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A taste of Sarek National Park

Dogsled camp in Sarek National Park

Sarek National Park is one of Scandinavian’s most mythical mountain areas. An area without either overnight cabins or marked trails. True wilderness where you are completely at mercy of yourself.
Many people dream about dogsledding in Sarek but may not feel ready for a tougher expedition tour.
That’s why we made this tour with both winter camping inside the National Park and more comfortable overnights in cabins just outside Sarek’s boundaries.
A perfect tour for you who wants to get a taste of what Sarek can offer combined with the Kings Trail’s comfort.

Day 1 Arrival to Saltoluokta Mountain Station.
The bus/transfer stops in Kebnats. This is as far as you can get with car. From here we get a ride in sleds behind a snowmobile over the ice of the Lule River. Check-in at the Mountain Station. Here you have the possibility to take a hot sauna or shorter snowshoe walks along the trails. We say hello to the huskies and eat a nice dinner in the cosy restaurant.

Day 2 The first day of mushing.
The morning starts by the fireplace in the restaurant with a delicious breakfast buffet with home baked bread directly from the oven. After breakfast we pack everything we need for the week in our sleds and you get instructions in how to drive and handle your team of huskies. Together we harness the dogs and put them in front of the sleds and get the teams are ready for take off.
This first day we head for Rissajaure where we are going to set a tent camp for our first night. The stage for the day are relatively short but it’s a lot of new things to learn, how to take care of the dogs, how to set up a tent etc. Everything takes time in the beginning before all routines fall into place. We fetch water in a stream and if needed we dig snow walls for the tent. The area is nice for a short snowshoe walk if you like.

Day 3 Sarek National Park.
Today we sledging further on into Sarek National Park. We cross the ravine, travel over wide open mountain expanses and if the weather is good we can enjoy a panorama over the Ă„hpar massive and Sarek massive, two of Swedens most coveted high mountains. This is an area with none or very few tracks and is very weather exposed so we are often entirely at mercy of ourselves. We will adapt our journey to the prevailing circumstances. Suddenly we can get an opportunity to be able to extend the ride or the weather will force us down on our knees and we must humbly bow. Another night in our tents.

Day 4 The Sitojaure cabin.
From the mountains in west we steer our dog teams east towards Rinim and Sitojaure. We will pass the entrance of Bastavagge and Rinim in the west part of the lake Sitojaure and drive to the Sitojaure cabin. Usually it’s easy to travel along the lake because of snowmobiles often drive there. The night we spend in the cabin where we can dry clothes, feel the warmth from the stove, eating our dinner in a kitchen and sleep in soft beds.

Day 5 The entrance to Rapa valley.
Today will be a long day. We will travel down along the Sito rivers (Sitoälven) glen until we come to the Rapa rivers (Rapaälven) glen. This is common trails and the trails are usually good in contrast to normal conditions in Sarek, so hopefully we can get a little speed under the sleds runners. The plan is to go all the way to the entrance of Rapa valley (Rapadalen) and to set tent camp in the delta underneath the two characteristic mountains Nammatj and Skierfe. Skierfe’s vertical mountain wall of 700 m is a classical view in many books and papers referring to Swedish Lapland.

Day 6 Aktsenjunjes and expansive views.
If the weather is good we can take a soft and relaxing morning. Possibility to take a short snowshoe walk in the forest below Skierfe and Nammatj.
Later on we harness the dogs and go east towards Aktse where a tough climb awaits us up on Aktsenjunjes. We have to work hard helping the dogs for a few kilometers but we will be rewarded with a spectacular view when we come up. In the east low mountains and woodlands billow out miles and miles towards the horizon. To the west the higher mountains of Sarek pile up to the sky. From the highest peak we will have a pleasant drive down towards Sitojaure and the cabins. We will spend another night in the warmth of the Sitojaure cabins sparkling woodstove.

Day 7 Autsvagge and Saltoluokta.
We start out with our dogteams after a good night sleep. Heading north following the well marked Kings Trail with open expanses and usually easy driven trails. After a while we come down to the Big Lule river (Stora Luleälven) and Saltoluokta Mountain Station where our adventure begun. Before the three course dinner in the cosy restaurant we can enjoy a shower and hot sauna.

Day 8 Departure day.
We eat breakfast together and say good bye to the dogs before leaving Saltoluokta.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE
This tour goes partly in Sarek National Park where we are completely at the mercy of the weather gods. We try to follow our planned routes but have to adapt to current conditions. Jokkmokkguiderna interacts with the reindeer herding Sami’s in the area and we try to minimize disturbance on the reindeers and the traditions that have existed here for generations.

FACTS

Dates:
12 – 19 March 2018

Group size: Minimum 2 persons Maximum 4 persons. Larger group on request.

Included in the price: Thermo overall, warm shoes, hat, gloves. Sleeping bag and equipment for the tour. Wilderness guide, one dog team per person. Fullboard from dinner day 1 until breakfast day 8. (Typical Lapland and Swedish food). Accommodations (2 nights at Saltoluokta Mountain Station, 5 nights in wilderness cabins and tents).

Not included in the price: Travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, international and domestic air fare.
The tour starts and ends at Saltoluokta Mountain Station.

Tour conditions: All activities are mostly moderate but sometimes hard. In wilderness cabin we sleep on bunk beds in mixed room with both gentlemen’s and women’s. Dry toilet is available at the camps but when we camp in tent we dig a hole in the snow. The wilderness cabins are heated with wood/gas and have no electricity or running water.
No former dog sled experience is required but you must like animals and feel compassion for them.

Price:
23 500 SEK per person (included Swedish V.A.T.)
Single room supplement at Saltoluokta Mountain lodge 450 SEK/night/person.

How physically demanding will it be?

How physically demanding it will be depends very much on the snow and weather conditions during the tour. But, to go dogsledding requires that you have good balance and are reasonable fit. In up-hills and heavy snow conditions you must help your dogs by kicking beside the sled and sometimes also run and push the sled in steep up-hills (which can go on for quite a while in the mountains.)
You also need to have in mind that you will be physically active outside in the cold for many hours each day. Our tours are not made up touristic adventures but real experiences where everybody work as a team and helps with everything from taking care of the dogs, cooking, loading the sleds, fetching water and setting up tents (when on a trip including camping) etc.

If you are unsure if you are able to take part don’t hesitate to send us an email and tell us about yourself and your worries. Women seem to underestimate them self very often, while men sometimes overestimate their own physical capacity. On our tours, we have people from all over the world of all genders and ages up to 70 years old.

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