King's Trail – Best Hike in the World!

The legendary “King’s Trail” in northern Sweden winds 442 Kilometres through the last true wilderness of Europe. Untouched and protected since the early 1900s, hikers find themselves in awe of this stunning Arctic landscape – the air so crisp, the low sunlight so icy blue, the majestic beauty of tundras, glaciers and emptiness.



Comfortable mountain huts a day’s hike apart make the King’s Trail an ideal challenge even for less experienced hikers.  

The Lapponian Gate (“Lapporten”)

Abisko Mountain Station is almost Sweden’s northernmost point –  it’s a great starting point for the northern sections of the King’s Trail. The scenery is gorgeous with views of the monumental u-shaped mountain formation “Lapporten” and grand lakes Torneträsk and Sjumilasjön.

View from the Tjäkta Pass

One of the best views of the King’s trail and a beautiful descent into a lush valley with endless flowing rivers and a fantastic backdrop of surrounding mountains.

Mount Kebnekaise

Climbing up Sweden’s highest mountain top, 2,111 metres, does not require mountaineering equipment. You can take a guided tour from Kebnekaise Mountain Station to to the southern peak.  On each side of the mountain flow the largest glaciers in Sweden – the top is actually part of a glacier, so the height constantly changes.

View over Sarek National Park

The trail from Teusajaure to Vakkotavare begins with a scenic boat crossing of lake Teusajaure. A long ascent leads to a grassy high mountain plateau with amazing views of the glacier filled mountains of Sarek National Park off in the distance.

It’s no surprise that the King’s Trail ranked #1 in the world by Peter Pottersfield, author who’s hiked 10,000 miles of trails over six continents.

View from Skierfe over Rapadalen

Skierfe is a mountain in Sarek National Park, its western wall is almost vertical and goes down to Rapa River and the Laitaure delta. Skierfe boasts a spectacular view of the river delta below and is a popular detour thanks to the easy hike to the top.

Kvikkjokk Village

The little mountain village Kvikkjokk at the river delta is home to some of the oldest history of the area. The village is a hub for hiking trails with unforgettable views of the Laponia National Parks. These parks have been completely untouched (not even a hut) for over a hundred years and are some of the rare places in Sweden where you can spot wild predators such as bears, wolves and lynx.


This lush u-shaped valley is beautifully framed by the steep walls of Vindelfjällen – the trail goes down the valley in a dramatic 10 km long corridor. Syterskalet is arguably the most awe-inspiring stretch of the southern King’s Trail.

Midnight sun & Aurora Borealis

One of the most memorable oddities of the far north is surely the Midnight Sun – sunlight around the clock! Great places to experience the midnight sun is the top of Kebnekaise, Abisko (end of May-mid July) or Kvikkjokk (early June-mid July).

Aurora Borealis may be visible from mid September to late April. Abisko is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Light. Read more: Aurora Sky station

Reindeer & Sami life

It is very likely to encounter lots of reindeer on the King’s Trail. They are migratory animals that cover vast areas of the mountains grazing lichens and grass. Sweden’s indigenous people, the Samis, have a deep rooted tradition of herding reindeer as their way of life. Sami culture and history permeate these lands and the mountain villages are good places to learn more.

Laponia National Parks

Laponia is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It’s a collective name for Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet and Padjelanta National Parks – hiking the King’s Trail is a great way to access them.

When to go

Hiking season on the King’s Trail lasts from mid June to mid September. The most popular month by far is August, when especially the northern parts of the trail can get pretty crowded. Many experienced hikers prefer September, it’s a little colder but far less busy and less mosquitos. Autumn colours on the King’s Trail are absolutely amazing.

Early season – mid June to mid July

In the land of the Midnight Sun, spring means endless daylight and snow-capped mountains in the distance. All the way into early July, you can expect lots of snow in the higher passes of the trail.

As summer arrives, melting winter snow feeds into gushing rivers that are safely crossed on sturdy suspension bridges. The ground can be quite wet, but with spring bursting through everywhere, it’s beautiful, bright green, and wet. Early season is suitable for more experienced hikers.

Peak season – mid July to late August

In the summer the mountains come alive with colours, scents and sounds. Any lingering snow should be gone and a pleasant warm breeze rolls through the mountains. It’s a magical time to hike the King’s Trail – rippling streams to quench your thirst, echoes of new offspring from the valleys, a mountain-side in full blossom.

Mosquitos during high season can however be terrible and the huts on the northern sections of the trail will be crowded. You do have a guaranteed place to sleep in the huts no matter what. Tip: Swedish schools start around Aug 20th – the trail will become significantly less crowded after.

Late season – September

In September, nights grow longer and if you’re really lucky you may see the Northern Lights. The mountains put on a truly spectacular autumn show! Birch leaves turn bright yellow and a rainbow of vibrant colors grace the mountain-side as far as the eye can see.

As temperatures along the trail drop, mosquitos disappear and the weather becomes somewhat unpredictable – snow and strong winds perhaps. By mid September the trail goes quiet and the Aurora Borealis may dance across the dark night sky for the brave and lucky few that are left in the Arctic wilderness.

Practical advice

Swedish Tourism Association (STF)

You will receive a considerable discount on staying in the mountain huts and some boat transports, if you become a member of the Swedish Tourism Association. Membership cost 345 SEK per person, or 550 SEK for a family. Become a member

During peak season a night in a large mountain station is app. 500-600 SEK per person, but 100 SEK cheaper if you’re a member of STF. These huts are like small villages with a shop, sauna and even a restaurant. You can pay for huts in advance online at a discount. Bookings are valid for any cabin within a 4 week period so you have lots of flexibility. Print the booking confirmation and show the cabin host.

Boat crossings vary in prices, for example Teusajaure is 150 SEK, with a 50 SEK discount if you are an STF member.

Mountain stations and cabins

There are sixteen STF mountain stations and cabins along the King’s Trail, located a day’s hike apart (10-20 km). The cabins are self-catered with a simple and cozy vibe. You cook your own food and help out fetching water, chopping wood and cleaning.  Kitchens are equipped with a propane stove, pots & pans, plates, mugs and utensils. Cabins are heated by wood or propane, there’s no electricity. 12 of the 16 cabins have shops selling food, some also have a restaurant. There is a cabin host present during summer and winter season.

Season: Mid february – early May, mid June – September (some exceptions)
Accommodation: Dorm style rooms (often 4 beds) with wide beds, mattress, pillow and duvet. Bring your own sheets/sleeping bag. You are always guaranteed a place to sleep.
Payment: Pay in advance on the STF website at a discount, or pay cash at the cabin. Some mountain huts also accept credit cards.

You can search all STF stations and cabins for information of when they are open, what facilities and activities they offer and how to book.

You will also find links to each cabin along the trail in the detailed description in Sections of the King’s Trail that follows below.


You are allowed to wild camp in most areas along the King’s Trail, but it can sometimes be difficult to find good places. Since there is no shortage of established camping areas where many hikers have camped before you, it’s unnecessary to damage the tundra for no reason.

Typically, there are great camping spots by any major water crossing. For a service fee of 100 Skr you can stay near a mountain station and get access to all their facilities. It’s a good idea to camp by a station every few days to dry out equipment and replenish food supply.

Boat crossings

There are multiple lakes along the King’s Trail that require crossing by boat. When hiking from Abisko to Kvikkjokk you need to cross Teusajaure, Langas, Sitojaure, and Laitaure. STF or locals operate boat taxis that typically run twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. Almost all mountain stations are located on the northern shore, which is why hiking the trail from north to south makes a lot of sense. Boat taxis are not cheap, and you need to pay in cash. If the boat taxi schedule doesn’t work for you at all, it is generally possible to book a transport in advance by phone.

Schedules and prices of boat transports are available in Swedish on STF’s site. It’s not too difficult to figure it out in spite of the language barrier: STF Båtar i fjällen

A cheaper and more flexible option is to use the row boats available for use at each lake. The traditional system is to have three boats on a lake, so that there is always at least one boat on each side. What this means is that if there’s only one boat on your side, you have to row across and tow a boat back before you can keep going. On a lake like Laitaure, at 4 km across, this could mean rowing up to 12 km, so it’s not for the faint of heart! Sometimes weather conditions make it dangerous to row, in which case a water taxi is a much better option.

North to South vs. South to North

Most hikers walk the trail from north to south. You will have the low-angled sunlight in your eyes the whole way so bring a cap, sun glasses and sunscreen. It’s generally easier to access the trail from the north and schedules for boat transports are better adapted for a north to south trekk.


The Outdoor Map (“Outdoorkartan”) is a series of topographical maps covering popular hiking routes in northern Sweden. Specific information for the mountains include marked summer and winter trails, mountain stations, resting huts and emergency phones.

The map is printed on durable and waterproof Polyart and the scale for northern Sweden is 1:75 000.

The King’s Trail is covered by six Outdoor Maps:

#1 Abisko  Kebnekaise  Nikkaluokta
#2 Nikkaluokta  Sarek  Saltoluokta
#3 Saltoluokta Padjelanta Kvikkjokk
#4 Kvikkjokk  Jäkkvik
#5 Jäkkvik  Ammarnäs
#6 Ammarnäs Hemavan Lill-Björkvattnet

Available for purchase from these online book stores:
Adventure Nordique


Bring appropriate Outdoor Maps, a compass and a whistle. A GPS is a great tool, but never ever neglect to bring a regular compass too. Cell phones do not have coverage in these mountain ranges. The northern part of the trail will be pretty busy during peak season and it’s safe to trekk solo. If you choose early or late season, or less populated sections of the trail, you should not hike alone.

All STF cabins have an emergency shelter for the off season – it’s typically an unlocked room with 2 to 4 beds, a wood burning stove and some kitchen utensils. You also have access to the woodshed and toilets. It’s not free, 250 Skr for non-member and 150 Skr for members, due to STF by bank transfer. If you are hiking in September, when many of the cabins close for the season, these shelters may be full as there are still hikers along the trail. Each STF cabin has an emergency phone that connects to local police.  

There are also several basic emergency shelters along the trail, mainly located at high altitudes. They are only to be used overnight in case of emergency, but they make great resting shelters in bad weather.


You will generally cross a stream or river every other hour or less. The water is safe to drink and it’s enough to bring a one liter water bottle.

Hiking the entire trail

Walking all of the King’s Trail will surely be one of the most memorable accomplishments of your life. It takes around a month, including several days for resting or detours. The best time to start is mid July and finish around mid August. Before and after you can expect a lot of snow in the higher passes of the trail, which may require special equipment. The obvious choice is to start in Abisko and head south.

A month staying in STF cabins will be very costly, so plan to camp mostly and treat yourself to a night in a cabin now and then. You cannot carry food for a month, stock up in the stores in Hemavan, Ammarnäs, Adolfström and Jäkkvik, as well as the STF cabin shops. You can also send food packages to STF Mountain Stations in the mail. Contact them in advance.  Plan a stop at the Saltoluokta station, it’s gorgeous and the restaurant serves an excellent three course dinner. The section between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs has few facilities, no STF cabins or shops.

Getting here

The most popular stretch of the King’s Trail is Abisko-Nikkaluokta. The obvious logistical benefit of starting at Abisko is the proximity to Kiruna –  a major hub for domestic connections. If you plan to hike the southern parts of the trail, Ammarnäs and Hemavan, it makes sense to start from Hemavan and head north.

There are six entry points to the King’s Trail from north to south:



Train or flight to Kiruna. Train or bus from Kiruna to Abisko.

Trains: SJ
Buses from Kiruna airport: Swedavia


Train or flight to Kiruna or Gällivare. Bus 92 from Kiruna to Nikkaluokta, alternatively bus 93 from Gällivare via Vakkotavare.

Trains: SJ
Connections from Kiruna airport: Kiruna Lapland
Buses: Nikkaluokta Express


Train or flight to Gällivare. Bus from Gällivare to Saltoluokta or Vakkotavare.

Trains: SJ
Buses: Flixbus


Train to Jokkmokk. Bus 47 from Jokkmokk to Kvikkjokk.

Trains: SJ
Buses: Länstrafiken Norrbotten


Train to Umeå or Östersund. Bus to Ammarnäs.

Trains: SJ
Buses: Länstrafiken Västerbotten


Direct flights from Stockholm to Hemavan, or bus. Alternatively flight or train to Umeå and then bus to Hemavan.

Bus from Stockholm: Flixbus
Local bus: Länstrafiken Västerbotten

What to bring

A good mindset when planning what to bring for a summertime hike in northern Sweden is 0 – 5 degrees Celsius, rain and very windy. Hopefully it will be all sunshine and warm weather! However, there are some high passes and if your goal is to be comfortable in these conditions you can’t go wrong.

Sections of the King's Trail

The Swedish Tourist Association also provides detailed information of the different sections of the King’s Trail: STF Kungsleden

#1 Abisko – Nikkaloukta

Distance/duration of this section: 108 km / 6-7 days

This area is mountains and Arctic tundra as far as the eye can see. The landscape is varied with grand plateaus, moor-covered hills, lake systems, gushing rivers and high snow-clad peaks. The hike begins through a majestic landscape towards the highest point at “Tjäktapasset”, and mainly trails above the alpine tree line. The lower altitudes of your first and last days allow for mountain birch forests. STF has five mountain stations/huts along the trail as well as the Kebnekaise Mountain Station.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Abisko – STF Abiskojaure

Distance/duration: 15 km / 4 – 6 hours Altitudes: 380 – 490 meters

STF Abisko Mountain Station has its own train station and is located almost as far north as Sweden goes. The scenery at Abisko is magnificent – grand lakes “Sjumilasjön” and “Torneträsk” to the north, and the monumental u-shaped mountain formation “Lapporten” to the south-east. The unique flora, fauna and geology of Abisko National Park has been protected since 1909 and the wild canyon of Abiskojokk attracts scores of visitors every year. You can start or finish the King’s Trail at Abisko, and many choose to spend several days here to enjoy day hikes, delicious food, wood fired saunas or excellent offpist skiing.

Make sure to load up with a gourmet meal and lots of information before you head south from Abisko. The hike starts off easy through the birch forests and moorlands of Abisko National Park, you may spot mountain orchids along the trail. After a few kilometres you will reach a resting area next to the steep golden white rock formation “Marmorbrottet”. There are tables and restrooms, and the view of the Abiskojokk canyon and surrounding mountains is stunning.

The trail continues with a moderate ascent towards lake Abiskojaure, to the east you see the huge mountain Giron. Once you have passed river Kamajåkka on a suspension bridge you are almost at the next mountain station. Close to the huts is a nice sandy beach perfect for swimming.  

Note! You are only permitted to camp in designated areas inside Abisko National Park.

STF Abisko Mountain Station
STF Abiskojaure Mountain Cabin

STF Abiskojaure – STF Alesjaure

Distance/duration: 21 km / 6 – 8 hours Altitudes: 490 – 780 meters

Your day starts amongst mountain birch trees, but soon the trail leads uphill past the tree line and at “Kieronbacken” you can expect a steep ascent. A vast lake system becomes visible to the east. At times the trail will be rocky, but once you reach higher altitudes it mainly crosses grass and moorlands.

After some time you reach a series of mountain lakes, and at the last one “Alesjaure”, you can opt for a boat taxi (mid June-early Sep). This will shorten the hike by 4 kilometres. You find the STF mountain cabins in a beautiful location on a hill towards the southern end of lake Alesjaure.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Alesjaure Mountain Cabin

STF Alesjaure – STF Tjäkta

Distance/duration: 13 km / 4 – 5 hours Altitudes: 780 – 1 000 meters

The section between Alesjaure and Tjäkta is mountain hiking at its very best – the Arctic tundra is surrounded by majestic mountains and glaciers, and the hike is easy and lush with lots of bird life. This will be a day full of small and grand experiences.

Below STF Alesjaure Mountain Station is a bridge over “Alesätno”, and you follow this mighty river as it meanders through the delta. You are surrounded by high mountains, but the hike is easy. You can expect rich bird life along this stretch. The trail continues with a slight ascent across moorlands and grassy meadows. There is a bridge to cross as well as an easy wading spot. As you get closer to the STF Tjäkta Mountain Station, the trail becomes steep and rocky. The huts are located on the other side of the river across the bridge.  

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Tjäkta Mountain Cabin

STF Tjäkta – STF Sälka

Distance/duration: 12 km / 3 – 5 hours Altitudes: 835 – 1 000 meters

If you like grand vistas this section of the trail is for you! As you pass through the high mountain pass “Tjäktjapasset”, a massive landscape of lush valleys opens up below. The view is spectacular. This is the highest point of the King’s Trail, 1,150 meters, and hiking through wet snow is not unusual. There is a hut for resting and just down below the pass you find the best camping spots.  

After a rocky and steep descent you reach the beginning of “Tjäktjavagge” – a wall of mountains, 30 kilometres long, along the western side of the valley. The trail goes on the eastern side of the wide river that runs through the valley towards STF Sälka Mountain Station. Sälka is a good base camp for climbing mountain peaks in the area, e.g. “Sockertoppen”.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Sälka Mountain Station

STF Sälka – STF Singi

Distance/duration: 12 km / 3 – 4 hours Altitudes: 720 – 835 meters

The trail between the mountain huts at Sälka and Singi is arguably the most beautiful and awe-inspiring that Swedish mountains have to offer. You are surrounded by impressive peaks, precipitous mountain walls and vast glaciers as you trekk across lush moorlands. The easy trail takes you through the Tjäktjavagge valley and many hikers choose their own route across the tundra. You will experience truly majestic vistas of “Drakryggen” and the northern top of Kebnekaise.

There are plenty of resting and camping spots along the trail, and there is a simple shelter at “Kuoperjåkka” in the event of bad weather. The trail crosses multiple rivers on wooden bridges, and leading up to the STF Singi Mountain Station it gets windy and rocky. Close to Singi there is a Sami settlement with reindeer pens and Sami style tipis. Read more about Sami culture:

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Singi Mountain Cabin

STF Singi – STF Kebnekaise

Distance/duration: 15 km / 4 – 6 hours Altitudes: 650 – 720 meters

This is a detour from the King’s Trail. The trekk from the Singi huts to the STF Kebnekaise Station is narrow and dramatic, and several of Sweden’s best mountaineering routes are found here, e.g. “Siluetten” up “Toulpagorni”. The landscape around here is exciting! A slight ascent for the first kilometres leads to lake Lassajaure and a beautiful valley where views are spectacular in both directions.

The trail continues east through an impressive pass amidst the rough steep walls of Singitjåkka and Skárttoaivi. Once through the narrow part of the valley, the landscape opens up and the last kilometres towards the STF Kebnekaise Station are partly rocky terrain.  Weather allowing, you can take a guided tour from the station to the southern top of Kebnekaise. Read more about guided tours: STF Activities

Tip: If your are on a longer trekk you can skip Nikkaluokta village and walk back to the Singi huts and then STF kilometres leads to lake Lassajaure and a beautiful valley where views are spectacular in both directions.

STF Kebnekaise – Nikkaluokta

Distance /duration: 19 km / 5 – 7 hours Altitudes: 470 – 650 meters

The trail goes east from STF Kebnekaise Station and crosses river Tarfalajåkka past the glaciers in the Tarfala valley. The trekk continues on a slightly descending rocky path with lots of foot bridges. Birch forests grow denser as the altitude drops.

You can opt to take a boat ride that will shorten the hike by 6 kilometres. Boat traffic is run by locals and there are several scheduled crossings daily. At the jetty you will find a coffee tipi and “Lap Dånalds” (a play on McD) serving up reindeer burgers. If you choose to hike instead, the last section of the trail is a narrow, rocky road. You will end up in the village Nikkaluokta where you can find a shop and a restaurant.

#2 Nikkaloukta – Vakkotavare

Distance/duration of the section: 72 km / 5 days

Nikkaluokta is a small mountain village at the end of the world, about 70 km east of Kiruna. This area has been settled by nomadic Samis for thousands of years, and the first permanent homes were built in Nikkaluokta in the early 1900s.

The village is situated in a beautiful little spot where three valleys coalesce. Nikkaluokta is a detour from the King’s Trail, but the village is an important hub for starting or ending your hike.  There is a restaurant, shop, accommodation, helicopter pad, chapel and art gallery here. Daily bus connections Kiruna – Nikkaluokta run during hiking season. Read more: Nikkaluokta

This is a beautiful trekk mostly along the King’s trail – you will join the trail at the STF Singi huts. This section covers Nikkaluokta to STF Vakkotavare Station, but almost all hikers finish by taking a buss from Vakkotavare to STF Saltoluokta Station. After hiking through mainly birch forest, you reach STF Kebnekaise Mountain Station on your first day.  You can opt to shorten the hike 6 km by using boat transport to cross the lake. If you plan to stay here a couple of nights you can take a guided tour to the southern top of Kebnekaise.  The trail continues west towards the impressive pass through the steep rough walls of Singitjåkka och Skárttoaivi mountains.  The valley opens up before you reach the STF Singi huts and the view is amazing. An easy hike through a majestic landscape along gushing river Tjäktjajåkka leads to the STF Kaitum huts.  

The next day is quite mountainous with steep ascents and descents towards the cabins at lake Teusajaure. The short hike trails through birch forests and up above the tree-line. The last day begins once you have crossed lake Teusajaure, boats leave in the morning and the afternoon. There are also three row boats, but note that you always have to leave one row boat on your side, sometimes making it necessary to tow a boat back first. On the other side of the lake you enter Stora Sjöfallet National Park, one of the national parks included in the collective name “Laponia”.

The trail ascends quite steeply and if the sky is clear you get an amazing view of the glacier filled mountains of Sarek National Park (another Laponia park). After a steep descent you reach STF Vakkotavare Station, situated right next to the bus station. The Saltoluokta Mountain Station is larger than Vakkotavare with more facilities and most hikers choose to continue there by bus.

Note! If you are on a long trekk you still have to take the bus from STF Vakkotavare to STF Saltoluokta and continue the trail from there.

Sarek National Park
Stora Sjöfallet National Park

Nikkaluokta – STF Kebnekaise

Distance /duration: 19 km / 5 – 7 hours Altitudes: 470 – 650 meter

The trail goes east from STF Kebnekaise Station and crosses river Tarfalajåkka past the glaciers in the Tarfala valley. The trekk continues on a slightly descending rocky path with lots of foot bridges. Birch forests grow denser as the altitude drops.

You can opt to take a boat ride that will shorten the hike by 6 kilometres. Boat traffic is run by locals and there are several scheduled crossings daily. At the jetty you will find a coffee tipi and “Lap Dånalds” (a play on McD) serving up reindeer burgers. If you choose to hike instead, the last section of the trail is a narrow, rocky road. You will end up in the village Nikkaluokta where you can find a shop and a restaurant.

STF Kebnekaise – STF Singi

Distance /duration: 15 km / 4 – 6 hours Altitudes 650 – 720 meters

The trail from STF Kebnekaise to the Singi huts goes through the narrow and precipitous part of Laddjuvagge. Many classic mountaineering routes are found in this area and the landscape is really exciting. The first kilometres are rocky terrain, followed by hiking west towards the dramatic pass through the steep rough mountain walls of Singitjåkka and Skárttoaivi.

The valley opens up before reaching the STF Singi huts and views in both directions are impressive to say the least. The trail continues to lake Lassajaure before descending towards the Singi Huts, and the King’s Trail.

STF Singi – STF Kaitumjaure

Distance /duration: 13 km / 4 – 6 hours Altitudes: 620 – 720 meters

This is an easy hike along river Tjäktjajåkka down to its outlet in lake Kaitumjaure. The trail goes through an old Sami settlement and you can spot remains of tipis, mounds and reindeer fencing in the area.  You start in a hilly terrain followed by flat heather-covered tundra. Altitude variations are small for this section. The first 10 km offer many great resting spots with water accessible pretty much everywhere. The trail gets harder after passing the bridge 3 km north of STF Kaitumjaure, lots of the path from here is food bridges.

Mountain peak Sanjartjåkka, west of STF Kaitumjaure, boasts a fantastic view. There is a box at the top with a guest book. The host at the mountain station can give you advice on where to go.  The plateau in the western part of Kaukulvagge has lots of remains from old Sami settlements. Fishing around here is great! Buy a fishing license in advance and bring equipment.

STF Kaitumjaure – STF Teusajaure

Distance/duration: 10 km / 3 – 5 hours Altitudes: 500 – 620 meters

A beautiful hike mainly above the tree-line. The view is majestic and with clear skies you can glimpse Sarek National Park. The trail starts off easy and crosses river Kaitumjåkka on a bridge. The terrain gets rockier on the other side of the bridge, and the path ascends past the tree line where some areas may be wet.

There is a Sami tipi appr 4 km south of STF Kaitumjaure close to the trail. The tipi was renovated in the 1900s and functions as a temporary shelter. After about a km you reach the highest point of this section at 780 meters, followed by a steep descent towards lake Teusajaure.

There is a waterfall here reminiscent of a tropical paradise. Veils of water fall down the mountain on rocky steps and lands in lush vegetation.  The path down to STF Teusajaure is steep and difficult especially if it’s raining.

STF Teusajaure – STF Vakkotavare

Distance/duration: 15 km / 5-7 hours Altitudes: 470 – 500 meters

The day starts with a boat ride across the lake. Experienced rowers may use the row boats, but be aware that this lake is difficult to cross in certain weather conditions. On the other side you enter Stora Sjöfallet National Park (part of Lapponia) and you can expect a moderately easy hike, however with large variations in altitude. The trail starts with a long ascent through birch forests up past the tree line. There is a fissure in the rocks next to a stream 5 km up the trail that can be used as shelter. Hike upstream past the bridge until the landscape flattens and the trail crosses vast moorlands.

There is a great spot to camp or rest with great views at the tree line 1,5 km above STF Vakkotavare. The path meanders through birch forest down to the mountain station and the main road.

#3 Saltoluokta – Kvikkjokk

Distance/duration of the section: 73 km / 4 days

The King’s Trail stretches 70 km from Saltoluokta to Kvikkjokk. It’s an exciting borderland between the high peaks of Sarek and a forested landscape to the east. The trail crosses open moors, sparse mountain forests and grand lakes. You can take a detour into Sarek National Park.

Hiking south from Saltoluokta the trail passes beautiful plains of brushwood, willows and the odd mountain birch. Stay the night in the STF Sitojaure hut and continue across lake Sitojaure by boat in the morning. Here you can choose to take the popular detour to the top of Skierfe for a truly spectacular view of the Rapa valley. STF has two huts in Aktse at the mouth of the Rapa valley, about half-way between  Saltoluokta and Kvikkjokk. It’s definitely worth it to spend an extra day or two here. You can go for day trekks into Sarek National Park, delve deeper into Sami and mountain farmer culture and history, or simply experience the calm and beauty of the surroundings. The trail towards STF Kvikkjokk continues across more lakes, up past the tree line and through very old pine forests. Rivers Tarra and Kamajåkkå meet at Kvikkjokk and it’s a great place to rent a canoe or go for a boat ride up the delta.

The STF Saltoluokta Mountain Station is located between the mighty Sarek mountains by lake Langas – an oasis of tranquility and comfort with gourmet food. The closest road is only 3 km away, but you are in fact very far from civilisation. The station is only accessible by boat or skis across the lake.

Saltoluokta is surrounded by world heritage Laponia parks Sarek, Padjelanta and Stora Sjöfallet. After your hike you can enjoy a three course dinner with delicacies from the north.  The kitchen at STF Saltoluokta take pride in using almost exclusively local ingredients. Sami traditions are very much alive in Saltoluokta. Next to the station you will find a Sami settlement with a beautiful church tipi and 6 km down the trail, the Kuoljok family has their tipis next to lake Pietsaure.

STF Saltoluokta – STF Sitojaure

Distance/duration: 19 km / 6 – 8 hours Altitudes: 390–630 meters

The trekk begins through the primeval forests around STF Saltoluokta. Soon pine trees become birch trees and the trail ascends steeply for 3 km past the tree line – the view to the west is majestic.  The path continues without any major altitude variations across heather-covered moors to the shelter at Autsutjvagge, and then towards the highest point of this section, 775 meters. You walk below the steep eastern wall of Sjäksjo, before reaching the STF Sitojaure. The hut is situated in beautiful spot on the northern shore of lake Sitojaure next to a Sami settlement.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Saltoluokta Mountain Station
STF Sitojaure Mountain Cabin

STF Sitojaure – STF Aktse

Distance/duration: 10 km / 3 – 5 hours Altitudes: 630 – 540 meters

The day starts with a boat ride across lakes Kaskajaure and Kåbtajaure. The trail starts at the jetty in Svine, where there is a resting hut. The first kilometres through birch forests are easy with some foot bridges.

Once past the tree line, the path ascends steeply towards the highest point where, after rounding Tåresåive, you can expect a gorgeous view of the Rapa valley and glacier-filled Sarek mountains. The famous peak Skierfe is the foreground.

Weather allowing, you can take a detour up Skierfe. This is a favorite for photographers, and   the view of the Rapa valley and Sarek is truly amazing from here. It’s difficult to find water past the tree line, so plan your break and bring water from below. The trail descends steeply through primeval forests to the STF Aktse Mountain Hut.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Aktse Mountain Cabin

STF Aktse – STF Pårte

Distance/duration: 22 km / 8 – 10 hours Altitudes: 540 – 500 meters

The long trekk starts after taking a row boat or a motor boat across lake Laitaure. After an easy 5 km through the vast forest, you reach Sarek National Park. Sarek is the largest alpine mountain range in Sweden and you will find true wilderness here.

There is a shelter, Rittak, after a short but steep ascent up the mountain, in the borderland between forest and barren mountain. You are in Sarek now and special rules apply. Continue towards the pass through Faunaåive and Huornatj. before descending towards the STF Pårte Hut. This stretch can be difficult in wet conditions. The last kilometres passes through beautiful primeval pine forests with lots of animal life.

STF Pårte – STF Kvikkjokk

Distance/duration: 17 km / 6 – 8 hours Altitudes: 500 – 320 meters

The trail goes south though vast forests. After passing the bridge across river Tjåltajåkka, the path gets rocky and difficult. The stretch along lake Stuor Tata is very beautiful. If you are resting or camping during mosquito season, find a spot close to the lake.

Continue past the Pårek Sami settlement on a path that’s been trampled for hundreds of years. If interested in birds, you are recommended to take a detour to the Pårek plain. The tiny lakes and bogs attracts vast amounts of wading shorebirds.

The last kilometres down to STF Kvikkjokk Mountain Station are easy, except for the hills around “Tingstallstenen”, where the path can turn into a stream in persistent rains. The “Tingstall” Rock used to be a gathering point for court proceedings in the days of yore.

Kvikkjokk Village

Kvikkjokk is another little mountain village at the end of world. Its situated by lake Saggat, where Kamajåkkå and Tarraälven meet in a massive river delta. STF has deep roots here, much because for a long time Sulitelma was thought to be Sweden’s highest mountain. The very first trails were prepared in 1887 along Sjnjierák and Valle – these are still unforgettable day hikes with views of Sarek. STF Kvikkjokk is a great hub for summer and winter trips.

Heading north along the King’s Trail you will reach STF Saltoluokta, STF Kebnekaise and STF Abisko.  The trekk goes south via Jäkkvik towards Ammarnäs and Hemavan, or west into Sarek National Park. It’s necessary to bring a tent and food along these sections. Sarek and the Tarra valley is one of the rare places in Sweden where you can spot wild predators. A few days further west you enter Padjelantas National Park. The mountain station offers expert advice on hiking and mountaineering routes.

#4 Kvikkjokk – Ammarnäs

Distance/duration of the section: 165 km / 8 – 10 days

The section between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs is the least used by hikers along the King’s Trail. You have to pitch a tent several nights, but the views are majestic – especially in Pieljekaise National Park. August and September are the best months for this stretch, when the mosquitos disappear and the a rainbow of autumn colours cover the landscape. The hike is strenuous with many ascents up plateaus and descents into river valleys. This area, unlike the rest of the King’s Trail, is sparsely populated with homesteads and cabins. There are a few lakes to cross by boat.  

Svaipa bird sanctuary is of special interest to ornithologists, and the trail across the prairie like plains of Björkfjället offer beautiful views. The final trekk towards Ammarnäs goes along a mountain ridge with fantastic views of the river valley below.  

The hike can be shortened by starting or finishing in Jäkkvik or Adolfström.

This section requires camping, but there is accommodation available in a few places:

STF Kvikkjokk Mountain Station

#5 Ammarnäs – Hemavan

Distance/duration of the section: 78 km / 6 days

Ammarnäs is a mountain village in between the valleys of rivers Vindelån and Tjulåns.

The Vindelfjällen mountains have the densest population of reindeers in Sweden. Ammarnäs is a main settlement for Samis in the area. There is a chapel and a Sami church village, and around Ammarnäs you will find great fishing waters where you can catch trout, char, graylings or whitefish. The mighty river Vindelälven used to be trafficked by pioneers following the trading routes towards Norway. These days it’s an exciting hiking trail instead – off the beaten track with few hikers.  

Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve begins at Ammarnäs – it’s one of the largest protected areas of Europe. At Naturum in Ammarnäs you will find an exhibition of the geology, flora, faune and climate of the Vindelfjällen mountains.  

Ammarnäs  – STF Aigert

Distance/duration: 8 km / 2 – 3 hours Altitudes: 410 – 750 meters

This is a short hike, just 8 km, but the ascent is steep. As you get close to the tree line, you will experience one of the best vistas of the King’s Trail – the vast landscape stretching out to the north.

The trail starts in Ammarnäs by the bridge across river Vindelälven. After a few hundred meters of gravel road, the path continues through birch forest. Half-way towards the tree line, the trail heads west with a beautiful view of the river delta below. The STF Aigert Mountain Station is located just past the tree line on a hill next to a little lake. If you choose to camp, there are great spots on the other side of the lake.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Aigert Mountain Cabin

STF Aigert – STF Serve

Distance/duration: 19 km / 5 – 7 hours Altitudes: 750 – 700 meters

The STF Aigert and STF Serve cabins have almost the same altitude – that does not mean that the landscape is flat. On the contrary, you will pass the highest point of the King’s Trail south of Kebnekaise.  

The trail from STF Aigert follows a stream up to Lill-Aigert, where a breath-taking view of Tjulträsket follows. The hike continues towards the highest point at Juovvatjåhkka, where you will find a resting cabin. Weather allowing, you can take a detour to the top of mountain Stor-Aigerts.

The path descends quite steeply to the plateau below, before ascending again towards Vuomatjhkka resting shelter. The day ends with a long downhill hike through bitch forest.  After a few km you pass the bridge across Servvejuhkka, where there is a beautiful waterfall, before reaching STF Serve cabin. If you choose to camp, there are nice spots west of STF Serve, and by river Servvejuhkka.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Serve Cabin

STF Serve – STF Tärnasjö

Distance/duration: 14 km / 4 – 5 hours Altitudes: 700 – 610 meters

This stretch crosses lots of hills but is an easy hike. The day ends with a descent through birch forests to lake Tärnasjön and STF Tärnasjö Mountain Hut. There are great fishing waters along this trail.

The trekk begins through sparse birch forests before ascending past the tree-line. Half-way you reach the highest point of 900 meters, after a steep descent the path continues in flat boggy terrain. A windy trail through the valley and many little lakes follows. Eventually the trail descends into birch forests. The final stretch is a long descent to STF Tärnasjö Mountain Cabin. Close-by you will find Lake Tärnasjön – great for swimming and fishing.  

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Tärnasjö Mountain Cabin

STF Tärnasjö – STF Syter

Distance/duration: 14 km / 4 – 5 hours Altitudes: 610 – 700 meters

An easy hike crossing the unique archipelago of lake Tärnasjön on multiple bridges. The trail continues uphill past the tree line to STF Syter Mountain Hut – one of the most scenic locations of any cabin along the King’s Trail.

The hike starts through birch forest along the eastern shore of lake Tärnasjön, partly across boggy terrain with foot bridges. Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect. The southern end of lake Tärnasjön is an archipelago of hundreds little islands. Bird life here is interesting!. The path crosses the lake on seven bridges.

From the last bridge it’s 4 km to STF Syter. The trail ascends steeply through the bitch forest followed by flat terrain. In the distance, you can glimpse the northern peak of the Syter mountain 1,768 meters. Mountain hikers have been coming here since 1923, when the first STF cabin was built in the area.

STF Syter – STF Vinterskalet

Distance/duration: 12 km / 3 – 4 hours Altitudes: 700 – 880 meters

This stretch is dominated by “Syterskalet”, a 10 km long corridor amidst black grey steep mountain walls. This lush u-shaped valley is the most spectacular passage along the southern part of the King’s Trail.

You cross a small stream west of STF Syter and the path continues with a steep ascent up Sjul-Olsaxeln mountain. Then the trail leads down to a road crossing, choose “Syterskalet”. Hiking through the lush valley, so beautifully framed by the steep walls of Vindelfjällen, is arguably the most impressive experience of the southern King’s Trail.

Once you reach the western mouth of the valley, the path follows small river Syterbäcken south to STF Viterskalet Mountain Hut. There is also a another route from STF Syter to STF Viterskalet, that passes the northern top of the Syter mountains, 1,768 meters. You should be a very experienced hiker and have great weather conditions to opt for this route.

Note! There are significant amounts of reindeers in the area, please show respect.

STF Viterskalet Mountain Cabin

STF Vinterskalet – Hemavan

Distance/duration: 11 km / 3 hours Altitudes: 880 – 460 meters

From the Viterskalet hut you hike south east between a stream and Södra Sytertoppens mountain. The trail follows the rippling stream and after a few km a slight ascent past the odd birch tree takes you to the Hemavan skiing area. From here you can choose several paths, most hikers take the long route that ends at Hemavan Naturum – the southern entry point of the King’s Trail.

Hemavan is located along the large Umeälven river, which winds like a corridor through the  Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve. Hemavan is an alpine centre in the winter with many skiing slopes as well as kids areas. In the summer water activities are popular, e.g. fishing trout or char, canoeing or rowing. There are endless possibilities cycling and mountain biking in the area – anything from easy and relaxing to steep and exciting.

Mountain stations

Details for the largest mountain stations along the route. You can ship supplies to these stations and all of them serve food and offer a range of activities.

STF Abisko Mountain Station

Website and bookings: Aurora Sky Station
Phone +46 10 190 23 60
Open year-round, limited service during parts of the year.
Accommodation: There are 350 beds and several types of accommodation, Single or double rooms with or without shower/wc, or dorm style rooms with shared shower and wc. There are also self-catered cabins for 4–6 persons.
Food: Restaurant Kungsleden is included in the White Guide and has a KRAV 2 certification. Inspiration comes from Lappland cuisine with emphasis on organic and local ingredients.  
Guides, shop equipment rental, sauna, self-catered cooking, camping spots.
Summertime – Midnight Sun hikes, Aurora Sky Station, crawling through caves, watercolour course, day hikes to Kärkevagge och lake Trollsjön.Wintertime – Aurora Sky Station, Aurora Borealis hikes, snow shoe hikes, ice climbing, cross-country skiing, offpist skiing, avalanche rescue courses.
Daily train connections from Stockholm, Göteborg, Kiruna or Narvik to our train station.  Flight to Kiruna or Narvik and then bus, taxi or rental car.  (check bus schedule before booking flights). Road E10.

STF Kebnekaise Mountain Station

Website and bookings: STF Kebnekaise
Phone +46 10 190 23 60
March-April, mid June – September
2 bed, 4 bed, or dorm rooms. Shared shower/wc. 220 beds. Food: Restaurant Elsa serves breakfast, lunch and dinner à la carte with specialties from Lappland, classic Swedish dishes and home baked bread. Also serves alcohol. Services: Shop, bakery, equipment rental, guides, sauna, self-catered cooking. Activities: Summertime – mountaineering courses, guided tours to Sweden’s highest mountain peak, glacier hikes, flora hikes. Other attractions include the giant pots at Ladtjojåkka, the Silver waterfall in Singivagge, and Kittel and Tarfala valleys.Wintertime – courses in alpine ski touring and ice climbing, guided skiing trips. Experienced offpist skiers head to Jökelbäcken, Storglaciären or Hydrologrännan. Cross-country skiers find routes in the Tarfala valley or the Singi huts.
Train/flight to Kiruna. Bus to Nikkaluokta, followed by 19 km of hiking/skiing. Option for boat transport  5 km in the summer and snow mobile in the winter.

STF Saltoluokta Mountain Station

Website and bookings: STF Saltoluokta
Phone +46 10 190 23 60
March-April, mid June-September.
Main building and four guest houses, in total 100 beds. Double rooms, 4 bed rooms and dorms. Some double rooms with shower/wc. The rest share showers and wc in a service building.
Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner including fish and game from the mountains and berries from the forest.  Serves alcohol.
Services: shop, equipment rental, guides, sauna, self-catered cooking.
Guided wilderness hikes, midnight sun boat trips in the Luleälv river valley. Fishing, family friendly with theme weeks, folk music week.  Communications: Train/flight to Gällivare. Daily buses Gällivare–Kebnats, followed by a 10 minute boat ride in the summer and 3 km on skis in the winter.

STF Kvikkjokk Mountain Station

Website and bookings: STF Kvikkjokk
Phone: +46 971 210 22
Mid February – end April. Mid June to end of September.
68 beds in 2 bed and 4 bed rooms. Shared shower and wc.
Food: Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, self-catered cooking.
Services: Shop. Equipment and canoe rental.
Canoeing, guided delta tours.
Train to Murjekor flight to Gällivare or Luleå. Bus via Jokkmokk to Kvikkjokk.

STF Hemavan Mountain Station

Website and bookings: STF Hemavan
Phone: +46 954 300 07
96 beds, 2 and 4 bed rooms.
Restaurant serving breakfast year-round.
STF Hemavan Mountain Station is a homey alternative for solo guests, families and groups with many communal areas.
Flight from Stockholm, train Stockholm-Vännäs-Hemavan, inlandsbanan train juni-aug, lapplandspilen from Stockholm, bus from Umeå.