On July 13th I traveled to Sweden to meet up with Poptart, Bollocks, and Cream for our hike of the Kungsleden (Kings Way) trail in the northern part of Sweden.
This is my Kungsleden (King’s Way) hike review. 🙂
I am in the process of editing my videos from the hike, which will show and tell more detail, so this will just be a quick reflection of the trail.
When the videos are online I will of course link to them here 🙂
Kungsleden (King’s Trail) is a hiking trail in northern Sweden, approximately 440 kilometres (270 mi) long, between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south. It passes through, near the southern end, the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe. In the winter Kungsleden is a ski trail with approximately the same route.
We decided to hike the trail from north to south – Abisko to Hemavan so we planned.to meet up in Stockholm and take the train together to Abisko, a 14 hour train ride.
Stepping off the train in Abisko fired up my excitement, as it meant that we were about to start our 440 km hike of the Kungsleden trail (Kings Way) and after a quick stop at the Tourist station, we set off on the adventure.
Resupply is pretty basic at the tourist station, so if you need to resupply, I suggest that you get off at the first Abisko station (there are 2) as it has, as far as I can tell, a kind of supermarket.
But we didn’t need to buy anything special, so it wasn’t a big deal for us.
Kungsleden (King’s Way) hike review
Starting in Abisko means that you will practically get views from the start 🙂 but we met a lot of people going from South to North (Hemavan > Abisko) and I don’t really see any huge benefit in doing it either way, meaning that it really doesn’t matter what way you choose to do it.
The trail is amazing, and the views in the first half of the trail is absolutely stunning! after Kvikkjokk the views aren’t quite as beautiful, but they are still pretty enough to keep you from being bored (and the forest sections actually aren’t that bad or long).
We planned the trip to take 19 days, and it worked out pretty fine for us, but it is definitely possible to do it in about 14 days or faster without even having to rush it (we had a hard time only doing 20-25 km (13-16 mi) as we were used to doing 40-50 km (25-30 mi) days on the PCT).
It is pretty much possible to resupply every day, as the huts are evenly spread out along the trail – but there are a few sections that don’t have huts/shops, so be sure to read up on that so you have food to spare for those sections. And the same is true for cash/credit card.
July is the month were the sun doesn’t set (until the end of July when it sets at about midnight) and it is also the month where the mosquitoes are most happy 🙂 luckily it wasn’t terrible – but there were some days where it was quite annoying as they really seem like my blood (AB+).
For some reason, we were extremely lucky with the weather – at least the rain, as it only rained two times out of the 19 days on the trail. But as with the rest of Europe we had a heatwave as well, which is NOT ideal for hiking 🙂
If you don’t want to carry a tent, you can sleep in the huts – but that will set you back quite a lot of money if you choose to do that every night. And there are some sections that requires you to either row or take a boat, which also is quite expensive – some lakes can’t be rowed, so you have to pay for a boat ride.
We spent about 1400SEK on boats and rowed once (the weather wasn’t really ideal for rowing a couple of other times we had the option).
Wanna hike the trail or not?
If you are on the fence about hiking the Kungsleden trail, my only answer is “Do it”. It is absolutely stunning up there, the trail is pretty well maintained, extremely easy to follow (no need for compass, maps, apps etc.) and the people you meet on the trail, and especially in the huts – are very nice!
This is the itinerary I made for the hike.
The area marked in red was the part with bus/boat from Teusajaure to Saltoluokta which I hadn’t figured out how to do. It turned out to be pretty easy as you just grab the bus from Teusajaure and it stops in Vakkotavare where you get on the boat to Saltoluokta 🙂
Gear for Kungsleden
You can see my gearlist here
We saw ALOT of people with amazingly huge backpacks on the trail, and covered in warm big winter clothes when we were hiking – and sweating in our hiking shirts. I have no idea why so many people did that – I know that the weather on Kungsleden isn’t normally all sunshine and rainbows, but this seemed overkill.
SO I am hoping that by posting my gear list people can see that if you just plan a little bit and think about what kind of stuff you bring, you can lower the weight of your backpack by a lot – A LOT.
And it doesn’t have to be an extreme like me, but I really think that a bunch of the hikers on the trail packed for every situation they could think of.
If you go, let me know how it went! and if you have any questions please ask!
Here are some pictures from Kungsleden (King’s Way) hike review: