How To Trek Sweden’s Kungsleden Trail

Femke at Pass

In this blog I will outline how to trek Sweden’s Kungsleden trail. Specifically the northern 7 day section called the Fjallraven Classic route (110 km). This blog will also point you to pages with videos, photos, maps and facts and an additional blog focused specifically on the getting to the summit of Mt Kebnekaise (2,102m) that is near the close of the Fjallraven route (or the beginning if you chose to do it in reverse.

I will provide details that include maps, costs, logistical requirements and facts as well as links to a full written narrative, photos and videos. This is a self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.

Difficulty Level:

This is an Easy Activity

Backpack

Backpack at Start 19kg
Backpack at End 14kg (I age 5kg of food in 7 days!)

See Kungsleden page for additional details, photos, etc..

Wikipedia Details

Reindeer Antler Collecting – Strange Hobby.

Kungsluden day5 1

Gear

Note: Wear high top hiking boots (above the ankle) because the trail was very wet and in some places the provided walking boards were broken or missing. Plus many shallow creek crossings. Also bring some extra layers for night (or buy them a a charity shop).

In Stockholm

Kartbutiken (Map Shop), Mäster Samuelsgatan 54, 111 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Lots of stores near each other on . Specifically I liked Alewalds Outdoor & Sports,

In Kiruna or Adisko

The STF Hotel/Hostel has a supply shop with everything you need (dry food, maps, gear, etc) but expensive. You can also ship packages to this hotel/hostel for pickup. They also have a luggage room to leave stuff at no cost for guests (stay a night if necessary). I asked about a week and it was ok. You can also leave valuables behind the front desk while you trek.

Note you can send stuff from the STF Hotel/Hostel shop back to the bus station in Kiruna (and any other place I guess). I paid $25 to send a small day pack to Kiruna that contained my laptop, a plastic bottle of vodka and other electronic items that I did not need on the trek. Note bus station luggage room not open on Sundays.

There is a large InterSport in Kiruna that sells general camping supplies and a specialty shop. Two charity shops have lots of used clothing but no gear.


Click to watch  Part1 Video


Click to watch Part1 Video

 

Lodging & Accommodation

Stockholm

In Stockholm I stayed at 3 hostels. One to get organized and a second when I found I couldn’t book a night train the same day as departure. Had to wait 3 additional days for available berth. And a third on my return to catch a flight out.

City Hostel Stockholm 

Paid $37/night in 6-bed dorm. One of 3 top rated in Stockholm. Staff super helpful. Easy walk to Central train station and bus station. Close to charity shop (for extra clothing), supermarket, Intersport and real outdoor gear suppliers.

Lodge32 Hostel

This is just cheap beds. $19/night in a 12-bed dorm. Staff seldom on site. No real hang out places. Close enough to train and bus station. Supermarket, etc all close.

Skanstulls Hostel

Another top rated hostel. I stayed here while waiting for my flight out (after the trek/climb). Paid $35/night in 3-bed dorm. Good place. Bit crowded. But very far from central train and bus stations (45 minute walk minimum or 3 metro stops).

Abisko

STF Abisko Mountain Station

Note that you get a small discount with a HI card. Or you can join STF (expensive option).

This is an excellent place. Great dorm beds ($45/night in 6-bed room), showers, bathrooms, kitchen, sauna, gear shop (expensive), restaurant and washers/drying room. Also can camp free in woods and pay a fee to use the facilities (or just use them and not pay;-)

Karuna

Stayed 2 nights at Yellow House Hostel. Paid $45/night for a private double (shared toilets and shower down the hall). This is the same price as a dorm bed in other Kiruna places. Two common kitchens. Close to center and bus station (free bus to temporary train station).

Note: In Sweden they always charge extra for linen (can’t use a sleeping bag). So bring your own sheet and pillow case and save $6 at each stay.

Books and Maps

Kungsleden Trail

Books
Kungeleien, The Royal Trail Through Arctic Sweden
By Claes Grundsten (in English)

Kungeleien, Trekking in Schweden
By Claes Grundsten (in German)

See Kungsluden page for additional details.

Lapland

mag area lapland map

 

 

Transportation Options

Airport Connections

The cheap carriers (Ryanair and Wizz) fly to/from Stockholm Skavsta Airport which is an 80 minute bus ride from the center ($25). This airport is in a field. Nothing around it. There are two additional airports much closer to town.

Train

Abisko Turiststation is the stop to access the trail. There is a very good STF hotel/hostel here. The town of Abisko is a few km away on an easy trail next to the road. The town has a well stocked supermarket (normal prices) and additional accommodation.

Sweden_railways

The train from Stockholm does stop in Kiruna (a few hours before Abisko) for those that want to just get to Kebnekaise station or trek south-to-north.

I did what most people did, I went to Abisko and trekked south. I then cut west to Kabnekaise station (and mountain) then walked an additional day out to Nikkaluoka where I hitched a ride to Kiruna.  Note that a lot of people continue south (staying on Kungsluden for longer sections).

Scandinavia Rail map

TO/FROM Kiruna to Nikkaluoka (East Trail Head)

Bus to/from Kiruna to Nikkaluoka
Lanstrafiken Norrbotten AB
Customer Service 0771-100-110
SMS 0730-125-250 (only for Swedish phone numbers)

Bus Kiruna – Nikkaluokta #1 #2

Kiruna Bus station 10:00 14:50
Kiruna train station 10:10 15:00
Nikkaluokta 11:10 16:00

Bus Nikkaluokta – Kiruna #1 #2

Nikkaluokta 11:30 16:20
Kiruna train station 12:30 17:20
Kiruna Bus station 12:40 17:30

Kallax Fly Helicopter Transport (Nikkaluokta-Kebnekaise or reverse)
Daily flights 26/6 – 24/9
To/from 26/6 – 31/8 1/9 – 24/9
Dep Nikka 8:30 8:30
Arr Keb 8:45 8:45

Dep Nikka 17:00
Arr Keb 17:15

Nikkaluokta base _46 980-81-81-000
Prices in SEK (2017)
Adults 850
Children 2-11 yrs 500
Children 0-2 yrs included in adult ticket
Free baggage 20 kg. Overweight: 25 SEK/kg
Baggage only: 300
Dog 300

Also Helicopter Tour Flights

helicopter-tour_routes

helicopter_tour-prices

Kungsleden (King’s Trail) Route

map full route

See Kungsluden page for additional details.

Timing

I did this trek in the last week of July and the days were T-shirt warm and sunny (but the week before it rained a lot). So be prepared for both. Nights were around 10c. You can do this trek in the winter using cross country skis. The huts are open.

About the trail

I did the Fjallraven Classic route (Abisko to Nikkaluokta) in seven days (including a day to summit Kebnekaise.

 Day 1 Abisko – Abiskojaure

13 km, 5 hrs

Day 2 Abiskojaure – Alesjaure

22 km, 9 hrs

Day 3 Alesjaure -Gjaktja

13 km, 6 hrs

Day 4 Gjaktja – Salka

12 km, 6 hrs

Day 5 Salka – Kebnekaise

22 km, 8hrs

Day 6 Summit Kebnekaise

22 km, 11 hrs

Day 7 Kebnekaise – Nikkaluokta

19 km, 6 hrs

See Kungsleden page for additional details, photos, etc..
cost range

Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $$

Cost Details:

Night train (sleeper & chair) Stockholm to Abisko Tourist (18hrs)
1 night STB
7 days trekking in all, slept in tent. Did not buy stuff at huts.
Supermarket food (dried sausages, bread, nuts, etc).
Night train (sleeper & chair) Kiruna to Stockholm
$140
$45
$0
$70
$100
Total $355

Excluded costs of reaching Sweden or stay in Stockholm & misc gear (maps, knife, sleeping bag, etc). 2017 Prices

You can also stay at the STF huts for around $50 per night (dorm bed) with full use of the facilities (kitchen, sauna, etc). Always best to bring your own linen (or pay an extra $6). You can cook your food in their kitchen or buy food from the hut store (expensive) and cook it yourself. They do not provide cooked meals. Only the provisions for you to prepare your own if you didn’t bring food. They also sell the usual hut junk (beer, coke, cookies, etc.).

 

See Kungsleden page for additional details, photos, etc..

 

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