I love mountain hiking but I have not had much time to do it in the last few years so when I heard from a friend in Walesthat is also keen on climbing and mountaneering I thought that it would be brilliant to go hiking in one of the most beautiful places I know.
Now the Sälen Highlands is not a very remote place, actually it is smack in the middle of one of the most touristy parts in Sweden (for outdoorsy tourism that is) and therefore all the trails are well marked and some are even properly paved with blacktop to minimise the wear on the sensitive terrain. But even so, the last time I was there it was breath taking beautiful and the trip is just a long trip of nicely shifting landscape.
I am therefore planning a nice and not to strenous trip where slow walking, stopping to admire the view or taking a photograph or even just sitting in the sun is well planned. And of course, after setting camp it would be very much possible to go on a night hike to one of the peaks, I have planned this for day 2.
All days have been divided into two stages of about 2-3 hours of walking, suitable between breakfast and lunch or lunch to dinner. But I think we will actually make good time the first stages so there will definitely be time to get the binoculars out and view the surroundings.
Expect altitude cooking about 1 km MSL which should not really have that much impact on the cooking temperature. Water boils at 96°C at this altitude.
We are starting on the south end and walking north the first day, then west the second day and north again the third day. We are passing the following peaks:
- Köarskarlsfjället 870 m
- Östsfsjället 840 m
- Källfjället 903 m
- Synddalskläppen 880 m
- Lägerdalsfjället 890 m
- Stornärfjället 920 m
- Östra granfjället 940 m
Not all peaks are climed to the top, but these are: Köarkarsfjället, Källfjället and optionally Stor-Närfjället.
Day 1: Högfjällshotellet to Källfjället summer farms
|Distance||8 km||Altitude variation||+230/-205|
|Highest||892 m||Lowest||736 m|
|Peaks to climb||2||Difficulty||Easy|
The entrance is well marked with a portal and information sign about Kungsleden (the King’s trail). It starts here and ends up in Abiso in Lapland, a thousand kilometers from this place… it is a grand trail and not a lot of people have walked the whole thing.
We start by walking the well paved road up the Köarskarlsfjället (grouse mountain) 1.5 km where we will pause and perhaps make tea and coffee and admire the view. Best view is to the east and to the North. After that there is a descent towards Östfjällsdalen (east mountain valley) and the Östfjällstjärn (East mountain tarn) where there is a hut that can shield us from wind and rain if necessary. This is a good place for lunch and a good place to refill water for the second stage.
The second stage starts by taking us west 1 km through a more wet area and then takes us through a birch forest up again on the peak of Källfjället 900 meters above sea. Again if not too windy a good place for a snack and a beverage before descending down to the old Källfjället summer farm. A number of scattered old houses here. We will set up camp here likely tent is the best option, the hut open for wanderers can be a bit crowded this time of year.
Day 2: Källfjället summer farms to Närfjällstugan
|Distance||10 km||Altitude variation||+300/-170|
|Highest||890 m||Lowest||663 m|
|Peaks to climb||2||Difficulty||Medium|
First stage is going through Synddalen (sin valley), crossing Syndalsån (the sin valley river) on a small bridge. The river sinks down in a large ravine called Lördagsgraven (the saturday grave) but we are taking the other route, preparing to ascend the Syndalskläppen mountain. Just before the ascent is a wind shelter which could work for lunching in, but if we want to lunch out we can give it another hour and ascend to the top of the mountain before doing lunch. I say it depends on the weather. Some spectacular views from the top is guaranteed if it is not too cloudy.
Second stage is a descent again into the next valley called Lägerdalen (Camp valley) but we will not set up camp here but walk through the valley and then ascend about 100 m or half-way up the Stor-Närfjället. Here is another hut and a good place to make camp. Plenty of water both in the valleys and in on the mountain here.
After setting camp in a suitable spot we might want to do some evening hiking shedding the backpacks and just get straight up to the peak. It is about 1,5 km so it is not that far.
Day 3: Närfjällsstugan to Görälvstugan
|Distance||9 km||Altitude variation||+100/-400|
|Highest||885 m||Lowest||410 m|
|Peaks to climb||0||Difficulty||Medium|
Fiurst a small ascent but we will miss the peak of Granfjället (Spruce tree mountain) mountain and just pass by on the east side. Then we will follow the ridge to the north and start the descent down to Granfjällsätern where there is a nice hut we can stop for lunch. This is probably one of the most beautiful parts nature wise.
Second stage after lunch is passing through the forest until we meet and cross Görälven river. There is a place we can stay there as well waiting to be picked up.
Use terrain or satellite image for more details.
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