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19 - Ammarnäs to Aigert

Kungsleden

A short trail and starting from the town of Ammarnäs, it quickly moves into beach forests with some spectacular waterfalls to cross on bridges. Following breaching the treeline, you have a short walk, with great views back over Ammarnäs and the delta before reaching Aigert and its two small lakes.

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19 - Ammarnäs to Aigert

A short trail and starting from the town of Ammarnäs, it quickly moves into beach forests with some spectacular waterfalls to cross on bridges. Following breaching the treeline, you have a short walk, with great views back over Ammarnäs and the delta, before reaching Aigert and its two small lakes.

Trail Information

Distance: 8km

Difficulty: Medium. Good trail, but quite a lot of climbing

Transport:

None for the King's Trail, but Helicopter rides to Hemavan can be arranged, or some busses run from this point if you are using it as a start or ending point to your journey.

Resupply:

Ammarnäs Livs has a full range of food and drinks and a good selection of camping equipment. It is also a postal location. Ammarnäs Guidecenter has a smaller range of camping equipment and fishing gear, but perhaps of higher quality, and the Wärdhus has a minimal range of items for both fishing and camping, but you may find what you need.

Accommodation & Shopping

Ammarnäs Fritidscenter

The first thing you encounter, the Fritidscenter is a caravan park at the ski slopes' base. In the winter months, it also sells ski passes.

Ammarnäs Wärdshus

Ammarnäs Wärdshus
Ammarnäs Wärdshus

Partnering with STF, the Wärdhus is a hiker's hostel offering good sized clean rooms, shared private showers and delicious food.

Ammarnäsgården Fjällhotell och Vandrarhem

Perhaps the most 'high end' place to stay in Ammarnäs. The Fjällhotell offers a swimming pool as a particular perk.

Ammarnäs Livs

Not quite as large as Jäkkvik ICA, the Ammarnäs Livs is still a good-sized place for resupplying. It also has a more outdoor focus on its items than you find in the ICA, a more traditional supermarket with a few extra hiking options. Ammarnäs Livs has a range of dried foods, staples, and cheap outdoor gear like fire-starters, sporks, pots, pans, and clothes. It also has a range of souvenir clothing. Additionally, Ammarnäs Livs is one of the King's Trail locations where you can send post to yourself for collection. The staff are super helpful with storing it for you but do get in contact ahead of time to confirm the best delivery services to use any cost for storage or any policy changes.

Ammarnäs Livs also operates as a post centre, meaning you can send things back to yourself, and unlike Jäkkvik ICA, it does not require pre-preparation of printed shipping labels. 3/4 of the way along may seem late to be sending back items. Still, it was helpful to clear out some of the item's I realised I didn't need, some old and dirty clothes (having had a resupply of new underwear and t-shirts in Jäkkvik) and ensuring my full memory card was safe.

Ammarnäs Guidecenter AB

A triple-threat in Ammarnäs, The Guidecentre is a hostel with a few rooms and a small store offering dried and fresh hiking food, some supplies and fishing equipment, and an excellent cafe/restaurant.

Same Shop

Closed the day I was in Ammarnäs, the Sami shop sells locally made Sami handicrafts. A small selection of them can also be found in Ammarnäs Wärdshus. Worth a look, and many are small and light, making ideal additions to your pack at this late stage.

Sights

Potatisbacken

Potatisbacken
Potatisbacken

Built on an ice age hill, the potato field slopes are steep but have been worked continuously since 1827 by the community. Originally started by the first farmer in Nils Johansson, it was voted as Sweden's Eighth Wonder in 2010. At the top, a firepit and benches offer a resting spot with lovely views across the town and the delta.

Ammarnäs kyrka

Ammarnäs kyrka
Ammarnäs kyrka

The wooden structure was built in 1910-12 by Karl August Eriksson, replacing the older chapel from the mid-nineteenth century.

Lapplatsen Sami Kyrkstad

Lapplatsen Sami Kyrkstad
Lapplatsen Sami Kyrkstad

Next to the church is a very well preserved Sami Church town, known as Lapplatsen. Originally windowless, over time, windows were added to the structures, and they were used by the Sami when they came into town on errands or for church events.

Naturum

In better days, a small nature museum, at the time of writing, the various Naturum's on the King's Trail, was closed for visitors and offered outdoor meeting times to find out about safer activities that could be booked.

Side Trails

Many side trips can be arranged through the various guides at any of the accommodation centres.

The Naturum is also a good place to find out about options in the area.

The Experience

Day 22 - 9th:

Ammarnäs starts with the Frididcenter, a caravan park with a restaurant that also offers ski passes in winter. It is about another 1 kilometre from there, down the main road, past a petrol station with a shop selling reindeer and fish and along past the Naturum. (Closed for Corona, but still offering tours.) and the hotel with its swimming pool.

Before you reach the main roundabout and bus stop, the Guide Centre, an information point, a camping and fishing gear retailer, bistro, and bar.

On the way to the Wärdhus, where I was staying, I passed the Same Shop, a store selling traditionally made Sami handicrafts, but with limited opening hours that did not match my time in Ammarnäs.

Wärdhus
Wärdhus

The Wärdhus is in a picturesque spot on a hill facing the lake with several buildings, small cabins for families and a beer garden with a hut. Checkin was 3 pm, and I was there well before 11 am, but they were nice enough to find a spot to store my bag, and I could head out unburdened.

The shop in the Wärdhus is small with some basics and a wall of handicrafts and souvenirs.

Kyrkastad
Kyrkastad

I walked down a short way to the Kyrkastad, a small collection of wooden huts and Sami teepees where visitors to the church would once have stayed overnight. The 'new' church is on a wooded hill next to the Kyrkastad, and it is a beautiful building of overlapping wooden scales.

Potatisbacken
Potatisbacken

Facing the church is Ammarnäs' pride and joy, Potatisbacken. The potato hill is a small hill whose face is lined with row upon row of potatoes. The town cultivates the hill as a communal effort. A short climb takes you to the top and some spectacular views over the Ammarnäs delta.

Panorama from Potatisbacken
Panorama from Potatisbacken

Next, I headed around the road to Ammarnäs Livs, the grocery store. It has its opening times plastered on every hut from Ravfallstugan onwards and probably has the most useful supplies of any of the stores on Kungsleden. It has good options for food, equipment and even some clothes and the standard foodstuffs and some electrical and car gear. I picked up my resupply parcel and headed back to the Guide Centre for a smoked reindeer burger and fries, which were excellent, solid and hearty. The bread is the most distant ingredient, coming from a bakery 85 kilometres away.

I was able to check-in at 14:30, got a nice room with a double bunk bed, showered and changed clothes and then headed back out to post a collection of things I no longer needed to myself from Ammarnäs Livs. I'd still got most of a gas canister, worn clothes, a headlamp that was unnecessary when the sun doesn't set. I managed to justify sending about another kilogram back to myself that I didn't need to carry for the final stage. Being able to send items back is helpful but quite late in the trail for a real benefit.

That being said, it was still five days remaining, which was longer than any hike I'd done previously, so still a significant time to have reduced carry weight by a full kilogram.

I went for a walk before dinner and found the Hembygsgården, which might be a restaurant or a cultural centre, as well as the research station, which you could actually see from my window. With that, I'd seen most of what Ammarnäs had to offer. It's a charming town and well worth stopping in.

Dinner at the Wärdhus was incredible. I had a table looking out over the lake and started with Souvas, which, whilst the same dish as I'd had in Kvikkjokk, was totally different in execution, served with dried kale lingonberries. I then had a wallenburgare with mash, a good mix of the carbs and protein I'd need as tomorrow was one of the toughest climbs on the trail. Finally, I finished with Ostbricka, three local kinds of cheese, hard bread and chutney. Absolutely delicious. The food was excellent, as has been consistently the case when eating out along the King's Trail. Kyrkans in Jäkkvikk was the only hostel that was actually a hostel and not also a high-quality restaurant.

Approx: 10km

Total: 343km (Book 339km) - 82%

Day 23 - 10th:

I ready to go by 9 am, despite the fact I had a bed and a room. Wärdhus has a delicious breakfast, typically Swedish; cereals, meats, pieces of bread and waffles.

Although I was packed and eager, I'd somehow used 25% of my phone's battery during the morning, and so I waited for it to charge back up before heading off to start my 18km target for the day.

I intended to reach Aigert, 8 kilometres away by early lunchtime, to have a break and enjoy being on the 'civilised' trail again. I was expecting it to be a fairly tough trail as it was almost entirely uphill, at a final total of 750m.

At this point, I realised there were not even ten pages left on my map before I reached the end of the trail; pages 78-87 remain, four nights out in the wild, five days hiking, and I was finished.

Only 87 photos available to take remained on my camera's limited memory card. The poor little M50 had taken a bit of a beating over the past 23 days, and whilst it turned on and took a photo, it would not allow me to review or delete any previous photos. It was a little like having a film camera with me; each photo was a commitment I could not review until we were done. No do-overs and I had a ration of 17 a day.

After following the river's main road, you have a while on a dirt track before entering the pine forest and Kungsleden proper. For about 2-4 kilometres through the forest, the trail s very good sued by quad bikes. It is uphill but not too steep, with the pine trees slowly turning into beech as you walk up the slopes.

Waterfalls
Waterfalls

Three waterfalls grab your attention with bridges over them all—each more amazing than the last. The final one has a guard fence as it plunges into a crevice. The water is ice-cold and delicious.

A long way down...
A long way down...

From there, a short 1-kilometre climb, and you clear the tree line and are rewarded with views back across to Ammarnäs and the delta. It is beautiful. On the opposite side of the valley, a winding river catches the morning sunlight.

Distant Lakes
Distant Lakes

The trail remains broadly level from here; a few more kilometres brings you to AIgertstugan, the first true STF cabin since Pårtestugan all those kilometres before.