08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0002

08 - Teusajaurestugorna - Vakkotavare

The first half of this trail is uphill and can be quite strenuous. The summer hiking trail, once you reach the top, takes you on a detour from the winter to find the bridge over the river. Despite being high, the terrain is marshy after the river and for much of the summer will likely be a muddy slog, continuing gently uphill.

08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0005
08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0007
08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0009
08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0011
08 - Teusajaure to Vakkotavare-0012

08 - Teusajaurestugorna - Vakkotavare

The first half of this trail is uphill and can be quite strenuous. The summer hiking trail, once you reach the top, takes you on a detour from the winter to find the bridge over the river. Despite being high, the terrain is marshy after the river and for much of the summer will likely be a muddy slog, continuing gently uphill.

The second half gives some great views and is through sparse birch trees, which only become a forest towards the end. The trail down is challenging and more up and down than the map implies. There are a number of good spots to pitch a tend before you reach the STF Cabin if you don't want to stay at Vakkotavare. This is the transfer point and so where you find the road and the bus to Saltolukka. The bus is infrequent, one in the morning one in the early afternoon so plan for your arrival.


Trail Information

Distance: 14km + 1km Boat

Difficulty:

Transport: From Teusajaure, there is a boat that runs across the river. The boats run at 07:00, 09:00 16:00 and 18:00 and only cost 100kr to take. You pay for your tickets at the STF station.

There is also the possibility to row across the river. It is only a 1km crossing, so a good option to try out your rowing skills if you plan on doing one of the longer rows later on the trek.

From Vakkotavare, a regular bus service runs to Kebnats and the boat over to Saltoluokta. See 09 - Saltoluokta fjällstation - Sitojaurestugorna for details.

Resupply: A small shop is available at STF Teusajaure, which is in a tough location for satellite signal, so whilst they do offer card payment it is possible they won't be able to get it working. So ensure you have cash for the transfer.

STF Vakkotavare also offers a range of resupply goods, as well as a small collection of locally made souvenirs.


Accommodation & Shopping


STF Teusajaure

Set in a wooded clearing, Teusajaure has a number of small cabins, including a wood hut where there are some benches to sit on whilst you wait for the boat crossing. Teusajaure also has water from a tap. The tap is connected to a hose that sits in the nearby waterfall but doesn't let this distract you from the cold, crystal clear water if offers.

The STF cabin also offers a small shop, with the basic resupply needs as well as cabins to stay in. There is also limited space for camping, at a cost.


Emergency Cabin

On the south side of Teusajaure lake, perhaps 300m uphill from the dock, there is an emergency cabin. Outside of emergencies, you should not stay overnight in the cabins, but you are welcome to sit in them, make yourself food. If the weather is problematically cold, there is firewood and a stove. This site also has drop toilets and a number of small clearings for a tent.


STF Vakkotavare

Sat at the end of the wilderness and on the main road where the bus collects you to take you the 25 kilometres to Saltoluokta. The shop offers some souvenirs as well as a section of basic goods but feels more of a way-station than a proper stop due to its location. A number of tables with benches are sat out for use, some covered, for waiting to take the bus to the next stop.


The Experience

Day 5 - 23rd:

The boat trip is a short run across the lake, and Henrik & I separated at the emergency cabin, which was a shame, as it had been good having someone to walk with. I intended to stay, having done a long 22 kilometres distance already that day and not feeling pressured to get to the next way-station for the afternoon bus. It was also beginning to rain and it was 18:30 in the evening, so I chose to camp in the shadow of the emergency shelter and have the chance to make use of some 'proper' toilets.

Approx: 22km

Total: 95km 21%

Day 6 - 24th:

Despite the long day, I was up early and hiking by 8:50. The forest gives way, as you climb to shrubs and then to stones. The weather had cleared fully for perhaps the first time since the first day, and looking back I was treated to lovely views over the lake and the paths I'd taken.

Once you reach the top, its a fairly flat, though muddy walk, and the summer and winter trails divert. Winter runs directly over a stream, whereas summer takes you on a detour over a bridge, I stopped just after this point for water straight from a smaller stream, it was ice cold and delicious.

The walk went swiftly and by 11, I realized I was making extremely good time.  Partly because my bag was lightened by all the food I'd eaten and partly the good terrain. Doing the mental math, I realized, if I skipped lunch, I had a good chance of reaching Vakkotavare and getting the 14:35 bus.

On top of the hills, rocks poked out from the ground and small reflective pools of still water dotted the landscape.

The weather was damp and from time to time you'd see rainbows forming.

There were tough sections of the trail, where much of it had become mud rather than dirt, some closer to streams than paths. Despite this, I got to Vakkotavare about an hour before the bus was due to arrive.

The final 750 meters is down a steep and rocky trail with a fast-moving river running to the right side, which you cross over on a small bridge just before Vakkotavare.

I met up with Henrik and a Swedish couple and I found out that all three of them had seen a white reindeer at the bridge, that had not been there as I passed. Just before the cabin, you start getting phone signal again, and my phone lit up with a week of updates. It was a nice opportunity to catch up on what people had been doing, but in some ways, it was a shame to be back in civilization again.

We ended up waiting a further 40 minutes at the station, as the bus that collects you is actually a small van with a trailer for hiking bags and we were too many to fit. However, the small van takes you to a national park and campsite called Stora Fjallstation where you wait an hour or so for a larger bus, which takes you the further ten minutes to Kebnets - so we would have been waiting for the boat either way.

From where the bus drops you off, its a short walk to the lake edge where you take a good-sized boat across to Saltoluoka Fjallstation. You can pay onboard with a credit card, and there is even a bar, though it seems unlikely its ever opened for these short crossings. Saltoluoka is the first Mountain Station on the King's Trail since leaving Abisko and my first resupply point.