So much to enjoy about Nikkaluokta, fantastic launching pad to begin our backpacking trip on the Kungsleden. For starters, Nikkaluokta is actually fairly easy to reach after the flight from Stockholm to Kiruna. It's only about an hour bus ride to Nikkaluokta. Nikkaluokta has a several types of cabin accommodations and of course you can camp there as well. The Sarri family has been providing food and lodging for some time now and they do a great job. And be sure and grab the breakfast buffet as you kick off your hike, it was fantastic. Meats, cheeses, bread, jams and juice and coffee were all ready to go. Great way to put fuel in the tank! You could easily plan to spend a couple of nights there and explore the area. We hiked a short distance along the banks of the Laddjujohka river which was very scenic. Deep emerald glacial river with golden birch trees lining the banks.
Here's a link to Nikkaluokta since you're now planning your next adventure:
On day one of our adventure I was eager to get rolling and went out a little before sunrise and was greeted with some beautiful morning fog. Wonderful place to photograph in the birch groves near the cabins and the views from the church on top of the ridge looking West were just fantastic. We took our time and managed the usual photos before leaving and hit the trail going West around 9am. Weather was ideal around 45F by mid morning. We knew that there was a 10:45 boat that would take us across the lake and cut off about 7K of the day one hike which would have been about 19K. We decided to pick up the pace a little bit and managed to make the launching point about 5 minutes before the boat was to leave. Unfortunately Lap Danalds was closed for the season but the coffee shop was still open. I mean, is this backpacking in style or what! Really glad though that we took the boat and I would highly recommend it. Views from the river were wonderful. And I was hoping to hike to Tarfala on day one and the time and energy savings would come in handy later!
Our day one of hiking together went really well. If you haven't hiked together before you don't really know how it will go. As it turned out my hiking partners for this adventure, Gunnar and Simona, really enjoyed taking their time and exploring the scenery. This was great and even allowed for some photo time for me along the way. That's not always easy to do while backpacking in a group. But, the trail is easy to navigate and we would yo-yo up the trail, hiking together in long stretches but also taking time to rest, eat or photograph on our own for a bit. We developed a nice rhythm and pace on day one which seemed to work well for us throughout the trip.
The highlights of day one were many and included the early morning fog, the dramatic boat ride and just the mountain scenery in the West that we had in front of us all day. The terrain is gently rolling and we enjoyed the birch forest scenery quite a bit.
The mountain station at Kebnekaise is really nice. Super accommodations and shop with food and such. Wonderful place to hike Sweden's tallest mountain and just day hike the area. Even if you don't enjoy backpacking, it would be worth it to hike to Kebnekaise for a few days of adventure. Have to get back there and spend more time. I know Gunnar and Simona really enjoyed staying there on the first night.
Tarfala though was calling me and this wild arctic valley would be where I would spend the first night of our adventure.
Distance Covered: 20K
Start Time: 9am
Finish Time (Tarfala): 7:30pm