Tannforsen

Duved, Jamtland County, Sweden

About Tannforsen


Hiking Distance: about 1km round trip for all overlooks
Suggested Time: 30-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2019-07-12
Date last visited: 2019-07-12

Waterfall Latitude: 63.44523
Waterfall Longitude: 12.7404

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Tannforsen (or more accurately Tännforsen) was quite possibly our favorite waterfall in Sweden.

Squeezed between two big lakes (Tännsjön and Våmviken), the outflow of Tännsjön runs on Åreälven and drops over a series of precipices with a reported height of 38m over a width of some 60m with a peak recorded flow of 791 cubic meters per second.

Tannforsen_095_07122019 - Double rainbow arcing before the beautiful main drop of Tännforsen
Double rainbow arcing before the beautiful main drop of Tännforsen

Such dimensions apparently emboldened the local authorities to proclaim this to be Sweden’s largest waterfall by volume (at least according to the many signs in the area).

Further adding to the scenic allure of this waterfall was that it was unregulated and wild as it was meant to be so we didn’t see ugly power lines, power pylons, dam walls, nor giant buildings in the immediate area.

Since 1971, Tännforsen and its immediate surroundings became a nature reserve so it appeared the falls will remain wild and free for the foreseeable future barring a dramatic shift in political climate and will.

Our experience at the falls consisted of a handful of overlooks that allowed us to enjoy each aspect of the waterfall’s drop from its brink all the way down to its outflow.

Tannforsen_138_07122019 - Bottom up look at the main drop of Tännforsen
Bottom up look at the main drop of Tännforsen

We also happened to come at the right time of day to get nearly full arcing double rainbows fronting the Tännforsen.

Brief History of Tännforsen

According to the signs here, the Tannforsen waterfall bedrock originated from the hardened remnants of the Scandinavian mountain range around a half-billion years ago.

The lakes surrounding this bedrock’s drop just so happened to be arranged such that one lake drained into the other.

This would be very much like the way pumped storage energy plants would work except in this case, Mother Nature “pumped” the water into the upper lake in the form of precipitation.

The natural lakes were likely the result of (or at least aided by) depressions caused by the weight of glacial ice.

Tannforsen_039_07122019 - Looking down towards the lake Våmviken, which was where the Tännforsen emptied into
Looking down towards the lake Våmviken, which was where the Tännforsen emptied into

With the resistance of the bedrock to erosion, the falls would retain its ledge and thus have perpetual waterfall for as long as the Tännsjön would have water.

More recently, Tännforsen was noticed by pilgrims in the 19th century making their trek to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

These pilgrims walked on a route that I believe was part of the Mittnordensleden, which eventually became absorbed into the longer coast-to-coast walk of St Olavsleden.

Other more well-off people in King Karl XIV Johan’s time had the resources to visit these falls for pleasure around the same time period.

Since 1906, Svenska Turistföreningen made more improvements in facilities and road access to Tännforsen, which ultimately enabled the general population to experience the falls.

Our Tännforsen Experience

Tannforsen_002_07122019 - the footpath that we took to get closer to Tännforsen
the footpath that we took to get closer to Tännforsen

Although there were several walking trails that looped from the car park area (see directions below) to the falls, we took the shortest path in the middle.

It was the one that branched to the right of the interpretive signs but to the left of the Tännforsen Tourist Station.

This short, shaded, and flat path led us 200m to some short series of steps at the nearest overlook for the “Vattenfallet”, which looked right across the uppermost and main drop of the Tännforsen Waterfall.

We also managed to get quite an in-your-face look at the uppermost drop of the falls itself as well as the outflow into the Våmviken lake.

Tannforsen_023_07122019 - Julie and Tahia standing at an overlook with a view right across Tännforsen
Julie and Tahia standing at an overlook with a view right across Tännforsen

Space was limited at this overlook as it was quite a popular spot for taking pictures.

A little higher up on the main trail from this overlook, there was a more spacious lookout right at the brink of the waterfall.

Although the views from here weren’t as great, the wide open overlook did allow more people to simultaneously share the experience.

After having our fill of the falls from the top of the waterfall, we then walked down a sloping trail that took us to a lower lookout that perhaps gave us the most satisfying view of Tännforsen.

Tannforsen_082_07122019 - Context of the middle overlook for Tännforsen, which was probably my favorite spot for seeing the waterfall
Context of the middle overlook for Tännforsen, which was probably my favorite spot for seeing the waterfall

This was where we witnessed a bold double-rainbow arcing across the base of the waterfall while seeing the entire main drop in full context.

In fact, the picture you see at the top of this page was taken from this spot.

Finally, after having our fill of this lookout, we then went all the way to the lowermost lookout at the lowest point of all walking paths in the reserve.

It sat right on a rocky protrusion near the head of the Våmviken lake so it wasn’t a formal lookout with railings per se.

Tannforsen_152_07122019 - Approaching the lowermost of the lookouts around Tännforsen
Approaching the lowermost of the lookouts around Tännforsen

That said, we did get to look upstream towards the main drop of Tännforsen in context with the surrounding cliffs as well as the intermediate cascades in between.

After having our fill of this spot, we then walked back up the slopes to return to the car park.

Overall, we wound up spending about an hour away from the car.

Authorities

Tännforsen was near the town and municipality of Åre in Jämtland County, Sweden. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may want to try the local municipality website.

Tannforsen_003_07122019 - Looking towards the footpath leading to Tännforsen's uppermost lookout
Tannforsen_009_07122019 - This was the footpath leading to the nearest lookout of Tännforsen that we wound up taking
Tannforsen_011_07122019 - The walkway to the overlooks of Tännforsen were gentle and mostly shaded, which was nice considering we happened to visit on a warm and very sunny day
Tannforsen_012_07122019 - Descending these steps towards the Tännforsen lookouts
Tannforsen_019_07122019 - This was the first lookout that we checked out at Tännforsen, which was quite busy with limited space yet it was a popular spot for taking people shots
Tannforsen_030_07122019 - Julie and Tahia finally getting to check out Tännforsen from this small lookout looking right across the waterfall
Tannforsen_037_07122019 - View of the front of Tännforsen from the popular lookout with the limited space
Tannforsen_050_07122019 - Another contextual look at Tännforsen with the lookout occupied by another couple
Tannforsen_057_07122019 - Looking across the brink of Tännforsen from the uppermost lookout
Tannforsen_063_07122019 - Looking down at the context of the views from the uppermost lookout for Tännforsen
Tannforsen_069_07122019 - Another contextual look at the lookout by the brink of Tännforsen
Tannforsen_072_07122019 - Looking more upstream from the uppermost lookout at the brink of Tännforsen
Tannforsen_074_07122019 - Taking the well-developed footpaths to reach the lower overlooks of Tännforsen
Tannforsen_076_07122019 - All this downhill on the hike to reach the lower lookouts for Tännforsen meant that we had to climb back up when we were done
Tannforsen_084_07122019 - The attractive middle lookout for Tännforsen with a nice rainbow spanning across the base
Tannforsen_091_07122019 - Looking downstream from Tännforsen towards the lake Våmviken from the middle lookout
Tannforsen_110_07122019 - Someone sharing the middle lookout of Tännforsen with me
Tannforsen_117_07122019 - Last look from my favorite spot to check out Tännforsen with the mist and sun continuing to produce nice double rainbows
Tannforsen_122_07122019 - Looking back at the context of the middle lookout for Tännforsen
Tannforsen_124_07122019 - Back on the shaded and sloping footpaths as I was now making my way to the bottommost lookout for Tännforsen
Tannforsen_127_07122019 - Approaching the bottommost lookout for Tännforsen
Tannforsen_133_07122019 - Looking up towards Tännforsen from the bottommost lookout, where I get to see these intermediate rapids and cascades fronting the main drop
Tannforsen_163_07122019 - After having our fill of Tännforsen, we had to walk all the way back to the car park by gaining back all that elevation loss

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Since we made our visit to Tännforsen from Östersund, I’ll describe the driving directions from there.

We basically just drove for about 106km along the E14 heading west towards the Norwegian border.

Tannforsen_001_07122019 - The car park for at the Tännforsen Tourist Station
The car park for at the Tännforsen Tourist Station

At the end of this 106km stretch (after reaching the west end of Duved), we saw a sign pointing to our right for Tännforsen.

So we turned right to go onto the Route 322, where we then drove for a little over 6km to the next signed turnoff for Tännforsen.

We took this turnoff and went the remaining 2km to the car park at the Tännforsen Tourist Station.

Overall, this drive would take us about 90 minutes, but since Ristafallet was along the way, it took us a bit longer than that.

The car park had to pay and display the 20 SEK per hour fee (as of our July 2019 visit).

Tannforsen_164_07122019 - Sign at the Tännforsen Tourist Station proclaiming this to be the largest waterfall in Sweden
Sign at the Tännforsen Tourist Station proclaiming this to be the largest waterfall in Sweden

If you happened to be coming from the other direction from the Swedish-Norwegian border at Storlien, we would drive about 46km east on the E14 to the Tännforsen turnoff on the left.

For geographic context, Östersund was about 101km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Strömsund, 159km (about 2 hours drive) east of Storlien, 263km (about 3.5 hours drive) east of Trondheim, Norway, and 557km (well over 6 hours drive) northwest of Stockholm.

Video showing the various ways to experience the falls at my favorite lookout spot


Sweep of main drop and rainbow from a lookout near its brink


Top down look at the falls with its raw power


Sweep covering the bottommost tier of the falls as well as the main drop

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Tagged with: are, duved, jamtland, sweden, waterfall, lappland, lapland, ostersund, e14



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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