King’s Trail or Kungsleden, is Sweden’s longest and most famous trail, and mostly frequented during summer, but it’s an equally exiting adventure by skis during winter. Göran Wallin, keen outdoor enthusiasts, gives us the insides to this great trail through the mountains of Swedish Lapland.
Hiking or skiing King’s Trail between Abisko and Hemavan is a beautiful journey through the Scandinavian Mountain Range. The trail in its whole is just over 400 kilometres long. The name, King’s Trail, was first used in 1928 by STF, the Swedish Tourist Association.
Today King’s Trail’s fully equipped with huts and cabins between Abisko and Kvikkjokk, and between Ammarnäs and Hemavan. The most frequented part of the trail is Abisko-Singi and further on towards Nikkaluokta passing by Kebnekaise Mountain Station at the foot of Sweden’s highest peak, Giebmegáisi.
King’s Trail takes you through the most beautiful parts of the Swedish Lapland mountain landscapes. It’s a unique experience either you choose to hike or ski. There is a lot to see and do along the trail, and it’s recommended to stay a day or two extra at one of the cabins in order to explore the surrounding area further or try for one of the peaks for that cherry on top-view.
In the winter, the best time to ski King’s Trail is in April and the first part of May. You have daylight almost twenty-four-seven closing in on the period with midnight sun, and it rarely gets very cold.
In the shift between April and May you can also spot the earliest flower of the mountains: purple mountain saxifrage, Saxifraga oppositifolia. It is most commonly found in gorges and on the first patches where the snow has melted away. Around mid-summer, around the longest day of the year, most of the snow has melted and you can hike the King’s Trail.