|Length||440 kilometres (270 mi) approximately |
|Highest point||lTjäktjapasset, 1,150 m (3,770 ft)|
|Lowest point||Kvikkjokk, 305 m (1,001 ft)|
|Season||Summer to early autumn|
|Months||June to September|
|Sights||Mt Kebnekaise, Lapporten, Abisko, Sarek National Park|
Kungsleden (King's Trail) is a hiking trail in northern Sweden, approximately 440 kilometres (270 mi) long, between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south.  It passes through, near the southern end, the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe. In the winter Kungsleden is a ski trail with approximately the same route.
The history of Kungsleden is connected to the Swedish Tourism Association (Svenska Turistföreningen or STF).    This association was formed in 1885 by scientists at Uppsala in order to facilitate access to Swedish mountains. From the late nineteenth century, the association had the idea of creating a royal road through the mountains in Swedish Lapland. The proposed route was to link the present-day Abisko to Kvikkjokk. Construction of the Malmbanan railway line between Kiruna and Narvik in 1902 gave this project the required access. STF bought three officer cabins from the Swedish Railways including one at Abisko. With the very limited funds available, it gradually transformed the cabin at Abisko into a tourism station. It also built chalets: the first ones being those of Abiskojaure and Kebnekaise in 1907. Between Abisko and Abiskojaure, the trail followed an old road used to transport materials. In addition to the cottages, the association brought in boats for the lakes between Abisko and Vakkotavare.
For the section between Vakkotavare and Kvikkjokk, the initial project was to take the trail through the middle of Sarek National Park, with a cottage near the Rapa River, crossing which would require a boat. The plans were later changed, such that the trail runs along the eastern end of park instead.
Initially, the trail was not marked or named. In 1920, in a book on Kebnekaise, the trail appeared under the name Alesvaggeleden. The trail between Abisko and Vakkotavare was finally marked in 1926 and 1927. In 1928, without any ceremony or inauguration the name Kungsleden appeared for the first time, with the opening of the Kvikkjokk station. The construction of the cottages was slow given the limited economic means of association. There was still no proper path to speak of and the public sentiment for the trail was very limited at first, but it quickly grew in popularity.
The trail was extended in a relatively discrete way. In 1941, the Kungsleden went from Abisko to Jäkkvik and early 1950s, it reached up to Ammarnäs. Some hikers at the time included Kungsleden in all STF trail networks in the mountains, from the three-Country Cairn in the north to Grövelsjön in the south. In 1975, the trail was officially extended to Hemavan with the creation of the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve. The section further south (between Sälen and Storlien) however, is sometimes called Södra Kungsleden (literally Southern Kungsleden).
Kungsleden runs for about 440 kilometres (270 mi) between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south. The trail is well-marked and many sections are well equipped and maintained by the Countyboard of Norrbotten (Länsstyrelsen i Norrbotten), with plank walkways covering swampy or rocky ground. However, other sections, further from the trailheads, are eroded and rocky, increasing the difficulty of hiking. There are bridges across non-fordable streams and during the summer season lakes and rivers could be crossed either with rowing boats provided by Countyboard of Norrbotten or STF or by taking a local charter boat. The winter trail takes a somewhat different course in locations where it runs over swamps or lakes that can not be negotiated in summer.
The trail is separated in four portions—each representing approximately one week of hiking. The most popular part is by far the northernmost—between Abisko and Kebnekaise. The season, when the huts are open, usually runs between mid-June and the end of September, rowing boats are usually in place at the end of June or beginning of July, but the weather can be very treacherous, including late or early snow. The winter season runs from mid-February to the end of April.
Huts have been constructed along the trail, separated by a distance that a walker could expect to cover during the day, about 9–22 kilometres (5.6–13.7 mi). The huts are primarily operated by STF. For a small fee, it is possible to pitch a tent outside and use the facilities. Supplies can be bought in some of them (Alesjaure and Kebnekaise Fjällstation for example). Some emergency shelters can also be found on the route.
The huts along Kungsleden are (from north to south):
There are no huts between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs which is about a 130 kilometres (81 mi) section of the Kungsleden.
An overview map of Kungsleden.
Highlights along the way, sometimes a small detour is needed, are:
Access to Abisko is by direct train from Gothenburg, Stockholm or Narvik. Abisko can also be reached by bus either from Kiruna or from Narvik, which can be reached by regular air traffic.
Hemavan is easily accessible by car or bus from Umeå or Mo i Rana in Norway.  Some buses only run during the summer season. The Hemavan Tärnaby Airport is the closest airport to the reserve and has one flight per day, 6 days per week, to and from Stockholm-Arlanda, with a flight time of 1.25 hours. 
A few places along the trail can be reached by road or public transport (a few others can also be reached by boat charter services).
During the summer Jokkmokk, Arvidsjaur and Sorsele are reachable by The Inland Line tourist railway.
Since a few years, several trail running athletes run to try to enter a speed record. Those records are logged on the FKT website. Swedish athlete Emelie Forsberg holds the female speed record.  Belgian adventurer Louis-Philippe Loncke is the first to walk and packraft the entire trail unsupported, climbing underway also Skierfe and the Kebnekaise North and South summits.      
Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden, situated in the province of Lapland. It had 17,002 inhabitants in 2016 and is the seat of Kiruna Municipality in Norrbotten County. The city was originally built in the 1890s to serve the Kiruna Mine.
Tourism in Sweden comprised a relatively small part of the Swedish economy in 2011 at 2.9% of the country's GDP; at this time, tourism generated 264 billion Swedish krona, 98.8 billion of which was foreign-visitor expenditure in Sweden. 7.1% of Swedish household income is spent on domestic tourism.
Narvik (help·info) is the third-largest municipality in Nordland county, Norway, by population. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Narvik. Some of the notable villages in the municipality include Ankenesstranda, Ballangen, Beisfjord, Bjerkvik, Bjørnfjell, Elvegård, Kjøpsvik, Skjomen, Håkvik, Hergot, Straumsnes, and Vidrek. The Elvegårdsmoen army camp is located near Bjerkvik.
Kebnekaise is the highest mountain in Sweden. The Kebnekaise massif, which is part of the Scandinavian mountain range, has two main peaks. The glaciated southern peak used to be the highest at 2,120 metres (6,960 ft) above sea level, but has shrunk by 24 meters during the last 50 years, making the northern icefree peak at 2,096.8 metres (6,879 ft) the highest. Kebnekaise lies in Swedish Lapland, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and west of Kiruna near the Kungsleden hiking trail between Abisko and Hemavan.
The Torne, also known as the Tornio, is a river in northern Sweden and Finland. For approximately half of its length it defines the border between these two countries. It rises at Lake Torne near the border with Norway and flows generally southeast for a distance of 522 kilometres (324 mi) into the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the largest river in Norrbotten both by length and by watershed area.
Sarek National Park is a national park in Jokkmokk Municipality, Lapland in northern Sweden. Established in 1909, the park is the oldest national park in Europe. It is adjacent to two other national parks, namely Stora Sjöfallet and Padjelanta. The shape of Sarek National Park is roughly circular with an average diameter of about 50 km (31.07 mi).
Tärnaby is a locality situated in Storuman Municipality, Västerbotten County, Sweden with 482 inhabitants in 2010.
Stora Sjöfallet is a national park in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden, in Gällivare Municipality and Jokkmokk Municipality. The national park is 1,278 km2 (493 sq mi) and the third-largest in Sweden. The park is located about 20 km (12 mi) north of the Arctic Circle by the Norwegian border and surrounds the Akkajaure reservoir from the north, east and south.
Abisko is a village in Sápmi (Lapland), in northern Sweden, roughly 250 km within the Arctic Circle, and near Abisko National Park, located 4 km west of the village. It had 85 inhabitants as of 2005.
Abisko National Park is a National Park in Sweden, established in 1909.
Kiruna Municipality is a municipality in Norrbotten County in northernmost Sweden. Its seat is located in Kiruna. It is the northernmost municipality in Sweden, and at 20,715 square kilometres (7,998 sq mi) is Sweden's geographically largest covering roughly 4.604% of its total area and the municipality has a similar area as Slovenia and Wales.
Nordkalottruta or Arctic Trail is a marked hiking trail in the Arctic region of the Nordic countries. It has a total length of 800 km and lies along the border of Norway, Sweden and Finland. It begins at Kautokeino and of the 800 km, 380 km of the trail lies in Norway, 350 km in Sweden and 70 km in Finland. The trail crosses international borders 15 times and ends in the south in Sulitjelma (Norway) or alternately Kvikkjokk (Sweden).
Padjelanta is a national park in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. Established in 1963, it is the largest national park in Sweden with an area of 1,984 km2 (766 sq mi), and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Laponia established in 1996.
Pieljekaise is a Swedish national park. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Jäkkvik in Arjeplog Municipality, Lappland. The park consists largely of birch woods.
Kiruna Airport is the northernmost airport in Sweden. It lies around 10 km (6.2 mi) from the town centre of Kiruna. In 2018, the airport served 277,018 passengers.
Kebnekaise mountain lodge, elevation 690 metres (2,260 ft), is situated at the base of Mount Kebnekaise, 19 kilometres (12 mi) west of Nikkaluokta, which in turn is situated 66 kilometres (41 mi) west of Kiruna in Lappland, Sweden. The lodge is owned and managed by the Swedish Tourist Association (STF).
Nikkaluokta is a Swedish Sami village in Norrbotten County. The village belongs to Gällivare Municipality, bordering Kiruna Municipality, the closest urban area some 60 kilometers away. In its vicinity lie the areas of two Sami communities, Laevas and Girjas, who still herd semi-domesticated reindeer in the region.
Narvik is a railway station located in Narvik Municipality in Nordland, Norway on the Ofoten Line. The station is located in the town of Narvik, about 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) from the line terminus at the Port of Narvik. It is served by three daily passenger trains from, respectively, Kiruna, Luleå and Stockholm in Sweden. These passenger services are currently operated by Vy. The station is located at an elevation of 46.6 metres (153 ft) above sea level and is located 1,579.9 kilometres (981.7 mi) from Stockholm. It was opened in 1902 along with Ofotbanen and the Iron Ore Line.
Kvikkjokk is a small village situated in Jokkmokk Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden. It is located 120 km northwest of Jokkmokk. Several hiking trails start in Kvikkjokk. Kungsleden passes through the village and it is a popular starting point for hikers going into Sarek National Park.
Saltoluokta is a 120 kilometer drive outside Gällivare in northern Sweden, off the beaten track in Jokkmokk Municipality near the municipality's border with Gällivare. Saltoluokta is located less than 1 kilometre from Stora Sjöfallet National Park and the UNESCO world heritage Laponia and it is a popular starting point for Sarek National Park visitors.