Hiking in Vindelfjällen
Vindelfjällen is one of largest conservation areas in Europe, with an area of 550 000 hectares. The reserve is situated in the rural districts of Sorsele and Storuman in southern Lapland. It gives an representive sample of Lapland's mountains. The central part contains the head waters of the river Vindelälven, the valley of the lake Tärnasjön, and the alpine mountain region Norra Storfjället (summit 1776m), with the deep U-shaped valley Syterskalet. Artfjället is a separate part of the reserve, west of the lake Överuman, which is botanically rich. Artfjället is separated from the rest of the reserve by the blue road "Blå vägen", E12. In the reserve can one also find birch and coniferous forests.

Kungsleden (The Kings trail) pass through Vindefjällen. From Adolfsström in the north, down to Ammarnäs, and further south to Hemavan. Between Ammarnäs and Hemavan are cabins where one can stay overnight. There are also other marked trails, but one can also walk out of the trails. Especially west of Tärnasjön and in Artfjället are no trails.

Ammarnäs is the central village within the reserve, and is the main starting point for visits in the central part of Vindelfjällen. The village has an information centre about Vindelfjällen. Another starting point for visiting the reserve, especially Artfjället, is Hemavan. In Hemavan can one find an alpine botanical garden. In both Ammarnäs and Hemavan are youth hostels, and other accommodations.

The most fascinating way, in my view, to travel to Vindelfjällen is by train on Inlandsbanan, the inland railway. This is a touristic railway operated summer time only. Airports exist in Storuman, Hemavan, and Arvidsjour (north of Sorsele). These have connections with Stockholm. There are also busses that runs e.g. along Inlandsbanan, as well as between Umeå - Storuman - Hemavan, and Vännäs - Sorsele - Ammarnäs.


My visits are not into the heart of Vindelfjällen, therefore the rudimentary knowledge of those parts. I have used Hemavan as starting point, since the purpose was to visit Norra Storfjället and Artfjället. Both times did I use the inland railway from Östersund to Storuman, and then bus to Hemavan. I have made these visits in the area:
1990
Hemavan - Viterskalet
1991
Hemavan - Artfjället