The Kungsleden or King’s Trail is one of the best known multi-day treks in Scandinavia. The route between Abisko and Nikkaluokta in particular is very popular and therefore sometimes on the crowded side.
About Northern Kungsleden
The Kungsleden is 443 kilometers long and runs from Abisko to Hemavan. The northern part is the most impressive. This 183 km route from Abisko to Kvikkjokk is entirely above the polar circle and is divided into three stages of a week. The start and end points of this are easily accessible. You walk among others through the national parks Abisko, Stora Sjöfallet and Sarek. Here the scale of the landscape is extraordinary and the scenery is unprecedented. Despite the gigantic dimensions of the tundra, the trail leads through varied vegetation zones and landscapes. You almost always walk on a well-marked path, and to prevent wet feet that partly consists of boards.
When to hike
Kungsleden can be hiked year-round though the conditions may vary. Summer is peak season, but try to avoid the days that Fjallraven Classic takes place as during this time, the trail is very crowded. To avoid the mosquito clouds, it is best to go between mid-August and go mid September. Also the cabins are no longer overcrowded and catches the beautiful autumn coloring. However, the temperature is already somewhat lower. Winter is an option to if you are used to winter hiking and provides a completely different experience.
Along the trail you will find fjäll stations and mountain huts. These are all within walking distance of each other on the Kungsleden. You can not only spend the night there, but also regularly buy supplies and fuel. So you don't have to go on a heavy backpack to make this trip.
For wild campers there are countless beautiful places to set up the tent in this grand backdrop of the arctic tundra and enjoy the freedom that everyone's right offers. The Kungsleden is rightly a King in the camping heaven.
Abisko – Nikkaluokta
This section is the most popular as it contains the Abisko National Park, as well as the Tjäktja Pass - which is the highest point on the Kungsleden. The hike from Singi to the village of Nikkaluokta is not part of the Kungsleden, but it is a popular addition.
Nikkaluokta – Vakkotavare
In this section you will cross barren mountain landscape, moorland and birch forests. Also you will need to cross Lake Dievssajavri. You can do this by borrowing a boat or pay to cross.
Saltoluokta – Kvikkjokk
There are multiple sections during this part that you will need to cross rivers and lakes. The section between Sitojaure and Aktse is regarded as the most scenic as it provides amazing view the Sarekfjällen mountains and Rapadalen valley.
Kvikkjokk - Ammarnäs
This is one of the least-traveled sections of the Kungsleden and therefore one of the less-maintained parts. Not all rivers have bridges to cross, so prepare to get your feet wet.
Ammarnäs - Hemavan
The most southern part of Northern Kungsleden. In this part of the trail you will cross heathland and swallow valleys, as well as birch forest and moorland.
During your hike of the Kungsleden, you may be lucky enough to see tracks or even animals themselves. This region is home to the Swedish big four: lynx, wolverine, bear and wolf. Though sightings are rare. Moose, elk and lemmings you are most likely to encounter. Also there is an abundance of bird life here, with roughly 200 bird species that are being spotted here.
How to get there?
The fastest way to start walking the Kungsleden path is to fly to the city of Kiruna. Kiruna has the northernmost airport in Sweden and is closed most of the day, as only two passenger flights arrive per day in the summer. In the summer it's best to fly to Stockholm and take a transfer to Kiruna.
If you are planning to hike the entire route, be sure to check in which cabins you can purchase food.
When hiking in summer, bring mosquito nets and spray.
Bring several layers of clothes as weather conditions may vary. Even during summer months, nights can be very cold and always be prepared for rain.