If you are a newbie who enjoys being in nature, you must visit The Abisko National Park in Lapland.
Abisko is one of the oldest natural parks in Sweden, a cultural landscape with an easily accessible mountain valley with rich flora. The views you get are spectacular and the variety of trails are perfect for both no-experienced hikers and professionals.
Since we planned to visit Abisko in the middle of September, me and my partner were worried it was going to be too cold. But on the contrary, we had a colourful autumn (favourite time for hiking in Abisko) and mild temperatures.
We then found out that the weather is often sunny in Abisko, so it’s never a bad time to visit this magnificent park!
Continue reading to find out what we did! 🙂
1) The trail to the Abiskojåkka canyon
The guy from the information centre recommended us to start off with the Abiskojåkka canyon. It’s one of the main park attractions.
It’s an easy hike (part of the trail is wheelchair accessible) that we finished in half an hour. My jaw dropped so many times with the spectacular high cliffs’ views of the canyon and the stream.
2) The trail to Njakajaure
This trail took us longer (around 2 hours). It follows up the river with the views of the mountain at the end until you get to the astonishing Vuoli Njáhkájávri lake. We stopped to eat using a camp stove with views of the river.
We were lucky to be completely alone, the sun was shining and the water was so still that made a perfect mirror of the two mountains (Tjuonatjakka and Nissuntjarro) and the famous U-shaped valley located between them (The Lapponian Gate or Tjuonavagge; in Northern Sami: Čuonjávággi, “Goose Valley”).
3) The trail to Kårsafallen
We didn’t complete the whole trail (it takes 4 hours) but half of it. It may not be as spectacular as other trails, but this was an easy and enjoyable walk through a park-like birch forest and along a plank-way across marshland.
We followed the river Kårsafallen until we arrived at a bridge where you can contemplate the force of the water under your feet. We wandered around, eat sandwiches and took a nap by the river 😉
4) The trail to Trollsjön (Rissajaure)
If we knew it was going to be that extreme, we wouldn’t have considered this trail. So, if you are all for a tough hike, try Trollsjön.
The famous Kärkevagge valley, where the lake is located isn’t in the actual Abisko National Park, but half an hour past it (by car). The views from the car up to the start of the trail are worth to stop and take some pictures.
The first sign of the trail says 4,5 km to the lake, but it took us 2 hours to get there since it’s 400 metres high (yeah, that’s right!). Deep snow and slippery paths while getting closer to the lake made the hike less fun.
Once you get to the lake, the views are astonishing, and we felt it was worth the pain. We were planning to picnic and rest a bit, but it was so cold we had to hike back. I’d avoid autumn or winter for this trail if you are not up to a tough hike.
Some facts about the Abisko National Park:
The Abisko National Park is in the heart of Lapland, with a total of 7,700 hectares, it has been home to Sami people for thousands of years.
It’s one of the firsts National Parks in Sweden. It was formed in 1909.
The park is considered one of the best places on earth to see the aurora borealis (We didn’t see it; winter is the best time!).
In winter, you may spot tracks of beards, lynxes and wolverines. Elks can be seen in winter, since the snow cover is not as deep in the park. For other seasons you may spot reindeer (we saw some at the Vuoli Njáhkájávri lake, but at the other side of the lake, so very far away).
Things to consider when in the park (regulations)
You MUST NOT:
- Pitch a tent, except on the campgrounds at the STF mountain station, Nissonjohka and the Abiskojaure cabins.
- Light a fire or use a grill except at a designated place. You can use a camp stove.
- Bring a dog. However, a dog on a leash may be brought between 1 January and 30 April.
- Pick plants or dig up plants.
- Fish, hunt, kill, capture animals, remove eggs or nests.
- Ride or use a motorised vehicle off roads or snowmobile trails.
More information here: www.sverigesnationalparker.se
Hope you find my experience useful. If you’ve been in the Abisko National Park and want to share other trails or other interesting things to do, comment below! 😉