Both the global elite and leisure skiers come to practise in Kiruna every year. Here they will find early snow together with well-prepared trails. These are for both skating and classic cross-country skiing, for elite skiers and hobbyists alike, right next to the Kiruna city centre. The ski trails are illuminated in the evenings and regularly maintained to provide the best possible skiing conditions. During the colder months it can be good to bring a headlamp with you since the lights are turned off when the temperature drops below -20 degrees.
We offer an amazing 63 km of cross-country ski trails, of which 28 km are illuminated. At Matojärvi sports arena, in connection to the Matojärvi World Cup track, there is a ski stadium. If you want to ski together with your dog this is possible on all tracks if the dog is on leash. Skiing with dogs is only allowed on the skating tracks.
At Camp Ripan and Café Sport Luossavaara you can rent cross-country skis for the day and immediately head out in the tracks located just around the corner. Most of the tracks are free but for the fee-based ones, you need a ski pass. The season for cross country skiing extends from the end of October until the end of April.
Did you know? The legendary cross-country skier Erik “Kiruna-Lasse” Larsson, born in the small village of Kurravaara won a gold medal in the Olympic games in 1936.
* Illuminated Lombolo 8,9 km
* Illuminated Jägarspåret 3,3 km
* Illuminated connection Matojärvi-Jägarspåret 1,5 km
* Illuminated Matojärvi 2,2 - 5,0 km (fee based)
* Dog tracks 8,0 km
* Sled dog tracks
* Excercise tracks total 17,0 km not illuminated
A pair of touring skis can in many cases be a nicer choice than cross-country skis in a mountain environment. When it comes to climbs of some altitude meters, there is probably nothing worse than wearing a pair of narrow and slippery cross-country skis. When it’s time to go downhill it’s practically impossible to plough or even stop with them, so if you want to ski in the mountains, touring skis or Randonnée is a hot tip!
The locals weekend favorite! Approximately 8 km outside Kiruna the track begins to the low mountain Ädnamvaara, with a peak 790 m above sea level. Up on the mountain slope, just above the tree line, there is a café in the Ädnamvaara cottage which opens at the end of February. Here you can enjoy a nice “fika” and a beautiful view over the city.
Here there are prepared ski tracks for both skating and classical skiing. On a sunny spring day, it’s nice to swoosh on your skis to the glacier lake Láddjujávri. The first km goes through birch forest and after that the landscape opens up with long vast bogs and you will see the massif of Kebnekaise in front of you. The tour is about 11 km in total. Have a nice meal in the restaurant or spend the night in one of Enoks cosy mountain cottages.
A slightly longer ski trip, 19 km, takes you to the mountain station of Kebnekaise. Most of us know that this is the highest mountain in Sweden, but one should also know that it’s a rather easy ski trip from Nikkaluokta to the mountain station. At the end it’s a climb of approx. 280 altitude meters but you can easily use your cross-country skis on this trip. A tip is to go with a snowmobile transfer up to the mountain station and do your ski trip back to Nikkaluokta. Tour skis can be rented at the mountain station and be returned at Nikkaluokta Sarri.
Once you get up to Kebnekaise Mountain Station, it is excellent to ski on both mountains and in valleys, but here you may need to change skis. If you ski in the valley below the mountain station it’s fine on cross-country skis but in other places it can be more difficult. If you for example ski into the Tarfala valley there is a lot of climbs. It is not really that troublesome to get up with ordinary skis, but on the way back it can be quite high speed on the downhill slopes, and then it is difficult to stop with cross-country skis. Check with the sports shop in the mountain station before going out on a tour, so they can give you the best advice.
In Abisko, 93 km from Kiruna, there is of course off-piste skiing from the mountain Nuolja but in the National Park in Abisko there are beautiful surroundings to discover on cross-country or touring skis. Nice and easy ski tracks between 3,5-9 km. In Abisko you can rent ski equipment and here you also should consider touring skis if you want to get up several altitude meters.
In Björkliden there are fine cross-country trails up in the mountains and in a forest environment, from easy to medium difficult. Ski past historic sites such as the Navvy cemetery and see fantastic views like the famous Lapporten. In Björkliden’s sports shop, there are skis for rent that suit all types of skiers, and in the ski workshop, service is also performed on your existing equipment.
A perfect trip for the day is to ski up to the highest located mountain station in Sweden – Låktatjåkko. To go up there you need climbing skins because there are a lot of steep climbs. Back down again (which you already figured out) it goes all the faster and then Randonnée or touring skis is almost a must. Some choose to go up with a snowmobile or a tracked vehicle and then go downhill skiing and that is, of course, a good choice. If you go up to the top of Låktatjåkka, you can also take the opportunity to ride Kopparåsrännan, which is considered one of Sweden’s finest off-piste runs.
Riksgränsen opens a bit later in spring winter but it is open until late May. The area is known for the off-piste and heli skiing but here you can also find nice excursions if you prefer cross-country skiing. If you want skiing on a really spectacular trail with incredible views, you should choose this tour; Riksgränsen – Katterjåkk – Kärkevagge – Låktatjåkko Fjällstation – Björkliden.
The ski trail is marked with branches/crosses from Katterjåkk to Låkta. Before going out on this journey you need to contact the sports information in Riksgränsen or Björkliden to find out more about the snow conditions. A classic alternative for all those who love to go on a top tour is Vassitjåkka north which begins in Vassijaure.
King’s Trail Abisko – Nikkaluokta (multi-day tour)
A ski tour along the King’s trail between Nikkaluokta and Abisko is classical. Many begin the tour at STF Abisko mountain station but it’s just as good to begin the adventure in Nikkaluokta. Regardless of direction you will experience a magnificent landscape in the highest alpine area of the King’s trail – by Tjäktjapasset you pass the highest point of the trail at 1150m above sea level. Along the trail you will find STFs mountain huts, with a distance about 12–20 km between them. That means a good distance for daytrips if you have a normal condition and if you start your day in the morning. Do not forget to plan for an extra day if the weather is bad.