The Wilderness Road – WILD ROADS UP NORTH

Travelling along the classic roads of Norrland is a both relaxing and adventurous way to discover the mountains of Sweden. The Wilderness Road may be the most spectacular, and many motorhome travellers spice up their trip with cycling and hiking.

Mile after mile passes. Forest gives way to moors, with soft mountain silhouettes on the horizon. Endless asphalt that seems to stretch into eternity. At least that is how it feels when travelling by motorhome along the Wilderness Road.

Strömsund is the entryway to this popular classic. All you have to do is head west towards Håkafot and the adventure begins. This scenic and wild road in northern Jämtland passes Stora Blåsjön lake and the Stekenjokk plateau and continues on into southern Lappland all the way to Vilhelmina. The stretch totals more than 500 km, including returning to Strömsund along the Inland Road.

The first leg, along Ströms Vattudal towards the border town of Gäddede, is beautiful, dotted with waterways of all sizes that draw anglers from all over the world. Both trout and char are biting here, along with whitefish, grayling and pike.

Stenjokk erbjuder unika cykelupplevelser!
Stekenjokk offers unique cycling experiences! Thanks to Boliden's old mines, these high mountains boast almost 300 km of gravel roads and paths perfect for terrain cycling.

It is also a journey into the land of Dunderklumpen, a movie by Swedish author Beppe Wolgers from the 1970s that utilised both cartoons and real actors. Traces remain in the area, including the giant Jorm, a statue 6 m tall standing at the folk museum in Strömsund.

A few hours down the road by car is the impressive Hällingså waterfall, Sweden's version of the Grand Canyon. The Hällingsån river plunges over a cliff that is almost 45 m high, down into Sweden's longest canyon. It is aweinspiring to experience the rainbow over the frothy waterfall and feel the high humidity. Anglers will be content in Gäddede since the lakes west and north of the village are said to offer Jämtland's best sport fishing.

Next to Tourist Information is Frostviken Mountain Park, which introduces visitors to the nature along the Wilderness Road, with plants from the distinctive mountain world. Watch how fast the alpine sow-thistle grows or search for meat-eating plants in the marshland. If you take the short detour via Viken Chapel and Sandnäset, you can buy organic barley flatbread at Maud & Olof Eriksson’s flatbread bakery, which has been baking award-winning flatbread since the mid-1960s.

Jormvattnet next. Ola Sundqvist and Elin Eriksson offer riding adventures on Icelandic horses here.

The couple has received multiple awards for their eco-tourism company, including recognition for being “Natures Best”. They arrange full-day or week-long adventures on the back of a horse in high mountain terrain.

“There are endless possibilities for riding here along the border to Norway,” he says as we eat lunch next to a small lake. Fried reindeer and flatbread tastes delicious after a few hours in the saddle.

Ola also mentions Beppe Wolgers’ movie.

“This was where he got his inspiration for Dunderklumpen.”

After the ride it is time for the wood-fired sauna and a refreshing dip before dinner at Korpens Öga, a stylish longhouse with Icelandic features. On the menu is whitefish roe on flatbread, fried char and cloudberry ice cream.

Drick direkt från fjällbäckarna.

Bring a cup and drink directly from the mountain streams.

Hällingsåfallet utanför Gäddede

Hällingså waterfall outside of Gäddede is 43 m high, and the water plunges into an 800 m canyon. There is info about the nature reserve and the waterfall at the parking lot and picnic tables and fire pits next to the falls.


A new day with high mountains in sight. First, a visit to Ankarede to experience Saami culture and the 19th century chapel at the Ankarvattälven river’s outflow into Stora Blåsjön lake. A traditional Midsummer celebration is held here every year, as well as a Christmas market the first weekend in December.

Hiking enthusiasts will find here an easy 4 km trail to Lejarfallet waterfall, a popular destination.

At Stora Blåsjön lake and the turn-off towards the church town is the popular restaurant Fjällripan, which is run by Alexander Nilson, aka the “angry chef” from a Swedish TV programme.

A bit further north, the adventure starts in Stekenjokk on the border between Norway and Västerbotten. A vast mountain plateau with several thousand-meter peaks.

This 16 km-long stretch over the mountain is only open in the summer, normally from the second week of June to the beginning of October. The scenes that meet the snowploughs in late spring at 900 m altitude are often spectacular, with the snow almost 3 m deep and the walls after plowing towering sometimes 6 m high.

If you want to experience the mountains from a bike, Stekenjokk has some of the country’s best cycle trails thanks to Boliden's old mining area, where copper was heavily mined from the middle of the 1970s until 1988. Up on the plateau at an altitude of more than 800 m, there are still almost 300 km of old gravel roads and paths, perfect for terrain cycling in the high mountains.

Snorkla i fjällbäckarna
Snorkel in the crystal-clear water of the mountain streams and watch up close as the trout play.


Klimpfjäll and Norgefarargården await. This village and farm were once the last stop for our farmers heading to Norway to trade.

Ewa Hed runs a café at the old inn that has a view of Kultsjön lake, the Marsfjället peaks and the Autjoklimpen mountain. It also houses a museum and farm shop.

“I’ve had the café since the mid-1980s,” she says, and the menu is appealing with waffles and cloudberry jam and hot smoked char on freshly baked flatbread.

She recommends Fatmomakke Church Town next to the upper part of Kultsjön lake and next to the mighty Marsfjället peaks. Fatmomakke is a Saami site of cultural importance that dates back to the 1700s. It was used to gather parishioners during religious holidays – and only then. There are around 80 tipis, 20 log cabins and a church from 1884.

Saxnäs is just over a 30-minute drive east. Today, the village is dominated by Saxnäsgården, originally an old inn that has been used for a number of different things and is now a restaurant. Saxnäs is a must for adventurers looking to fish, hike and kayak. One person making this happen is Nils Åslund of Stalo Adventures.

For almost ten years he has offered guided tours in nature, on foot, by bike, and with a wetsuit, face mask and snorkel to look for trout and char in the gushing waterways.

The trip continues on towards Vilhelmina, past the impressive Trappsteg waterfall with its large parking lot and café, and along the wide Malgomaj lake.

Saiva Camping, which dates back to the 1960s, is the perfect place to rest. With an idyllic setting next to Baksjön lake, guests can go on guided beaver safaris and fishing trips. “The Wilderness Road definitely contributes to Saiva's popularity,” says campsite owner Petter Rosborg.

He took over the campsite about 15 years ago and has seen an increase in motorhome guests.

“When I started, caravan guests were the majority. But now motorhome guests represent almost 80 per cent of the overnight stays.”

And the campsite is close to Vilhelmina Church Town and its 19th century timber houses. A destination in and of itself, says Petter.

And no visit to Vilhelmina would be complete without stopping by the classic café Stenmans, which is back in a new guise. Pralineriet is another must – especially for chocolate-loving coffee drinkers. So there is plenty to do before heading back to Strömsund, closing the Wilderness Road circle.


ACCOMMODATION close to the Wilderness Road

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