Going Light – lightweight hiking in Sweden

Staffan Widstrand

Do you want to experience the vast wilderness of Sweden, fresh air, and clean water -but are not too keen on freeze-dried meals and heavy backpacks? More people discover that magnificent views combined with three-course meals at comfortable mountain stations are the way to go. A more glamorous adventure that values Swedish nature and contributes to rural jobs.

The easiest way is to use a mountain station as a base for your day hikes, equipped with a small backpack it’s easy to make your way to nearby cabins and other stations. This way the day's nature experiences can be celebrated in the evening with a good dinner and maybe even a glass of wine. Or why not combine your stay at a mountain station with a night or two in the wilderness? Several mountain stations rent out tents, kitchens, sleeping bags and other outdoor equipment. Knowledgeable guides will be happy to suggest the best route, suitable tent places and things to see and do on the way. Here are some tips for you who prefer to hike light and enjoy the magnificent scenery, instead of lugging through the landscape with unnecessary weight on your back.

Abisko Fjällanläggning
Abisko Fjällanläggning

STFs northernmost mountain station, STF Abisko is situated at the foot of Mt. Nuolja in the heart of Abisko National Park. To Abisko guests from around the world come to experience Midnight sun, Northern lights, hiking, and skiing. Accommodation is available in the hotel, hostel or cabins.

With STF Abisko mountain station as a base for your exploration, there are lots of different hikes to choose. Take the old but reliable chairlift up to the Aurora Sky Station where you can continue to the top of Mt. Nuolja, 1164 meters above sea level. Up here you have a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and the great lake called Torneträsk, if you are here during the first part of the summer, this is the perfect place to see the red midnight sun roll over the horizon.

If you are interested in flowers, Abisko National park is one of the best places to experience Swedish mountain flora. From the Aurora Sky Station, you can hike the Ridonjira trail down to the mountain station and observe species such as orchids, Lapland rosebay, and rock speedwell.

For a more exhilarating hike that you’ll never forget, a hike to Kärkevagge is highly recommended. The hike starts in a beautiful birch forest and continues over bare rocky areas formed by the most recent ice age. After 6-km, you arrive at Lake Rissájávri, also known as Trollsjön. This lake is known as the clearest lake in Sweden with theoretical water transparency of over 70 meters. Overlooking the lake with the surrounding mountains mirroring, you will find a perfect place to eat your packed lunch, and maybe take a chilling dip in the lake before heading back.

Kebnekaise Fjällanläggning

At the foot of Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise 2106 meters above sea level, lies STF Kebnekaise Mountain Station. To reach the station you start the hike in Nikkaluokta, with a light backpack, the 20 km hike becomes much easier. By taking the boat over the Laddjujavri glacier lake, the distance gets 5 km shorter.

On itself, the hike up to the station is an unforgettable experience, and once you are there, you’ll find a wide selection of guided alpine tours to choose from with Kebnekaise Summit tour as one of the most popular ones. These high alpine tours are not suitable to do without a guide, but the area offers lots of exploring to do on your own. Hike the famous Kungsleden trail or just enjoy the wild expanses of the mountains to the north - a landscape of big skies, wide horizons and wild open spaces.

Saltoluokta Fjällanläggning

Do you want to experience the mountains but lack a travel companion? During a magic summer week, solo travelers from all over the Sweden meet up at the charming STF Saltoluokta Mountain station, situated right on the edge of the World Heritage region Laponia, including the Stora Sjöfallet, Sarek, Padjelanta, Muddus national parks and Sjaunja and Sör-Stubba nature reserves.

Singles summer week in Lapland is a ready-made package for solo travelers with Saltoloukta Mountain station as the base camp for the week. Day trips on the mountain are combined with exciting activities and pleasant company. A hike up the “home mountain,” Lulep Kierkau, with majestic views over Sarek national park and a boat tour to Stora Sjöfallet are just some of the things that are on the menu.

The Jämtland Triangle is one of the most well-known and classic hiking trails in Sweden. It’s relatively easy to hike, and you don’t need to carry heavy, self-sustaining packs as the mountain stations cater to everything a hiker needs. The hike starts at STF Storulvån Mountain station with a gentle uphill to STF Sylarna mountain station that sits at the foot of the mighty Sylarna massif. This is where many choose to stay one day extra to climb the peak Syltoppen - a real alpine experience.

As you leave Sylarna, the hike continues towards STF Blåhammaren mountain station. The last part of this route goes sharply uphill, Blåhammaren is the highest located STF Mountain station in Sweden and is famous for its good food and well-reputed cuisine, so the reward is well worth the sweaty climb.

The last leg of the Jämtland Triangle is the trail back to Storulvån. And after a few kilometers of hiking a long downhill stretch awaits, while you make your way to Ulvåtjärn. The last part of the trail moves on through a beautiful birch forest before you are back at STF Storluvån mountain station.

A day trip from STF Grövelsjön Mountain station is Töfsingdalens National Park. The mountain station has a well-equipped rental shop where tents, camping stoves, and other equipment can be rented. Prepare the visit with a day or two at the mountain station. The staff at the station are advising on suitable hiking routes and the park's attractions. After visiting one of Sweden's most remote and least visited national parks, you will enjoy the mountain station's food and lodging.


With the right preparation, hiking is an enjoyable and safe experience. The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden has six useful tips for safe hiking in the mountains.







Read more about the safety tips Here.