The first part of the Wilderness Road, which runs along the Ströms Vattudal water system and onwards to Gäddede, is a beautiful stretch with a string of large and small rivers that attract anglers from around the world. In winter ice fishing for char, a typical fish of Norrland, is a prime attraction. A couple of hours by car way is Sweden’s answer to the Grand Canyon – the mighty Hällingsåfallet falls, where the Hällingsån river plunges over a precipice nearly 45 metres high. It’s a fantastic natural phenomenon. Seeing the powerful waters cascade over the rocky cliff is an unforgettable experience. For the adventurous eager to experience something out of the ordinary, make your way down into the depths of the canyon accompanied by a guide.
Located near the Hällingsån river is the cave known as Koralgrottan. A truly unique and special experience consisting of six kilometres of limestone passageways, making it Sweden’s longest underwater cave. During the summer, you can explore the cave equipped with a helmet and headlamp on a guided tour. Observe sinter formations, stone curtains and stalactites. Did you know that they grow as slowly as one centimetre every thousand years? The cave is bordered by Bjurälven, which also is known as “the invisible river” because parts of it are underground. Next to Bjurälven, there is also a subterranean cave system that has not yet been fully explored. The explored portion alone extends for about 2,200 metres.
The most spectacular part of the road goes across the Stekenjokk mountain plateau, which is open only from early June to mid-October. During the rest of the year, snow accumulations are too great to permit travel. Usually you can ski in the area until late June. The road is plowed at the beginning of June, and snow depths of several metres at the side of the road are not unusual. Depths up to six metres have been measured. The Wilderness Road across the Stekenjokk plateau is one of the few places where it’s possible to explore the mountains by car.
As far as activities are concerned, there is something for everyone who likes to mix adventure and the outdoors. Discover nature on a mountain bike, from a canoe or on skis. You might choose to travel by dogsled or on horseback. Or would you prefer to hike on foot? For the bold, there are detours, both on road and on hiking trails. Fatmomakke is the starting point for hikes in Marsliden that can take you up 1,600 metres to the top of Marsfjäll mountain.
Ankarede at Stora Blåsjön (Big Blue Lake) and Fatmomakke along Kultsjön lake are two areas where the Sami people have gathered since prehistoric times. Today you can find historical sites here dating back to the 18th century, with Sami huts, log church cottages and wooden chapels. During the year many Sami traditional celebrations and festivals are held. Midsummer and the summer solstice are commemorated with dancing, food and socialising all night long. Autumn is celebrated in Fatmomakke, and the annual Christmas market takes place in Ankarede in December.
Cottages, comfortable hotels, camping sites, hostels and bed & breakfast accommodations with a hospitable atmosphere are located along the road. There is definitely a place to stay for every taste. If you prefer to sleep under the starry skies, you can take advantage of allemansrätten, the right of public access that allows everyone to spend the night in the great outdoors, as long as this is done with consideration and respect. Imagine waking up to the call of the cuckoo and taking a refreshing morning dip in a clear mountain lake. Unforgettable!