National Parks

The oldest and largest national parks in Sweden are to be found in Norrbotten. Eight of Sweden's twentynine national parks are located here. These are Abisko, Vadvetjåkka, Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke, Padjelanta/Badjelánnda, Muddus/Muttos, Haparanda skärgård and Pieljekaise. With the exception of Muddus and the Haparanda archipelago, the national parks in the province are in the mountain region. Together they cover over 6000 km², which means that the national parks in Norrbotten count for 95 percent of the area dedicated to national parks in Sweden.

Regulations

All national parks allow visitors admittance and basically people can move freely within the park. Common sense in dealing with nature is a good rule of thumb when visiting a national park. As is true anywhere, to litter is to commit a crime against the environmental code. Whoever visits a national park must be aware of the regulations for that specific park. These regulations explain what is and what is not allowed. Regulations vary somewhat from one park to another, but no park allows hunting. With a few exceptions, this is also true of fishing. Berries and mushrooms can be picked to eat in the park. In the mountain parks the Sami have certain special rights which relate to their reindeer husbandry. There are also rules regarding dogs in national parks.

Visit the Parks

The rapidly changing weather and the steep topography make visiting the mountain areas a challenge. The national parks are large wilderness areas as well, and haven't been adapted much for visitors.

People without much experience in the mountains can, nonetheless, visit parts of Abisko and Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke. Throughout these national parks there are actually roads and even small tourist localities with mountain hotels inside the parks. These tourist facilities are good points of departure for day outings in the surrounding national park area. Marked hiking trails such as Kungsleden make hiking less difficult in Abisko and Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke.

Likewise Muddus/Muttos can be reached easily for day excursions from connecting roads at the border of the park. In Muttos, if one wants to cover all the things worth seeing, it would be good to plan a hike of several days duration along the trail that has cabins in four different locations where one can spend the night.

The smaller mountains parks of Vadvetjåkka and Pieljekaise are farther away from the nearest road, and it will take at least two days to visit them.

The national park complex of Padjelanta/Badjelánnda, Sarek and the western part of Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke is more demanding for the visitors than the other mountain parks.

Sarek and the adjacent part of Stuor Muorkke is a difficult area. It lacks trails and presents an almost impassable terrain, being subject to frequent rains and snow. This national park area should only be visited by people who are well-experienced mountain hikers.

The terrain in Badjelánnda is not as extreme as in Sarek but it is rainy even there. A hiking trail with cabins to spend the night makes it a more appropriate area for less experienced mountain hikers.

The Haparanda Skärgård national park consists of one large and some smaller islands. It is accessible only by boat.

For more information, please contact the tourist information in each region.

 

Laponia World Heritage

The national parks Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke, Padejlanta/Badjelánnda and Muddus/Muttos are part of the Unesco World Heritage Laponia. They are managed by a local organization called Laponiatjuottjudus. Website: www.laponia.nu