Driving Vildmarksvägen – the Wilderness Road

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We spend a day driving the Vildmarksvägen which is considered one of the most scenic roads in Sweden and it will be a long day driving since it is a long trip of around 400 kilometers and it isn’t a highway so the speed will be limited somewhat. The road is only open for a couple of months during the summer – the rest of the year the road is truly a wilderness closed by the heavy snow which falls in this part of Sweden from the late fall to the early summer. Normally the road will open in the beginning of June. The access to the road is from the two Swedish towns of Vilhelmina and Strömsund. We start our drive from Strömsund and finish at Vilhelmina.

Lake along the wilderness road

It is a scenic drive for sure – but after having spent a summer driving up all the way along the Norwegian coast this road doesn’t seem to be all that wild. There are a lot more trees in Sweden compared to what you find along the Norwegian shores so for long stretches of the road there really isn’t a lot of view because it is all covered by the many trees. Occasionally we can look through the trees to see several lakes and streams across the landscape.

Finally when we reach the highest part of the road around the Stekkenjokk plateau the landscape is getting wilder for a separate blog and pictures of the plateau is here. The road passes through a highland which is high enough to stop all the trees from growing. Here the landscape reminds me more of Norway – and not surprisingly we are actually driving only a couple of miles from the Norwegian border. If there had actually been a road we would have been able to go back to Norway in a few minutes. But here on the plateau there are no roads so we just drive across the highland enjoying the view of mountains and the snow. Unfortunately the reindeer which is supposed to live in this area is absent today so we don’t get a last reindeer experience of the trip.

We continue the drive from the Stekkenjokk plateau along the road and then take a turn to go out to the old church town of Fatomakke. The old town is an interesting place with some very interesting Sami buildings which is mention in a separate blog here.

Summerflowers

From the little Sami village we continue our drive towards Vilhelmina along the road we stop a few times. There are a couple of nice waterfalls of Trappstegsforsen and Litsjöforsen. In addition to the waterfalls there is a nice view point along the road – just don’t go to the top for the view it is actually below the top. After a long days drive we finally reach the old church town of Vilhelmina in time for dinner.

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