Into the Swedish Wilderness – Rogen

The Rogen nature reserve is as close to the untamed Swedish wilderness as it gets. The reserve lies on the border between Sweden and Norway and its ancient pine forests, interspersed with blue lakes and giant stones haphazardly strewn about contribute to the untamed ruggedness of the area. Rogen is home to wild animals such as the musk ox and reindeer that roam the expanse freely. You can’t escape the feeling that this is the untouched wilderness, a world apart, a place where adventure calls.

Hiking in Rogen | Photo: Lena Hedman
Take your time, enjoy the sun and the surrounding landscape.

Hiking in Untouched Swedish Wilderness

The Swedish wilderness and ruggedness of Rogen is striking immediately upon arrival. The start of the hiking trail is at the Käringsjön Lake, which has parking and accommodation. The hiking trail starts directly and heads off in a westerly direction, along the banks of the lake and demands your attention, not only to balance on the stones and rocks strewn about, but also to the landscape, which is so foreign. Old, gnarly pine tree’s silently stretch towards the heavens, scorched by the elements and mottled with luminous green-yellow patches of lichen, making perfect subjects for even a rookie photographer. Legend has it that this lichen is so poisonous that it was once used to kill wolves. Nowadays wolves are rarely seen in the Swedish wilderness, but fortunate visitors have the chance to catch glimpses of bear, lynx or wolverine.

The trails are all well marked with orange markers interspersed on trees and stones and the going is easy with no substantial variances in altitude on the first day, apart from the end at Handskinnvålen, where the forest opens up to expansive views of a maze of lakes and mountains in the wilderness. As we near the Skedbrosjön Lake, the days end point, the loon with its forlorn cries pierce the silence. The lake is calm and peaceful and calms the soul just by being there. The wilderness cabin that we will call home for the night is part of an old Sami settlement and is nestled in the birch forests and provides a serene place to sleep for the night.

The mountainous areas around Rogen are home to populations of reindeer and visitors are reminded to leave them in peace. The animals wear their enormous antlers as crowns and roam around in the Swedish wilderness with an air of ceremonial grandeur. The border reserve is also home to a group of 11 musk ox, prehistoric beasts that have their origin in Norway. The musk ox once shared the plains of the north with the gigantic mammoths. This all adds to the uniqueness of Rogen and the chance of spotting the musk ox keeps an element of suspense alive on visits.


The Swedish Wilderness – a Place for Meditation

Hiking in the Swedish wilderness of Rogen is somewhat meditative, the terrain lends itself to this, rhythmically alternating between stones and sandy pathways that intertwine between crystal clear lakes and ponds. Blueberries grow in abundance in the late summer and provide healthy treats to snack on while walking in the wilderness. If you choose to hike with a tent it’s worthwhile taking a detour into Norway on day two, alternatively head to the Rogen cabin, which is overlooked by the Bustvålen ridge, a characteristic ridge that was formed in the Ice Age when the glaciers drew back their icy grip over the landscape, creating systematic ridges and moraines over the area.

Take a detour from the trail up Bustvålen peak and enjoy the panormaic views.

Day two is the longest stretch of the hike and the end point is the Rogen cabin, which lies on a peninsula along a lake. It’s the perfect place to have a swim and sink into the lake, relaxing tense muscles and letting the smooth polished stones massage tired feet. The sauna offers an extra element of relaxation and recovery. It’s commonly said that hunger is the best seasoning and the evening’s dinner after a full day out in the wilderness tastes like it was prepared by a celebrity chef. The ambience is complimented by the evening’s sunset over the mirror like lakes framed by the Norwegian mountainside in the distance. With the evening chill setting in and the crackle of the fire warming the cabin, it’s time for bed and nestling into the sleeping bags for another night’s sleep in the Swedish wilderness.

Paddling & Fishing in the Swedish Wilderness

For those searching for a shorter walk can head directly to the Rogen cabin from the start at Käringsjön Lake, which totals 5kms in distance. It is then possible to use the cabin as a base for discovering the surrounds. Not only does the area offer a Swedish wilderness experience, but relics dating back to the Stone Age are evident by the numerous hunting traps and rock paintings that can be explored.

The old weather beaten boat house at Rogsbodarna is a great place to start fishing. The lake is home to populations of willing Trout and Arctic Char, which makes a perfect dinner. Visitors in late summer can complement their meal with wild chanterelle mushrooms and completing the feast with harvests of wild cloudberries or blueberries for dessert.



The waterways around Rogen opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Canoes are available for rent at Käringsjön or at the Rogen cabin and offer a variety of experiences for young and old alike in the mosaic of waterways in the Swedish wilderness. South of the cabin are the best sheltered bays for paddling and fortunate paddlers can sometimes catch glimpses of otters or even moose grazing on the banks of the lakes. The area around Bredåholmen and Sandholmen offer an archipelago atmosphere where adventurers can discover and camp on their own island for a night. Bear in mind that this is the mountains and the weather in the wilderness can turn in an instant, consideration should be shown when out on the water.

Fish | Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson
In Lake Rogen you can catch both char and trout. Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson

Hiking towards Grövelsjön or Tänndalen

If you are looking for a longer tour in the Swedish wilderness, it’s possible to head out from Rogen cabin towards Storrödtjärnstugan cabin, which lies 18kms away. The cabin serves as a perfect overnighting stop before heading towards the Grövelsjöns mountain station, which lies 22kms further on. It is possible to break this last stretch up by staying at the cabin at Hävligen lake. Use the map Fjällkarta W51 for further reference.

Alternatively, head towards the ski resort of Tänndalen and Funäsfjällen, or for the real wilderness adventurers, head on to Storulvån and Sylarna in the southern Åre mountain range.

About Rogen and other protected areas of Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden



Hiking, Paddling






Käringsjön Lake – Skedbrostugan Cabin: 12 km
Skedbrostugan Cabin – Rogen Cabin: 17 km
Rogen Cabin – Käringsjön Lake 5 km


The start is at Käringsjön Lake. Head from Tännäs and further onwards to Käringsjön. The Härjedalingen Coachline stops at Tännäsvägen. The train stops at Östersund then it is possible to take a coach and taxi to Tännäs.


Fjällkarta (mountain map) Z59


Sporadically rocky, slippery during rainy periods.


Tandsjövålen and Bustvålen are approximately 1000m in height and are easily accessible along the pathway. Brattriet peak is 1 276 metres and the highest peak in the northern regions. The peak has no marked pathways.


Tännäs offers accommodation in the STF hostel, which also has a restaurant. STFs cabins at Rogen and Skedbro are open seasonally with a cabin caretaker and a basic kiosk at each of them. No pre-booking necessary in the cabins. Käringsjön also offers cabins for accommodation.


Myskoxcentrum/Musk ox centre in Tännäs that carries out research and breeding of the Musk Ox. Guided tours offer visitors a chance to view and come into safe, close contact with the prehistoric beasts.


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