Jan 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm #1227038
Not sure how popular this trail is, but I am looking for any thoughts/info people might have on it. I am considering hiking it in late Summer 2009. My sister will be living in Sweden for a couple of years, so figured it would be as good a time as any to hike this trail.
Has anyone here hiked any portions of this trail?
Or better yet, has anyone come across any guide books for this trail in English? Or should I start learning Swedish now :)Jan 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm #1418588
There is a Northern and a Southern Kungsleden and these two parts are not connected.
The Northern part is incredibly popular in Europe – you will meet more foreigners than Swedes there. Unfortunately, it is sort of difficult and expensive to reach – you would have to fly to Abisko. There are a lot of huts on this trail and also some ferry crossings. For my liking, this trail is too trendy – but from the pictures I have see it must be very nice.
I have hiked the Southern part, which is much easier and cheaper to reach with train. Not many people hike it – it is not trendy at all, but also very beautiful.
Were are you based in Sweden ? Depending on that I could recommend you other trails.
I don´t know about a guide book in English, but there is at least one in German – I told you this trail is extremely popular. But you don´t really need a guide, just get the maps.
ChristineJan 31, 2008 at 10:43 pm #1418665
Thanks for the reply Christine…
I(or rather my sister) would be based in Uppsala, so would be a long train ride up to the Kungsleden, but figured it wouldnt be a bad way to see some of the country either. Unless maybe you know of some good trails (few days to a couple of weeks in length) in the southern half of Sweden?
From the pictures I've seen, it definetly looks like there is some nice scenery on the trail, and probably one of the best opportunities for me to experience some trekking in that part of Europe. Haven't decided yet on what sections (or the entirety) of the trail I would do.
The only trails I've done in Europe so far are the Haute Route and GR20. Not sure if you have done either of those, but I wouldn't think the Kungsleden would be any busier/trendy than those, well any trendier than the Haute Route anyway.
Thanks for the info on the guidebooks too..I have minimal skills in German, so maybe ill check out that book if I cant find enough info online :)Feb 2, 2008 at 3:10 pm #1418835
I have hiked the GR 20 as well and I don't think the Kungsleden is more crowded. I just don't like trendy trails – on the northern Kungsleden you will see a whole lot of Germans on a "survival tour" equipped with bowie knives and axes… I am a little bit exaggerating and I am German myself….
I have hiked extensively over Scandinavia and I would suggest the following trips:
Sörmlandsleden: This is a very long trail in Southern Sweden around Linköping area. Check out: http://www.sormlandsleden.se
This trail is not "exciting" in the sense of a Haute Route – it is mainly through a lot of forests but also hitting a lot of very beautiful lakes. If you want to see the variety of Sweden, I would at least hike a part of that trail. Sweden is not all the barren beauty of the Sarek, but also lots of forests and nice villages.
Southern Kungsleden: Much easier to get to and landscapewise much similar to the Northern Kungsleden. You could start at Storlien in Sweden and then hike over to Röros in Norway sampling a bit of the very scenic Femundsmarka (the whole trail is along the border). I did that in one week.
But really instead of messing with the Kungsleden I would rather suggest two hiking areas in Norway. Distancewise they are even shorter from Uppsala than the Northern Kungsleden:
Jotunheimen: This is the very best of hiking in whole Scandinavia in my opion. It is a national park with an extensive trail and hut system – there are a lot of Norwegians but it is not as overrun as the Kungsleden. This is one of the most mountaineous (does that word exist?) areas in Scandinavia and it is breathtakingly beautiful! I did a East-West-traverse and a North-South traverse, each taking me about a week. Easy to get to and my absolute favourite.
Hardangervidda: This is a huge high plateau and again a national park. Very easy to get to even with train. This has a very harsh beauty (no trees at all, no mountains, just a plateau). Again I did a East-West-traverse and a North-South traverse, each taking me about a week. This is my second favourite.
Both Jotunheimen (meaning the home of the giants) and Hardangervidda a parks with a trail system so you can make up your own route from daytrips to week-long trips. The DNT (Norwegian hiking organization) has overview maps for planning purposes.
On the Norwegian train system there is a bargain called "minipriser" (meaning mini prices). If you book the train trip ahead on the internet you can get them that way really, really cheap – and believe me, there is not much that is cheap in Scandinavia…..
Don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions – I like to promote hiking in Europe.
ChristineFeb 2, 2008 at 3:43 pm #1418838
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
I can recommend both Jotunheimen and Hardangervidda. I've done a few short trips there a couple years ago and it's a totally different experience than in other parts of Europe.Feb 2, 2008 at 10:51 pm #1418885
Thanks again Christine for all of the great into.
I will definetly look into those other areas…I hadn't really considered Norway, but I can definitely see where it would be closer. My trip is still 1.5 years away, so plenty of time for me to do some more research/planning.
What time of year do you think would be best for hiking in Scandinavia? I was planning on August/September.
I will almost certainly ask you some more questions at a later date.
RobbFeb 2, 2008 at 11:34 pm #1418887
Roger BBPL Member
I can also recommend Jotunheimen, as well if you want a taster for the area Rondane National Park is worth a visit.
You may want to take a look at 2 books.
Cicerone Press: Walking in Norway
Rother Walking Guides: Norway South.
You may also want to take a look at the Den Norske Turistforening web site DNT a lot of information is provided there.
As for timing the huts are busy during the Norwegian School holidays, so the later in August you can go the better.Feb 3, 2008 at 1:39 am #1418900
Hiking season in Scandinavia is very short – best hiking months are actually only July and August. August – especially late August – is best because school holidays are over and the mosquitoes are gone. But don't go too late – September can already bring snow and will be very cold, especially up North.
Sörmlandsleden has a much broader hiking season because it is way more South. Here September and even much later is not a problem.
ChristineNov 24, 2008 at 8:01 pm #1460519
@mjrkrashLocale: Aleutian Islands, AK.
I've been on the Kungsleden and surrounding trails twice. I'm headed back this February to Ski it again. I'll be going south to north (Hemavan to Abisko).
As mentioned by others the northern portion of the trail is popular between Abisko and Kebnekaise and out to Nikkoluokta. If you can, I think it is worth climbing Kebnekaise, it's a pretty good day hike if you take your time.
From Kebnekaise (or Sinji) to Saltoluokta is a little less popular and very nice. Most people hike to Vokkotavare then shuttle to Kebnats and boat to Saltoluokta.
Saltoluakta to Kvikkjokk was one of my most favorite parts of the trek, simply because of the lakes, mountains and trees. (born and raised here in Alaska, it reminded me a lot of home) If you get to this area you should really climb up to Skerief.
Kvikkjokk to Jakvikk and thru to Ammarnas is really unsupported, however there is a trail and it is clearly marked with winter x-country sking and snowmachine signs.
There are no STF huts in that section any longer, and the terrain isnt so appealing (to me) Most people bus around it now from Kvikkjokk to Ammarnas.
I go through it for two reasons, I like being able to say I completed the entire Kunglseden and it is difficult.
From Ammarnas to Hemavan is pretty straight forward, I bypass Aigert and follow the lake to Servestugan and continue on to Tarnos then Syters and Viters and eventually to Hemavan.
You can visit my site at http://www.i907.net and in the photo gallery I have images from my treks in September and again in February.
I love winter camping and trekking, I grew up with it here, and like I mentioned… I'm going back in a few months.
Feel free to email me dan (at) terra trekker (dot) net if you have any questions.
Have a great time!
d.May 28, 2009 at 11:15 am #1504120
just browsing, and read your piece, about the kungsleden, its pretty old by now so your plans are probably already laid?, if not im flying up to gallivare aug 25, then on to kvikkjokk, my first tour is partly trail and a lot of x country, about seven days. the second part is again from kvikkjokk i will be taking a trip around sarek, again about 7-8 days, if you would like some company, and hear more about my plans. stephen,ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
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