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Kungsleden: Abisko to Nikkaluokta

1 March 2023

The route between Abisko and Nikkaluokta is one of the most popular hikes in Sweden. There is also the possibility to reach the summit of Kebnekaise if you’d like, this adding an extra day to your adventure. This route boasts some of nature’s best work - high peaks, rolling hills, mountain sides and even snow-clad summits. Along this section of Kungsleden reindeer husbandry is common. Remember to show respect. 

Quick Facts 

Total distance:

5-7 days, 6-8 hours of hiking per day

Length of sections:
12-21 km per day

On the last day, the trail passes Kebnekaise - Sweden's highest mountain.  

Hiking sections between Abisko and Nikkaluokta 

Abisko to Abiskojaure

Length: 14 km
Hiking time: 4-6 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: No

Abisko marks the start of the Kungsleden trail and is the perfect place to recharge at the Tourist Station and get ready to embark on your journey. The U-shaped valley Lapporten, just outside of Abisko National Park, is popular amongst hikers of Kungsleden due to its easy to walk terrain. 

On your way, you will also see the Abiskojokk river, and the trail offers picnic areas and toilets, making it accessible. For the best place in the world to watch the northern lights, we recommend the STF Aurora Sky Station located at the Abisko Tourist Station.

Camping here is only allowed in the national park at selected camping locations, these are: By the Abisko Tourist Station, Nissonjohka suspension bridge and the Abiskojaure cabins. There is also the Abisko Mountain Lodge which offers accommodation at a price. 

Abiskojaure to Alesjaure

Length: 21 km
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: Yes

This section is one of the longer ones of the first hike. You will travel between STF Abiskojaure cabin and STF Alesjaure cabin amongst mountain birch trees. First, you will need to tackle a steep climb in Kieronbacken until you reach the top of the mountain. The long, steep hike is worth it as you will be met with magnificent views of several sparkling lake systems!

At the final lake, Alesjaure, you can shorten your hike by 6km by going by boat. The boat ride is privately run and departs from the Alesjaure mountain cabin and the pier. 

Camping is permitted at the Abiskojaure cabins for a fee.

Alesjaure to Tjäktja

Length: 12 km
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Boar or Bus Availability: No

One of Kungsleden’s finest treks is between Alesjaure and Tjäkta. Doubling as a birdwatcher’s paradise, this trail’s terrain is also easy to walk. Waiting for you at the end of the trail are many breathtaking glaciers and mountain peaks. Near STF Alesjaure mountain cabin, a long bridge takes you over the Alesätno river. Hikers need to be aware as you approach STF Tjäktja mountain cabin that the path may become steep. The cabin can be found on the opposite side of the river and is reached by the bridge.

Tjäktja to Sälka

Length: 12 km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: No

This hike is well-suited for those of you chasing the beautiful views Kungsleden has to offer, most notably the Tjäktjavagge valley.

At 1,150m above sea level, the Tjäktja pass is the highest point of the Kungsleden trail. The pass is often snowy and can become quite slippery, so hikers are advised to wear appropriate footwear.

STF Tjäktja is four kilometres south and here you can find a rest stop, and the most recommended camping spots are located just below the Tjäktja pass.

After travelling downwards, you will arrive at the valley of Tjäktjavagge, which is 30km long. Whilst the western side is bound by a wall of rock, the peaks on the eastern side are towering. There is also a stream that runs through the valley, perfect for refilling your water supply up. 

Once you approach the end of the valley will you see STF Sälka - a perfect base camp for hikes up surrounding peaks, such as Sockertoppen.

Sälka to Singi

Length: 12 km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: No

This hike has a reputation for being home to the most beautiful sights that Sweden has to offer! From high summits to glistening glaciers, there is something to observe all around you as you walk through the mountains.

When you pass through the valley of Tjäktjavagge, you can choose to stray from the path and make your own way across. Lots of hikers choose this, as it gives them an opportunity to explore their breathtaking surroundings, such as Drakryggen and of course, Kebnekaise.

Alongside the shelter at Kuoperjåkka, there are many naturally occurring rest stops along the way for you to choose from.

After crossing the streams on wooden bridges, you will eventually arrive at the STF Singi mountain cabin.

Singi to Kebnekaise*

Length: 14 km
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: No
* The last two sections deviate from Kungsleden and take you to Nikkaluokta by way of Kebnekaise, Sweden's tallest mountain. 

From Singi, you will deviate from the Kungsleden trail and travel to Kebnekaise mountain station. Be careful on the terrain here, as the edges have been reported as steep throughout. 

Start your journey by travelling uphill and towards the Laddjuvagge valley. After a few kilometres of travel, you will also get to experience an amazing view of the mountain Tuolpagorni! There are also streams along the trail, which is a great opportunity to refill any reusable bottles if needed. 

When you reach STF Kebnekaise mountain station, you will find a shop, a self-catering area, and a restaurant.

Kebnekaise to Nikkaluokta*

Length: 19 km
Hiking time: 5-7 hours
Boat or Bus Availability: Yes
* The last two sections deviate from Kungsleden and take you to Nikkaluokta by way of Kebnekaise, Sweden's tallest mountain. 

After the STF Kebnekaise mountain station, you will cross the Tarfalajåkka stream to the east, and there are even wooden walkways in place for you to follow in some areas. You can continue onwards to Nikkaluokta or you can take a boat to shorten the hike by 6km. The boat departs several times a day. 

The journey to Nikkaluokta ends after you have walked along a well-used, farm road. In the village, you can find a restaurant and shop.

How do I get there?

To Abisko

Fly to Kiruna Airport and take the transfer bus directly to Abisko Mountain Station. There is also Evenes Airport in Norway, from there take the transfer bus to Narvik where you can jump on the Vy Night Train that passes through Abisko Mountain Station on its way to Stockholm.  

By bus, you can travel to Abisko from Kiruna. 

To Nikkaluokta

There is a bus to Nikkaluokta from Kiruna.