Day 5: Kebnekaise til Nikkaluokta 20km – The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) – August 2018

On the official signage it says 19 km from Kebnekaise til Nikkaluokta. On my electronic navigation maps it is a little further. On all the other days the mileage was a little more than what I wrote so I’ve rounded up and down so everything looks nice.

I walked east over the bridge across Darfalajohka and descended to the birch forest tree-line. This photo is taken looking back westwards towards the Kebnekaise fell station. The trail is nice and wide and very busy!

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

I walked past this location (photo below) which is actually not that far away from Kebnekaise fell station on the east side. It would be an okay site for camping. There is of course a water source. So if you are heading for Kebnekaise and don’t want to stay there, which I would not again, then this could be an alternative. But be warned the whole trail between Kebnekaise and Nikkaluokta has a lot of hiker traffic and with that comes noise.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

There are still quite stunning views every time that I look back.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

This is the first time in 5 days that I experienced insects. And they were actually not annoying here at all. I never used my head net once on this adventure. And I never had to use or purchase any insect repellent. This area here in particular is renowned for mosquitoes, so I must of been lucky.

Due to tendinitis in my lower knee, I had to cancel my plans to climb Kebnekaise ☹️ so now I had to make other plans as I fly home on Friday (today is Tuesday). I decide to hike to Nikkaluokta today and bus it to Kiruna and see what happens from there.

I’m still sighting some of “the locals” out here today.

A lot of the trail is very rocky. If you’re going to hike Kungsleden then prepare yourself. I’ve nicknamed it “The King’s Rock Trail” but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

The trail now meets the river and there is a boat jetty there. If you want to cut out about 7 km of walking, why would you want to do that, I came here to walk the Kungsleden, then you can take the boat which will take you up to the east boat jetty.

Only 5 km from Nikkaluokta and by the east boat jetty by the river there is a coffee hut (Lap’ Donalds). Whatever you do, you have to make plans to stop here and buy yourself a reindeer burger 🍔. I came by exactly at lunchtime and I wasn’t disappointed.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

The trail then widens up even further and is flat with small stones all the way to Nikkaluokta. After 5 days and approximately 114 km I entered the famous Nikkaluokta gate / finish line. 🙌

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

I had a bit of a wait in Nikkaluokta. I arrived around 2 pm and the bus, the Nikkaluokta Expressen, departed for Kiruna late at 5 pm.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

I had purchased my bus ticket on-line at home so I was all prepared, even though I had booked it for Thursday, I could still use it today (Tuesday). It is also cheaper to buy your ticket on-line than to purchase it on the bus, about SEK 50.00 cheaper I think. There is also good Wi-Fi on the bus where I was able to book my accommodation for the next two nights in Kiruna and send some messages back home. I had no service on my mobile from the time that I departed Abisko until I reached Kiruna. I wasn’t able to get mobile service in Nikkaluokta. I did talk to some other hikers from Germany who could get service though. I even went up to the café and ordered a coffee so I could use the Wi-Fi but even though I was on their network, with some help from the waitress, I couldn’t use the internet.

On my way to Kiruna in the bus, and not far from the airport, some reindeer nearly jumped out in front of the bus. The driver had to slam the brakes, but luckily the deer veered the other way. 😅

I spent three nights in Kiruna. On Wednesday I purchased some new cheap clothes so I didn’t have to stink in my hiker gear for the next couple of days and on the flight home. I did some cruising around Kiruna and caught up on some sleep with the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on my door. Just before sunset I went to the rooftop and took this shot for my last glimpse of Arctic Sweden.

Kiruna August 2018

On Thursday I visited the Kiruna Iron Ore Mine. It is is the world’s largest, most modern underground iron ore mine. I went on a bus which drove all the way down to the Visitor Centre at level 540 metres underground. They are also re-locating the town including people and buildings 3 km to the east because it is on top of a sinkhole. Basically the mine shaft runs diagonally down under the town which is slowly sinking. The hotel that I stayed in was on the edge of the town, I had great views of the mine,  and one day it will be gone too.

Kiruna August 2018

On Friday I took a flight at 13:00 pm from Kiruna to Stockholm and then, after 4 hours or so I boarded another plane and flew home to Copenhagen.

I would highly recommend to do this hike and to do the “dog-leg” like I did at the start heading west instead of walking the traditional Kungsleden.

I WILL POST A FURTHER TWO ARTICLES ON HIKING KUNGSLEDEN

  • POST HIKE GEAR REVIEW
  • LOGISTICS – GETTING TO AND FROM ABISKO / KIRUNA
The King's Trail (Kungsleden)
Photos on Flickr above – use the left and right arrow keys to view

Photos here on Facebook

YouTube video above
THANKS FOR READING

2 Replies to “Day 5: Kebnekaise til Nikkaluokta 20km – The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) – August 2018”

  1. Really enjoyed that, brought back lots of memories. Been to Arctic Sweden three time myself, now, including one trip in this area. I know you didn’t spend all your time on the Kungsleden (too busy), and neither did we, although the whole area is amazing. If you’re interested, this was our trip from Abisko to Kiruna:

    https://chrissiedixie.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/arctic-sweden-8-nights-in-a-tent-with-geoff-and-were-still-speaking/

    We’re hoping to go to this area again next summer and plan another route which doesn’t go on the Kungsleden too much. Can’t wait!

    Chrissie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’ll take a look. Can’t blame you for not planning to go on the Kungsleden again next summer. I think that everyone should experience it but once you have hiked it then you want more solitude. Though I did come home feeling very relaxed and felt like a refreshed soul. I want more but it’ll be away from Kungsleden too or at least that stretch that I did the “Hiker Highway”.

      Liked by 1 person

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