Sweden's highest mountain - Kebnekaise
In the east, the municipality is dominated by forest land, but the further west you travel, the smaller and fewer are the pines and spruces that you see. In the west, alpine terrain dominates. The highest peaks are naturally in the Kebnekaise massif, the southern peak being the highest point in Sweden. Since the southern peak is a glacier, the height varies and for a long time the official height has been given as 2,117 metres above sea level. In recent years however, melting has reduced the glacier and the current height of Sweden's highest mountain is 2,103 metres above sea level.
Variations in the landscape within the municipality also mean that there can be big local variations in climate and weather. In the central community of Kiruna which lies about 200 kilometres north of the Arctic circle and just over 500 metres above sea level, it is seldom colder than -20° Celsius in the winter, at the same time as Jukkasjärvi in the Torne River Valley 20 kilometres further east often experiences -30°.Normally the snow cover lasts from the latter part of October until the end of May. In Riksgränsen however, the skiing season continues until midsummer – in the third week of June. Incidentally, Riksgränsen is the place in Sweden with most precipitation - snow and rain. But just 30 kilometres away we have Abisko with Sweden's least precipitation.
Another sign that Kiruna is another word for contrast!
Some special places:
• Kebnekaise – Sweden's highest mountain offers a view covering about one 11th of Sweden
• Kärkevagge and Trollsjön – a valley between Björkliden and Riksgränsen which is filled with remarkable stone formations. And the end of the valley lies Lake Trollsjön, which has the greatest visual depth measured in a Swedish lake, 34 metres.
• The canyon in Masugnsbyn – a 72-metre deep canyon with an unusual richness of plant species, several of them rare.
• Tynnyrilaki – a mountaintop in the northeastern part of the municipality which extremely few people have visited. It is however one of the triangulation points in the World Heritage Site Struve Geodetic Arc.