Skule Mountain (Skuleberget in Swedish) is a mountain within Skule National Park. The park is part of the High Coast, a larger Swedish coastal area off the Gulf of Bothnia that is known for its post-glacial rebound. Since the last ice age, the land has risen 800 meters as a result of less weight from melting glaciers. The mountain and national park join Lapland as Sweden’s contributions to UNESCO World Heritage List of Natural Heritage. While Skule Mountain relatively speaking is not very high in altitude, its well known for a variety of potential activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
While Ben was visiting last week/weekend, we really wanted to take advantage of the spring weather and go hiking and camping in the High Coast area. I’d heard of Skule Mountain from friends at school, so we rented a car in Umeå and Saturday morning and drove about an hour to nearby Örnsköldsvik to first gather information from the local tourist center. Since spring weather in northern Sweden can be a bit awkward – LOTS of sun (almost 20 hours) and warm(er) temperatures, but still inconvenient unmelted snow – we were warned that hiking might not be possible on the High Coast for a few more weeks until the snow fully melted. Luckily, when we next went to the Naturum visitor centre at the base of Skule Mountain, we met a Spanish couple that gave us great tips on the hiking they had been doing in the High Coast, as well as the possible route up to the top of Skule Mountain.
Hiking to the top and down of Skule Mountain only takes about an hour and a half, and is fairly easy despite some steep steps. The view from the top, and various rest points along the way is quite gorgeous, but unfortunately we didn’t have the best weather. While I would highly recommend both the mountain and Naturum visitor centre (which had an enormous wealth of information on the High Coast), if you have more than an afternoon for hiking, I’d recommending spending as much as possible within the National Park. If only passing through the area, or interested in climbing or biking, Skule Mountain is a must.
Getting There & Away
Coming from Umeå, it is easiest to rent a car to visit both Skule Mountain and National Park. Naturum visitor centre lies directly at the base of Skule Mountain, and is only 40 kilometers sound of Örnsköldsvik. You can also take the SJ train from Umeå to Örnsköldsvik, and a bus to Naturum. The road leading to the southern entrance of Skule National Park is directly across E4 from Naturum.