Hiking In Sweden - The Ultimate Guide
Sweden is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Scandinavian countries. It is home to vast forests, glaciated mountains, and wide-open spaces. As such, Sweden is an excellent hiking destination. The varying types of landscape and terrain keep things interesting for hikers. And although the weather is sometimes unpredictable, you are bound to have an incredible trekking adventure. All it takes is proper preparation and taking the right precautions. In this guide, we’ll cover all the information you need to enjoy hiking in Sweden.
Hiking In Sweden: The Best Trails - Quick Find Navigation
Best Time To Hike In Sweden
July and August are the best time to hike in Sweden. During these months, Swedish marked hiking trails are free of snow. Therefore, this is not only the best time but also the safest time to hike in Sweden.
On top of that, the weather conditions are perfect. And even though it might get a little bit cold, the skies are usually clear, and you get long hours of daylight.
Levels Of Difficulty
Sweden has a myriad of world-class hiking trails that come with varying levels of difficulty. However, most of them are long. The good news is that the Swedish Tourist Association has subdivided the long trails into sections with various entry and exit points. This ensures that if you are on a path with moderate difficulty and want to switch to a more challenging trail, you can exit it and join another one with the kind of challenge you desire.
Which trail is right for you?
Sweden has something for everyone. Determining the right trail for your hiking endeavors hinges on your skills and experience. Beginners can start with short tracks that are moderately challenging. The more experienced hikers can always choose the most exciting and longest terrain.
With about 400 trails in Sweden, finding the right is relatively easy.
The Swedish Tourist Association has done a commendable job of maintaining the trails and providing mountain stations on every hiking trail. After every 8 hours of hiking, you find a station or a hut where you can spend the night. The best bit is that Sweden’s Right of Public Access allows people to hike anywhere as long as they don’t interfere with the lives of those who live along the hiking routes.
Hiking in Sweden: 11 Tips & Tricks
1. Ask advice from experienced hikers
If you intend to embark on a hiking trip to Sweden, it would be wise to gather as much information as you can about the hiking destination. Ask experienced hikers for advice, especially those who have been to Sweden on a hiking adventure. The chances are that they will give you sound advice regarding the best hiking gear, weather, terrain, and so on.
You may also get a few useful tips on safety and how to prepare for your trip. You could also try contacting the cabin managers or the locals. Mountain safety committees are also quite resourceful, and you can reach them through their website.
2. Choose the season that’s right for you
Choosing the right season to hike in Sweden can make a huge difference. And since it is an outdoor activity, you want a season that will allow you to be outdoors for long hours. A rainy season is not ideal for hiking, and neither is a snowy one. A little research may come in handy when determining the right time to hike.
Experienced mountain hikers recommend July to September. The weather conditions can be slightly different each year but checking the snow and the water level lets you know what to expect.
3. Let someone know about your route and planned return
A hiking adventure comes with several risks, including accidents and getting lost in the mountains.
If no one knows of your whereabouts, you may not get the much-needed help when something unfortunate occurs. Ensure that you let someone know about your route and planned return. This could be a relative or even the cabin manager. And if something happens to you, they will raise the alarm on your behalf.
A mountain safety app can also help rescuers track you down when you get lost. So, always fill in your correct details at the cabin manager’s office. Such information is useful, and it makes it easy for the management to account for you.
4. Adjust your hike to the weather
The weather is sometimes unpredictable in Sweden, especially in the mountains and forests. Preparing for all kinds of weather is essential. You should pack several layers of clothing, such that you can dress down or add on more depending on the weather.
Keep up with the weather forecast on the radio or through an app to anticipate the changes. And since most cabin managers update the weather forecast reports and send out alerts when necessary, you can take heed of these to adjust accordingly.
5. Get your fitness levels up to scratch
Hiking requires a certain level of fitness. It is a strenuous activity that requires you to be at your best. Otherwise, it can easily take a toll on your body. Work on your strength and stamina for a few months or weeks before the trip.
6. Follow signposted trails
The STF has signposted all the hiking trails in Sweden. The primary objective is to help the hikers find their way. These signposts have emergency phone numbers, distance markers, and so on. Colored markers mean different things. For example, the STF marks summer hikes with painted red stones.
7. Be careful on water crossings
Some hikers tend to underestimate water bodies. It’s always advisable to cross waters carefully, especially when you can’t tell the depth. If you must wade through shallow waters, do it with your shoes on. Also, ensure that you have a hiking pole on the one hand to test the depth and use it as support. Avoid rapidly-moving water because the force might be overwhelming.
8. Don’t forget your map and compass
You need a map and a compass to tell you where you are at any given time. Ensure that you have a current map for accuracy purposes. If you have never used a compass or map, you’ll need to practice. And even though you could use a GPS app, your device has a battery with a limited lifetime. Always carry a map and a compass as back up.
9. Mobile phones in the mountains
Bringing your mobile phone to the mountains is a brilliant idea. There is excellent coverage in most hiking areas in Sweden. There are also several companies that have emergency beacons and rent out satellite phones.
Remember to pack extra batteries if you will hike for a long time.
10. Emergency phone availability
Most cabins and mountain stations have emergency phones to call the mountain rescue team. Familiarize yourself with every mountain station on your select route. You may never know when you will need it to alert someone of a possible danger. Besides that, you shouldn’t take any risks when hiking. If you feel startled, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
11. Food and water
Staying hydrated on a hike is vital. Bring enough water, food, and snacks to keep replenishing your energy through the route. Although nature provides lots of fresh water, there is no way of telling if the water is contaminated or not.
When hiking, you might come across various types of wildlife. You are advised not to disturb them. If possible, get out of their way. And when you bump into a herd walking into your direction, step aside and let it pass.
13. If you have an accident
Accidents occur all the time while hiking. Fortunately, you can dial 112- an emergency number for contacting the rescuers who are always on standby.
Every cabin station has a phone, which is considered more reliable than your regular phone.
Our Top 24 Hiking Trails in Sweden
1. High Coast - Ångermanland Province
Difficulty: moderate -difficult
Duration: 5-7 days
The high coast trail is one of the most sought-after hiking routes in Sweden. Some of its outstanding features include caves, evergreen forests, rocky peaks, and lakes.
2. Kungsleden - Gällivare, Northern Sweden
Duration: 10-12 days
The king’s Trail (Kungsleden) is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful hiking routes. It crosses through the tallest mountain in Sweden, rivers, thick forests, and open fields. During the summer, hikers can get close to 24 hours of sunshine.
It could take you a month to cover the entire route. However, the STF has divided it into manageable short trails. You can opt for a moderate or challenging section.
3. Saltoluokta - Gällivare, Northern Sweden
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
This path rises through a beautiful pine forest. The STF has marked it with orange markings, which helps hikers to avoid branching into adjacent paths heading to other areas. Its final kilometers tears through the birch forest.
4. Sörmlandsleden - Årsta, Sweden
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Duration: 30 mins to 20 days
The Sormlandsleden trail takes trekkers through historical monuments, wilderness, and areas with a rich cultural tradition. It is one of the longest hiking routes, with 92 sections, which range from 2 to 21 km.
The trail has something for everyone, including a beautiful coastline, lakes, and an open landscape.
5. Utvandrarleden - Småland, Southern Sweden
Duration: 8-12 days
In 1850-1910, most swedes left behind their villages and headed to the United States in search of greener pastures. The Emigrant Trail was born from this migration. Its rocky and challenging terrain was one of the reasons why the inhabitants left the area. It wasn’t easy to grow any crop.
The trail has an exciting history that makes hikers want to experience it.
6. Skåneleden - Skåne, Southern Sweden
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Duration: 100 days
Like most trails, the Skanelden route stretches through dense forests, coastlines, and undulated ridges. There are over 90 shelters along this trail. Hikers can rest or even sleep through the night after a day-long trek.
7. Mörbylångaleden - Färjestaden, Öland
Duration: 4 days
Mörbylångaleden is an exciting hiking route that cuts through breath-taking open fields and cultural monuments. It further meanders through the floor of Mittlandskoggen, which is a massive deciduous forest. This forest is home to hay fields and old grazing areas from the Iron Age.
8. Edsåsdalen - Åre Municipality
Edsåsdalen is among the four trekking areas in Södra Årefjällen in Sweden. The path is situated in the Valley of South Are.
The management has marked and graded it accordingly so that hikers can maneuver through with the utmost ease. The area is mountainous with an-awe inspiring scenery. Some of the attractions along this route include lakes, ponds, and streams.
9. The Pilgrim Path - West Sweden
Duration: 4-5 days
For those who love an outdoor challenge, the Pilgrim Path is a scenic path with a dramatic terrain. At one point, it is comfortable and relaxing, and then it gets tough and challenging.
The trail evokes a great countryside feel. It treats hikers to a fantastic view of medieval churches. What’s more, is that its form keeps changing. It takes you through the wilderness and the primeval forest.
10. Kuststigen Bohuslän - West Sweden
Difficulty: moderate to hard
Duration: 5-7 days
Kuststigen Bohuslän is a gorgeous hiking trail. Hikers come through rock carvings and deciduous forests along the way. At times they have to cross over bridges.
Trekkers who choose this route look forward to the refreshing Älgafallet fall that boasts of a 46m descent.
11. The Jämtland Triangle
Distance: 46 km
Jämtland Triangle is a famous classic hiking route in Sweden. Its main attractions include a mountain lake, rivers with raging waters, hanging bridges, among others. The trail is easy to navigate, and you can do it independently.
It is ideal for beginners or experienced hikers who want to have a relaxing walk.
12. Höga Kustenleden - Northeastern Sweden
Duration: 8 to 12 days
Höga Kustenleden takes hikers through the forests and along the coastline. Most of it consists of narrow gravel paths. Unlike other trails, this route has limited accommodation, especially during the peak season.
The trail sits in a region that is famous for the Skuleskogen National Park. Hikers can enjoy deep ravines, burbling brooks, and dark tarns.
13. Kullaberg - Northwest Skåne
Distance: 168 km
Difficulty: Moderate- difficult
Duration: 10-15 days
The Kullaberg hiking trail stands out in many ways, but most people admire it for its dramatic cliffs. It is a rocky and intriguing route that makes a hiker want to explore it all. Hikers go through some laid back beach town and enjoy an incredible view of the ocean.
14. Vålådalen - Jämtland County, Sweden
Duration: 7hr 30 mins
The entire Vålådalen route traverses through a nature reserve. Hikers are guaranteed an enchanting scenery. It further cuts across birch forests, flowering meadows, and marshland. Most of the trekking is on a long tree line where hikers can rest for a few minutes.
15. Helagsmassivet - Härjedalen, Sweden
Duration: 3-4 hours
Unfortunately, Helagsmassivet seems to be shrinking slowly. Nonetheless, it is still an exceptional hiking trail. And it is most suitable for those who love hill walking.
The hike to Mt. Helags is easy, and hikers don’t need advanced skills to get to its summit.
16. Bohusleden - Bohuslän, Götaland
Distance: 3.2 km
Duration: 2 hours
Bohusleden is a popular hiking route that sits in the southern section of western Sweden. It is one of the trails that run through the Gulhomen archipelago island. Hikers can only access this trail by boat.
Its most notable features include sandy beaches, rocky coasts, and wooden fishing houses.
17. Gotaleden - West Sweden
Duration: 4 days
The Gotaleden is one of a kind. Besides the beautiful nature along this route, it is close to the railway line. It cuts through open fields, urban environments, and forests.
18. Padjelanta - Lappland, Northern Sweden
Difficulty: Easy – moderate
Duration: 6 days
The name ‘Padjelanta’ means highlands in the Sami language. The Padjelanta hiking trail traverses through the Sami settlement region where there is a lot of wildlife for hikers to view.
19. Grövelsjön - Swedish / Norwegian Mountains
Duration: 4 hours
Grövelsjön offers the kind of adventure that every hiker aspires to experience. STF Fjällstation in Grövelsjön is the best hiking route in this area. The best part is that the terrain is friendly. This means that beginners can have as much fun as the veterans on this route.
20. Tiveden - Southern Sweden
Duration: 4 days
The Tiveden trail treats hikers to diverse environments. The most outstanding features of this route are the lakes. However, there is a section that showcases remnants of the long-gone mining industry. Along this path, hikers will find the spectacular Tiveden National Park.
21. Upplandsleden - Southern Sweden
Duration: 100-150 days
The Upplandsleden trail delivers an incredible outdoor experience for hikers. The people responsible for maintaining this route have done an exceptional job. They have also marked it clearly so that hikers can find their way without any qualms. The track covers a large area of uninhabited forest. Hikers pass through historic mining towns of Bennebol and Vallnora.
22. Roslagsleden - Norrtälje, Sweden
Duration: 15 to 20 days
The Roslagsleden hiking route offers a mix of everything. Part of this includes grazing fields with cows and sheep, lakes, and evergreen forests. Additionally, hikers come across ancient churches and magnificent castles. The best bit is that the trail has a lot of conveniently positioned shelter for hikers.
23. Östgötaleden - Southeast Sweden
Duration: 100 days
Östgötaleden not only ranks among the longest hiking routes in Sweden but also the most challenging. It has numerous sections, and the cabin managers recommend hiking one area at a time.
24. Kebnekaise - Lapland, Northern Sweden
Distance: 18 km
Difficulty: Moderate- difficult
Duration: 13 hours
Located in Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise is a great hiking destination. It offers hikers a panoramic view of glaciers, flat gorges, and valleys. Hiking through this trail is one of the best adventures you can ever experience. The best time to explore Kebnekaise is during July and August when the snow has melted.
If you are planning to go for a hiking trip in Sweden, consider an excursion in any of these locations. Learning about the route earlier will help you prepare better. Check the distance as well as the difficulty level of the trail you choose so that you make proper arrangements.
Hi, my name is Lina and I am working in content marketing at Ridestore. My obsession with surfing and snowboarding leads to the fact that I am constantly traveling the world to chase the waves or fresh snow. Other than that I am a huge fan of good food, deep talks, and binge-watching Netflix series.