Swedish person: “Where are you going next?”
Me: “Fulufjallet National Park”
Swedish person: “Where is that?”
I had this conversation numerous times while in Sweden before I visited Fulufjället National Park. No one I spoke with in Stockholm or Mora had ever heard of this park that was established as a national park in 2002. It is nestled on the border of Norway, almost half way between the northern and southern reaches of mainland Sweden.
There is public transportation to Sarna, but none into the park, roughly 27 kilometers away. Sarna is a tiny town, so you should rent a car from a town large enough to have rental cars. I rented one from Mora, which still left me picking up the car from a gas station next to the train station. Lucky for me, Sixt car rental will bring your car there and leave the rental agreement with the cashier. From Mora, it is a couple hours of driving to reach Fulufjället National Park. The driving is easy as there aren’t many roads between Mora and the park besides the one to Sarna and points north.
You will drive to Sarna, regardless of which direction in Sweden you come from, then turn toward the the even tinier town of Morkret. Once you get closer, there will be signs directing you to the park. Be sure to have the food you need as you won’t find much beyond Sarna.
What to Do
Your first stop should be the beautiful visitor center. It is fairly small, but boasts lots of windows and informative displays. You can ask to view some of the short films they have and they will play them in the theater. I watched the one of the huge flood they had in the 1990’s that wiped out a lot of the forest around the river, as well as one of the park roads. The rangers can give you good advice on what to do, but here is my two cents.
Officially Sweden’s tallest waterfall measuring 125 meters with the tallest plunge being 95 meters, this is a must visit in Fulufjället National Park. Beginning from the Visitor Center, the trail is 2 km each way on easy terrain. The first part is on boardwalks through a beautiful wet area.
There are two resting huts, one at the end of the boardwalk section, and the other at the first view of the waterfall, which is 1.5 km in.
As long as you are feeling good, I highly recommend continuing another 0.5 km toward the waterfall for a closer look. You will find yourself on another boardwalk with amazing views. Some people like to continue right up to the waterfall, but be careful of the wet rocks if you do.
The waterfall plunges over the edge of a plateau. The land is interesting here as much of the park is located on top of the plateau, which is quite vast. Getting to the waterfall, you are below the steep plateau, which is why the trail is so easy. Many people like to make a loop over the top of the waterfall, but be prepared for a steep ascent and descent if you do. It is well worth it to get up above to see the rest of the surrounding area.
I went to the waterfall, the backtracked to the last resting hut and went to the right if coming from the visitor center. It was steep, but once you’re up there, the trails are mostly flat and you can see for miles and miles.
It is like no other national park I have ever visited. From here, your choices are endless. You can make a loop of varying lengths, depending on what you are looking for. There are plenty of places to camp, and even some huts you can stay in. Many people who venture beyond the waterfall come to backpack. Check out this map, located on the second page, for more information.
The area in the park is flat, but there are mountains to the north which you will see. There are several lakes, and lots of birds. There aren’t many trees, so it can be a bit windy: don’t forget a wind, or preferably, rain layer.
The world’s oldest tree is not what you would expect. Old Tjikko, as it is named, is quite small. It actually came from the roots of a 9,550 year old tree! At the time of this writing, there is no official, or even signed trail to the tree. Hopefully they add one, but it wasn’t very hard to find the worn path to it.
Since the trail takes a very hard turn back and to the right as you approach from the waterfall, it is easy to miss. If you see the Zon3/Zon4 sign, you have gone just a little too far, so turn around.
The trail now looks like this, with the trail to Old Tjikko to the left.
Follow this trail about 0.5 kml until you reach a tree with a low rope fence around it and you have reached Old Tjikko.
Year Round Destination
This park is open year round, so depending on what sports you enjoy, there is something for everyone. Like many places in Sweden, there are different trails for snowmobiles in the winter. You will see the red X’s that mark the trails, but they aren’t good for travel in the warmer months as many cut through wet boggy areas.
How Did I End Up Here?
How did I end up here, where even Swedes haven’t heard of? The same way that I found Mora, Sweden . When I google mapped hostels, I found one right outside the park. Like many hostels in Sweden, this one attracts lots of families, and is pretty low key. Bring your own food as they have a brand new, very well set up kitchen. I LOVED this hostel and the location. You can even hike into the park right from the hostel!
Here is more information about the park and what to do there.