Not For The Faint Hearted: Kungsleden Trail, Lapland


Not For The Faint Hearted is a series of posts about various long distance treks across the globe. If walking a really long way is what rocks your world, read on for some inspiration…


Lapland! Where better to extend the limits of your adventurous spirit than the Arctic wilderness in the far north of Sweden. When I think Lapland, I think reindeer and northern lights. But there is so much more than that to be had in this wild and untouched landscape



(Photo credit: Xavi Jiménez Marimón)


Lapland refers to the land of the native Sami in northern Sweden and Finland most of which falls within the Arctic Circle.The Kungsleden, or ‘King’s Trail’, sits about 160km inside the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland and is a long distance trail through mountains and rugged terrain.


It’s entire length is about 450km from Abisko in the north, south to Hemavan. It takes about a month to complete the whole trail although many people only attempt a week-long section in the northern most section.



(Photo credit: guido.h)


Although it’s remote, the Kungsleden is a clearly marked trail and has simple mountain huts spaced about a day apart and suspension bridges for river crossings. So you don’t need to be a super experienced hiker to attempt this walk. But you might want to pack your thermals.


Given it’s geographical location it goes without saying that Lapland is a pretty chilly place. Even in summer the temperature can be freezing and it rarely reaches more than about 10 degrees.June to September is the best time to tackle this walk, when the midnight sun shines and most of the snow is gone.



(Photo credit: Richard West)


You won’t see the northern lights at this time of year though. You’ll have to pop back to Sweden in winter for that one. While you walk keep an eye out for arctic foxes, eagles, elk, bear and yes, you guessed it, reindeer!


So if trekking the wild, untouched northern lands of Scandinavia takes your fancy then definitely give this trek a go. And you may be interested in reading Robert McFarlane’s Wild Places. It’s not about Lapland or Sweden or reindeer, but it’s an amazing book just the same.

Follow this link for more info on the Kungsleden Trail



(Photo credit: ezioman)


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