If you’re looking for an adventurous hike trip with a great mix of nature and its beauty for one whole month or less than a month, then all you have to do is take up a hiking trip along The King’s Trail – Kungsleden. The trail is divided into four portions and each portion can be covered in a week thus giving you a month long adventurous hiking experience. The name itself suggests you the best hiking trail in the world both in the summer and skiing in the winter. Kunglsedan is a hiking trail situated in Sweden stretching over 440 kilometers (270 miles) from Abisko in the north to Hemavan in the South. It covers the largest portion of Europe’s best wildernesses and scenic beauty. You can take a trip from any of the following locations and end your hike depending on your choice of wilderness and type of hiking and the distance: Abisko, Nikkaluokta, Saltoluokta, Kvikkjokk, Ammarnäs and Hemavan. Each strip of the trail offers a variety of nature’s striking and breath-taking view covered and surrounded by large mountains, beautiful lakes, sparkly streams and amazing u-shaped valleys and meadows.
This trail was first established in the early 1900’s and is one of the well-equipped and safe trails. It has two routes: the summer trail and the winter trail. Summer trails are indicated by painted poles or stones while the winter trails are marked by poles with red cross and two crosses on a pole indicate a change in the direction. Both start in the same direction but both are indicated by different marks on the map. These trails have well marked ski-routes, wooden plank paths – walkways over swampy lands and rocky areas, foot-bridges and bridges across high water courses between the mountains and row-boats across large lakes and rivers with at least one row-boat on each shore to traverse during the summer. During winter these bridges are dissembled in order to prevent them from getting damaged due to heavy snowfall. It is better to take a trip during the season as it is quite safe, equipped and well-inspected.
The best thing about Kugsledan is that, it consists of STF huts along the trail separated by a distance of 9-22 kilometers. These are well-equipped rest shelters and provide all the commodities required for a hiker and the provisions are available right there along with wood and other essentials, such that these hikers need not travel with heavy bags. They have shops that have tinned foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, bread and cheese, soft drinks, including spirits, gas and alcohol for stoves and insects and mosquito repellents, trail maps etc. These huts also have emergency telephones for communication as mobile phones may not get the signal coverage in the mountainous areas. The only information to be kept in mind is that there are no huts installed along the trail between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs, which covers over a distance of 130 kilometers of the Kungsleden trail.
Now moving on to the landscape and other details in each section of the Kungsleden, it has a wide range of landscapes from mountain, forests, valleys, lakes, plateaus etc. The trail between Abisko and Nikkaluokta is the most walkable and covered by the most attractive Swedish Alpines. On moving South towards Saltoluokta, it takes you to the wildest mountains separated by the large and smooth U-shaped valleys and lakes. The stretch Saltoluokta and Kvikkjokk forms the border area between the thick forests and high peaking mountains to mostly bare mountain areas. Moving to the south of Kvikkjokk, the extensive birch forest of Sweden spreads out and covers the entire area with its wild beauty slowly reaching the low mountain plateau. The last stretch between Ammarnäs and Hemavan forms high mountainous regions and easily walked valleys.
The best time to visit and enjoy the hike trip here is between mid-June and the end of September for the summer trail and from mid February to the end of April for the winter trail. It should also be kept in mind that the weather could be dangerous during the early and late winter – snow. During the season all the huts would be open and the row boats will also be available for a safe trip. You can reach Abisko via direct trains from Göteborg, Stockholm or Narvik by bus from Kiruna or from Narvik. Some of the areas along the trail can be reached through road transport either by car or bus and public transport busses can be seen only during the summer. Regular flights are also available between Hemavan and Stockholm.
The highlights and hotspots of the Kungleden are the Abisko, Kebnekaise, Sarek National Park, Kvikkjokk, Hemavan and Tärnaby. Abisko and Hemavan and Tärnaby both serve to be a hotspot in both summer and winter. In summer Abisko offers botanical multitude and mountain station or hostel for the hikers while Hemavan and Tärnaby offer great hiking experience and in winter both are great spots for back-country skiing. Kebnekaise is the highest mountain of 2,111 metres (6,926 ft) and provides an added attraction to the trails with its marvelous white peaks and has the Kebnekaise fjällstation – mountain lodge at its foot. The Sarek National Park has no bridges or trail tracks and is the best place for experienced hikers who look for a raw-nature adventure trip. People who wish to start their hike at the Sarek National Park usually visit Kvikkjokk first; a small mountain farm village that also has nice hostels for the hikers. Kungsleden offers safe and one of the best mountain adventures for every hiker in the world.