the church from 1906–1907, the remains of the silver handling infrastructure, and the river delta. There is a lot of primeval forests to see on day trips. On longer hikes both low fells and high fells (alpine mountain) can be reached.
- Kungsleden is the most famous hiking trail in Sweden. The leg northward from Kvikkjokk towards Abisko, passing Kebnekaise and Nikkaluokta, is very popular, with cabins at regular intervals, making the hike quite easy (although the altitude means good hiking skills are needed in foul weather). The leg south towards Jäkkvik (on road 95 towards Bodø in Norway), Ammarnäs and Hemavan has fewer hikers and fewer cabins.
- Padjelantaleden leads to the lake Akkajaure, with boat transportation to Ritsem and buses from there to Gällivare.
- Nordkalottleden has its southern trailheads in Kvikkjokk and Norvegian Sulitjelma, reachable by this route in a week. After the fork at Staddajåkkå, the trail meanders through the Scandinavian mountains to Kautokeino in Norvegian Finnmark.
- European long distance trail E1, between Sicily in the south and Nordkapp in the north, can be reached via the other trails.
The main hiking seasons are July–September and March–April, the latter by ski.
The village is surrounded by old-growth fell forest, where you could hike (1 Kvikkjokk–Kabla fjällurskog and 2 Pärlälvens fjällurskog). Kvikkjokk is a trailhead also for Sarek National Park (part of Laponia). There are no marked trails in Sarek, except a short stretch of Kungsleden, and no cabins, but it is a worthwhile destination for experienced hikers.
There is a convenience store at the fell station.
Meals are available at the fell station, at least by advance request.
- 1 [dead link] Kvikkjokk fjällstation, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Late June–late September, late February–late April. Hostel operated by STF. A large mountain station, with convenience store. Canoes and fishing gear rental. Self catering facilities. Breakfast available, lunch and dinner on advance request.
There are cabins along the trails, suitable also for shorter return hikes. The cabins in Padjelanta have an unlocked part available when otherwise closed off season.