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Talk about roughing it: We've hiked many parts of the world, and Sarek was one of our toughest challenges. Yet it is so fascinating and so filled with wonderful things that it's a grand adventure for those wanting to plunge into its vast miles of wilderness. The Sarek National Park, between the Stora and Lilla Luleälv, covers an area of 1,208 sq. km (466 sq. miles), with about 100 glaciers and 87 mountains rising more than 1,770m (5,807 ft.); eight are more than 1,950m (6,398 ft.). The most visited valley, Rapadel, opens onto Lake Laidaure. In winter, sled dogs pull people through here.

In 1909, Sweden established this nature reserve in the wilderness so that it could be preserved for future generations. To take a mountain walk through the entire park would take at least a week; most visitors stay only a day or two. Although rugged and beautiful, Sarek is extremely difficult for even the most experienced of hikers. There is absolutely nothing here to aid visitors -- no designated hiking trails, no tourist facilities, no cabins or mountain huts, and no bridges over rivers (whose undertows, incidentally, are very dangerous). Mosquitoes can be downright treacherous, covering your eyes, nose, and ears. You should explore the park only if you hire an experienced guide. Contact a local hotel such as Kvikkjokk Fjällstation for a recommendation.

Kvikkjokk is the starting or finishing point for many hikers using the Kungsleden Trail. Call the Svenska Turistforeningen at tel. 08/463-21-00 for information. One- or 2-day outings can be made in various directions. Local guides also can lead you on a boat trip. The boat will take you to a fascinating delta where the Tarra and Karnajokk rivers meet. The area also is good for canoeing.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.