Harsprångsfallet is a former waterfall just south of Porjus in Jokkmokk Municipality. The waterfall is today blocked most of the year by the hydroelectric power plant Harsprånget, owned by electric company Vattenfall AB. The waterfall once had a height of 75 meters. Today you will instead see the 50-meter-tall embankment dam and a large mostly dry canyon.
A Short History of Harsprångsfallet
Harsprångsfallet, or Harsprånget, was once a mighty waterfall along the Lule River. The construction of the hydroelectric power plant was made possible by a decision by the Swedish parliament in 1918. The construction began the same year but was halted already in 1922. It took until 1945 before the construction continued, at a different section of the river. The plant began operation in 1951 and was inaugurated a year later. The village of Harsprånget had during the construction a population of up to 2,000 inhabitants.
The electric power transmission line that from 1952 connects Harsprånget with Hallsberg in southern Sweden was the first of its kind in the world. What made it special was the use of a voltage of 400 kV.
Harsprånget is today the largest hydroelectric power plant in Sweden producing according to some sources a little over 1% of the country’s electricity.
Things to Do and See
Visiting Harsprångsfallet means walking down the stairs to a viewing platform further down into the canyon. To see the great falls in action is nothing to be expected. The floodgates are only opened for safety testing a few times per year. Instead, you can view the impressive rock formations below the fall and imagine how it would look with the water flowing.
Here you will also find a memorial for those who lost their lives during the construction of the plant, but also some beautiful natural scenery. There is, for example, a small stream that has a few smaller waterfalls along the path down to the viewing platform.
How to Get to Harsprångsfallet
- Flights: The nearest airport is Gällivare Lapland Airport (GEV).
- Car: Harsprångsfallet lies along Road E45, just to the south of Porjus.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 1053 kilometers (12 h 20 min)
- Gothenburg – 1398 kilometers (16 h 10 min)
- Malmö – 1661 kilometers (18 h 10 min)
- Linköping – 1248 kilometers (14 h 30 min)
- Kiruna – 178 kilometers (2 h 20 min)