PADJELANTA NATIONAL PARK
Created in 1963, Padjelanta national park is Sweden’s largest national park (1,984 sq. km ) and forms part of the larger Laponia UNESCO world heritage area – which also includes Muddus, Sarek, and Stora Sjöfallet national parks. The name Padjelanta originates from the Sami word Badjelannda, meaning ‘higher land,’ and much of the national park consists of mountain highlands and lakes.
Leaving Kvikkjokk, the trail reaches the national park after around 40 kilometers of hiking just as the last trees begin to disappear from the Tarra valley. The trail finally leaves the national park again north of Gisuris hut on the way to the ferry at Änonjalmme on the shore of lake Ahkajavrre.
More than just a natural area, Padjelanta national park is also an important cultural region for the native Sami people and their reindeer. The mountain highlands have served as the summer grazing lands for countless generations, before the autumn roundup and migration to the coastal lowlands for winter. You will see many places along the trail used in the migration of reindeer and pass numerous summer village areas – with Staloluokta on the eastern shore of lake Virihaure being the largest settlement.