Lapland – Rago and Padjelanta

The national parks Rago in Norway and Padjelanta in Sweden are adjacent to each other but their landscape are quite different. While Rago is very rocky, Padjelanta has a more open landscape, large lakes and grassland – but a few mountains too.

The images in this gallery have been made during a single backpacking trip. I plan on revisiting the area in the future.


Rago is a rather small national park but nonetheless has countless interesting features – such as the famous waterfall Litlverivassforsen (3rd image below) that can be crossed by a footbridge and is reachable with a day hike from Lakshol. In the lower parts of the national park there are forests and beautiful river landscapes along Nordfjordelva while higher up you mostly walk on granite. You’ll encounter waterfalls and many smaller lakes. The terrain is difficult if you do not follow the marked trails.

From Rago it is possible to cross over to Padjelanta National Park in Sweden. This is what I did.


The name Padjelanta is derived from the Sami word “Badjelánnda” which means “higher land”. There are a few traditional Sami settlements in the area. Lots of reindeer can be found – it’s their summer grazing grounds. The reindeer belong to the Sami but roam the land freely. The national park can be explored via the long-distance trail Padjelantaleden from Akkajaure/Ritsem to Kvikkjokk.

In particular noteworthy are the unusually large lakes in the area, Vastenjaure and Virihaure. If you make the effort climbing a rise the views can be stunning.

Further east Padjelanta is flanked by tall mountain ranges that belong to Sarek National Park. There are nice views towards the mountains. Pathless hiking is not too difficult here. In some places you encounter reindeer fences set up by the Sami.

Painting with Light