Kungsleden is the mountains' most famous hiking, skiing and snowmobile trails. It goes from Hemavan in the south to Abisko in the north 45 mil. In between, there is a extremely varying terrain that offers good hiking whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner. The season for hiking usually be from late June to September.
The King’s Trail is 450 km long and runs between Hemavan in the south and Abisko in the north.
STF (Swedish Tourist Association) has five mountain cabins between Hemavan and Ammarnäs a distance of 75km.
TO BE A GUEST IN A MOUNTAIN CABIN
Guests of the self-catering cabins are required to chop fire wood, cook on the wood-fired stove, fetch water, wash up and clean. Bunk beds, mattresses, pillows and blankets are provided in the dormitories but guests are required to bring their own bedsheets or sleeping bag. It is not possible to book in advance but the cabin steward will allocate beds so that every one will have a place to sleep. Credit cards are accepted. Items such as tinned food, rice, pasta, mashed potato, soups, bread, sliced meats/cheese, sweets and light drinks are on sale and there is also camping stove fuel, local maps and mosquito repellent. We make sure all these items are available at the cabins so you can enjoy the mountains in full, without being burdened by having to carry rations when hiking between the cabins.
There is a hostel warden during the summer and winter seasons. Contact STF for the exact dates. Emergency accommodation open all the year round. No electricity.
All of this section Hemavan - Ammarnäs, of the trail is within the Vindelfjällen mountain nature reserve apart from the first and last couple of kilometres. The whole extent of it can be found on the AC2 mountain map. This section of the trail is very suitable for a one-week hiking tour between the five overnight cottages. The landscape is very variable, ranging from easily-walked high-mountain plateau country with expansive views to wilder high alpine landscapes in the west. Somewhere in between is the long, deep lake Tärnasjön in the topmost mountain birch forest. We shall describe here the sector from Hemavan in the south to Ammarnäs in the northwest. Of course it is just as good a choice to walk the King’s Trail in the opposite direction, starting at Ammarnäs and finishing at Hemavan.
HEMAVAN - VITERSKALSTUGAN HOSTEL 11 km
The King’s Trail starts off from Naturum at Fjällparken with a fine broad road up through the mountain birch forest. After about 100 metres you pass an entrance to the Mountain Botanical Garden. After 1 km there is a magnificent view over the deep ravine of Mortsbäcken brook. Another kilometre further on you reach bare mountain above the tree line where the view opens out for miles and miles to encompass features that include Artfjället mountain and the mountains of the Norwegian frontier. In the summer, to avoid having to walk the first part of the route up through the birch forest you can take the chair-lift Norrliften. At the suspension bridge across Syterbäcken brook, 7 km from Hemavan, the trail is joined by another trail from Klippen. It is then an easy walk, with no upward slope, on to Viterskalstugan hostel.
Viterskalstugan hostel is the first overnight accomodation on the King’s Trail counting from Hemavan, 11 km. It is picturesquely situated at the bottom of the Syterbäcken brook’s narrow valley. New cottage built in 2001 with 24 beds in 8-bed rooms and four-bed rooms. In winter there are waffles in the old cottage. Kitchen, drying room and laundry room. Service building for day-visitors and campers. Food supplies on sale during the season. Emergency solar-cell telephone. The summit of N. Sytertoppen can be climbed by a marked trail from Viterskalstugan. Steep at times, 900 metres height difference. Another excursion is to wade the Syterbäcken brook and go into the Viterskalet valley to Måskosjaure. A very easy hike, flat green meadows and small glacial lakes surrounded by vertical precipices.
VITERSKALSTUGAN HOSTEL - SYTERSTUGAN HOSTEL 12 km
After Viterskalstugan comes the majestic U-shaped Syterskalet valley. One of the most intensive experiences offered by the Swedish mountain world is a hike between 800-metre precipices close in
on both sides. A very easy walk via 6 km of grassy heathland to the eastern outlet. There is a windbreak at the reindeer herdsman’s cottage. Then up and across Sjul-Olsaxeln and down to Syterstugan cottage on the other side of the bridge over Vuoppejukke brook.
Syterstugan, 22 km along the King’s Trail from Hemavan, is the second overnight accomodation. It is very attractively situated below the summit of Norra Sytertoppen, 1768 metres above sea level. The large building has 22 beds and is similar to the other four hostels on the route to Ammarnäs. Emergency telephone. During the low season the large accommodation building is locked up, but the old cottage with its 2 x 4 beds is always open. The Syterstugan hostel also has a marked trail leading up to the summit of N. Sytertoppen, 1768 metres above sea level. A relatively testing day’s march. Other suitable destinations for a day excursion are to the East Syter glacier, 5 km one way, or up along Vuopperjukke to the reindeer herdsman’s locked tent hut. Or to walk the trail down to Forsavan and the King’s cottage. An 8000 year-old Stone Age dwelling was found in the vicinity during the summer of 1993.
SYTERSTUGAN HOSTEL - TÄRNASJÖSTUGAN HOSTEL 14 km
Lake Tärnasjön, almost 20 km long, has a wealth of tiny islets bunched together at its lower end. A system of bridges between the islets makes it possible to traverse the lake. The trail then follows the eastern lake shore through mountain birch forest in hillocky terrain. A majestic panorama of the lake with the steep N Storfjället mountain slope and glaciers on the other side. Angling in lake Tärnasjön is permitted to those having a general county administrative board fishing licence.
Tärnasjöstugan hostel has 22 beds and sells food supplies during the season. During the off-season a room is open in the county administrative board’s cabin. It has 4 tourist beds. There is an emergency telephone. Down at the lake there is a much-appreciated luxury - a wood-fired sauna which can be booked via the hostel warden.
TÄRNASJÖSTUGAN HOSTEL - SERVESTUGAN HOSTEL 14 km
Go up 4 km along the old trade route through park-like mountain birch forest to the bare mountain area above the tree line. A hundred years or so ago this road was used by the peasantry from Ammarnäs when they wanted to trade with Norway. Patches of the old road are still to be seen with paved terraces. Once up on the bare mountain the view looking back over the Norra Storfjäll massif is magnificent. The general county administrative board fishing licence is valid for angling in a number of the tarns. A few more kilometres on the bare mountain bring the hiker to Servestugan.
Servestugan too has 22 beds and sells food supplies. A small cabin with 4 beds is always open. Emergency telephone. On a small plateau some hundred metres or so above the hostel is an old reindeer pasture-ground where reindeer used to be gathered together for milking and inspection.
Reindeer milk used to be kept in a milk cellar, which can still be seen. Another interesting evening excursion is to walk a few hundred metres along Servejukke to admire a long system of small and pretty waterfalls rising in steps.
SERVESTUGAN HOSTEL – AIGERTSTUGAN HOSTEL 19 km
Two km down to a bridge across Vuomejukke and a majestic waterfall. Another 2 km to the bare mountain above the tree line through partly dead birch forest. A system of trapping pits is directly adjacent to the path in the topmost birch forest. After that it is bare mountain the whole way to Aigert. A magnificent view of Ammarfjället mountain to the north. The trail is at high altitude, mostly around 1000-1100 metres above sea level. Windbreak about 6 km after leaving Servestugan. Angling permitted in some tarns up on the bare mountain.
The Aigertstugan hostel is similar in style to the previous ones and occupies an attractive location by a small tarn at the tree line. Emergency cabin with 4 beds and sauna. During the tourist season there are 22 beds and a hostel warden. County administrative between Syterstugan hostel and the Syterskalet valley board fishing licence includes the two small tarns at the hostel.
AIGERT - AMMARNÄS 8 km
First 3 km over bare mountain terrain, then a 5 km descent through forest, relatively steep at times, to Ammarnäs. In the topmost mountain birch forest you pass by the Jukkegaske dwelling place, where there still remains the post on top of which an old njalla, a traditional provisions shed, was erected.