Abisko national park

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One of the original nine national parks of Sweden designated by the government in 1909, Abisko national park is located in the Kiruna district in the northernmost part of Swedish Lapland, south of only one other national park, Vadvetjåkka. Surrounded by mountain ranges to the south and west, and extending north to the shores of Torneträsk, the park covers an area of 77 square kilometers (30 square miles) and is dominated by a gorge, through which Abiskojåkka creek runs.

Located north of the arctic circle, Abisko experiences very little sunlight during winter, while enjoying more sun than most parts of the country during the summer with a sun that does not set at midsummer. Needless to say, this creates a highly characteristic environment.

The park is largely covered by birch forest, and the name Abisko derives from the Laplanders' name for the area, Ábeskovvu, meaning "sea forest". This is a reference to the proximity to the Atlantic bay of Narvik, Norway, just a short distance to the west. Going south from Abisko is the King's Trail (Kungsleden), a 440-kilometer (275 miles) hiking trail terminating at Hemavan.

The northern part of the park encompasses part of the mountains Slåttajåkka and Njulla, the latter of which gives an excellent view of the canyon and is accessible by cable car. From this peak, the midnight sun can be observed between May 27 and July 18. Other facilities include a natural science station and a station for the Swedish Touring Club with accommodation.

Look out for the rich flora, featuring the extremely rare Orchidaceae Platanthera Obtusata Oligantha, which is not found anywhere else in the country. This flower is protected, so picking it is forbidden wherever it is found, and in fact, no flowers may be picked within the park. Animals include a wide variety of birds, including the rare Phylloscopus Borealis, as well as marten, stoat, lemming, and elk. Needless to state, hunting is not allowed.

Following is a translation of the conditions governing Abisko national park. I am neither a lawyer, nor a translator. This is for educational purposes only. Do not blame me if you get in trouble, yada, yada. The conditions translated into the text below apply only to Abisko. Other national parks have other conditions specified for them.

Public notice with conditions regarding ABISKO national park; SNFS (1987:7)

Supported by 4 § of the national park ordinance (1987:938), the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency announces the following conditions for the national park according to 5 § second section of the environmental protection act (1964:822).

Within the national park it is forbidden to

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency can - if special circumstances are present - announce exceptions from given restrictions.

Without hindrance by the above prohibitions, it is permissible

  • for staff authorized by the national park bailiff to conduct measures according to determined plan of maintenance
  • for an official in official matters concerning issues of reindeer keeping, the police, or the national park management to use motorboats, terrain scooter on snow-covered ground or to land by aircraft. Notification of mentioned matters shall be made to the national park management before conduct
  • for an official in official matters regarding healthcare or rescue operation issues to use appropriate vehicle. Notification of mentioned matters shall be made to the national park management before conduct if possible, otherwise as soon as possible upon completion of the mission
  • for a member of Rautasvuoma sameby in relation to reindeer keeping tasks or fishing for household needs or trade to use motorboat, terrain scooter on snow-covered ground or to land by aircraft
  • to gather berries and mushrooms
  • to take dry branches and twigs to make a fire or arrange a shelter
  • to bring a leashed dog during the time from January 1 to April 30 within the entire national park. Furthermore, it is permissible during all of the year to bring a leashed dog on roads and designated trails as well as in the immediate vicinity of the tourist station and the Abiskojaure cabins
  • to travel by motorboat on Torneträsk except in areas to which access is denied.

Passing into law

SNFS 1987:7

This public notice will pass into law on January 1, 1988.

Information synthesized from www.environ.se and www.fjallen.nu.