The Kiruna mountain area has tall mountains here with snow-encrusted peaks providing a constant reminder of just how far north you are. And we have deep valleys where reindeer graze while eagles circle freely high above.
Clear lakes where you can see deep, deep down, rivers and streams with water so clean that you can just fill up your cup and drink. Flora that caused Carl Linnaeus, no less, to rejoice during his Expedition to Lapland in 1732.
Kiruna offers have hiking for everyone; people who want to enjoy stretching their legs for a few hours along clearly marked routes, to advanced weekly hikes where you bring your own tent through trackless terrain. The backdrop to your adventure is powerful and varied – the fertile national park of Abisko and the Kebnekaise mountain range.
If you fancy a challenge, take the opportunity to climb the highest mountain in Sweden, with or without a guide. And all under the light of the neverending midnight sun, which you can experience in many ways – but the world-famous Aurora Sky Station, with views over both Tjuonavagge (also known as Lapporten or The gate to Lapland) and the 70-kilometre long LakeTorneträsk, is perhaps best of all.
Round off your experience with a local meal on Njullá/Nuolja mountain. Head out on a hike which gets your legs working while your head takes a break and your soul floats freely. Maybe you could enjoy an overnight stay at one of the STF mountain huts, set out at convenient distances from one another along the hiking trails. At some of the huts, provisions are available and you can take a wonderful, invigorating sauna.
All of this Swedish Lapland mountains offer you, all we ask is that you respect our nature and pick up after yourself. And stay safe.
Tips for safe mountain hiking
1. Choose the right equipment. Choose lightweight clothing which will protect you from the elements and breathe when you get hot. Layer your clothes so that you can adapt easily to the weather. Good equipment needn’t cost the earth, and a rucksack packed properly shouldn’t be too heavy. Checklists showing suitable equipment can be found at www.fjallsakerhetsradet.se.
2. Let someone know where you’re going and what time you might be back. It’s important to make sure someone knows your planned route and when you’re expecting to be back. Tell someone who can raise the alarm if you don’t return as planned.
3. Adapt your trip according to the weather. The weather can change quickly in the mountains. Check local weather forecasts on the radio, or at www.smhi.se. Weather services are also available as apps for mobile phones. Always respect mountain weather warnings issued.
4. Follow marked trails. There are hundreds of kilometres of marked trails in the mountains, with distance markers, cabins where you can spend the night and assistance phones. Follow the trails – this will make it easier for you to find your way about, and it’s safer in case you need help for any reason. Remember, red crosses indicate winter trails which aren’t always appropriate to follow in summer.
5. Take a map and compass with you. Make sure your map is up to date. The compass will mainly be needed when you’re off the marked trails, and you’ll need know how to use your compass, too. Use GPS if you like, but remember that batteries discharge quickly when cold.
6. Ask experienced people for advice. People who often spend time in the mountains can give you vital information, such as the hosts at the STF’s mountain cabins. Get in touch with them and ask questions about routes, water levels, bridges and anything else that might make your planning easier. There are local mountain safety committees who know all kinds of things about their local mountains.