The Fjällräven Classic: A 3-Day Trekking Festival To Take the Edge Off Of Summer

The first American Fjällräven Classic (Aug. 19-21) will take place within Colorado State Forest.Getty Images

At its core, backpacking is supposed to be a simple, egalitarian affair. Just grab a tent and sleeping pad and head out into the woods — at your own pace. Lately, though, that model has been upended by Type-A ultra-runners looking to set fastest known times or win some badass trail race around the West. Nothing against pushing yourself to the limits, but sometimes you just want to hike — and jabber with some buddies while you do it.

That’s the idea behind the Fjällräven Classic. For the last 16 years, the Swedish gear company has been hosting a trekking celebration in their home country that includes an 110km hike through Lapland, the northernmost province. This August 19­–21, they’re bringing the festival to North America, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, with the inaugural Fjällräven Classic USA. The three-day, two-night trek traverses Colorado State Forest, 71,000 acres of jagged peaks, alpine lakes, and moose, bear, and deer in the north-central part of the state.


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"In Sweden, the Fjällräven Classic draws participants from around the globe,” says Nathan Dopp, president of Fjällräven North America. “We look forward to bringing that unique community-building outdoor experience to our North American home base here in Colorado."

The scenic highlight is Jewell Lake on Day 2, a subalpine lake set in the glacier basin of the region’s tallest mountain, 12,951-foot Clark Peak. The trek finishes with a backcountry-themed party among the Lodgepole pines, with bluegrass music and open-fire grilled meats expertly prepared by Boulder-based executive chef Kyle Mendenhall, gourmet salads, and dessert.

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It's $200 per person, and you'll need to bring your camping gear (tent, stove, all-weather clothing), but Fjällräven is providing company ambassadors to guide the hike; round-trip transportation from Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver; all the food and water you'll need (meals are sponsored by Mountain House); and a backup medical team in case of emergencies. Participants will receive a 20 percent online discount code for Fjällräven and a Grayl water-purifier bottle at the start of the trek.

In a summer when the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial and offering free entry to all of its parks (and getting them loved to death as a result of it), a low-key trekking fest may be the most refreshing thing outdoors.

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