86 km, 4-5 days
A map of the trail is shown in a separate window. This upper part of the Kungsleden seems to be the most popular hiking trail in northern Sweden. And it was the first tour that Carola and I made in this area. We started from the Abisko Turiststation (see separate page on Abisko).
In the beginning the trail looks more like a walkway in a park, and you will meet many dayhikers, too. The Kungsleden is very frequented compared to other trails, but it was still an adventure for us at that time. The path follows the Abisko river through a forest and later along the Abisko lake.
At this first day the trail leads 15 km to the Abiskojaure hut at the end of the lake. We were glad that the distance was not too big. We carried a lot of things, and we still had to learn which of them we would really need.
At the second day on the trail between Abiskojaure and Alesjaure we now passed an area that seemed to be frequented more by reindeers than by backpackers. The reindeers were grazing and moving slowly.
The reindeer herds are owned by Saami families and the animals are brought together by the owners in springtime to mark the calves. We happened to meet such an event at the afternoon. The reindeers were moving in circles within the fence.
The calves keep with their mother and therefore can be identified. We stayed for an hour at this place, before we continued hiking to Alesjaure. When we sat in the sauna at Alesjaure in the evening, we were full of impressions.
We had to carry the backpacks to the highest point of the tour at the third day. The trail crossed the Alesätno on a bridge near the hut and the climbed slowly and steadily along the river valley into the mountains.
The Tjäktja huts at half way to Singi could give shelter in bad weather. Near the huts we reached a height of 1000 m, not much in Central Europe, but far above the treeline at 68 degrees northern latitude.
At 1140 m the highest point of the Tjäktja pass is reached. Our telescope sticks helped us to cross a snowfield. The weather got worse. In a small shelter at the pass several hikers were warming up and waiting for better weather.
We left the pass behind us and looked down the valley of the Tjäktjajakka. A wall of rain was approaching, the Sälka huts somewhere behind the rain. We added one layer of Goretex raingear to our clothes. One hour later the bad weather was gone, and when reached the Saelka huts in the late afternoon the sun was shining again.
Since we felt in good condition, we planned to go from Sälka to Kebnekaise at one day in a longer tour. The route via Singi would be 26 km long. A shortcut without touching Singi would save about 2 km. Nevertheless, the last kilometers before Kebnekaise seemed to be endless. The trail was not difficult, but it had some stony parts. At the end of the day, we expected to see the Fjällstation behind every hill. Finally, we got a room and refreshed with a shower.