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The Mjölkbäcken brook caves

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Some caves close to the Mjölkbäcken brook ravine are well worth a visit. They can be reached either from the Mjölkbäcken–Lill-Uman trail or from the Kåtaviken cave trail. The summer trail to lake Lill-Uman, 8 km, begins at the car park immediately before the Mjölkbäcken brook homestead and holiday cottage complex. At the treeline you can also leave the trail and find several fine caves in the Mjölkbäcken ravine. The cave system is described below.
The numbering in the text refers to the map in the picture.
1. Kåtaviken cave trail.
2. At the Corkscrew cave there is a path, not always very clear but leading further eastwards to the Mjölkbäcken brook caves. You will pass a number of pot-holes where small rivulets disappear into the ground.
3. Wade across the Kåtabäcken brook.
4. Bird-watching summit. These grassy summits are established observation points for rough-legged buzzards and other birds of prey. Having been used in this way for generations they have acquired a top-coating of well-fertilised grass.
5. Small outlet for underground watercourses.
6. Nedre Promenadtunnlarna (= Lower Promenade tunnels). Two parallel karst caves in a canyon. When the water is high it streams through the canyon and larger cave. Despite the fact that the entrance holes are relatively small you should have a look inside the caves. It is possible to follow the passage for 30 metres into the cave. To get any further it is necessary to crawl. Notice the typical limestone vegetation on the mountain heath dominated by mountain avens.
7. Stora Promenadtunneln (= Great Promenade tunnel). The most spacious cave on the hiking trail. You can go 50 metres into the tunnel.
8. Mjölkbäcken brook waterfall. One of the most impressive sights on the hiking trail. The green colour of the water is produced by the ooze brought down from the Mjölkfjäll glacier.
9. The little tarns. You can stroll around on the mountain-plateau among the many small lakes. These warm up quickly and on sunny days they can serve as cooling baths.
D. THE BLUE ROAD, HEADING NORTH
50 THE MOUNTAIN GUIDE – YOUR GUIDE TO THE TÄRNAFJÄLLEN MOUNTAINS
10. The Mjölkbäcken brook formerly used to flow through the Mjölkbäcken labyrinth. When the brook cut down into the present canyon the cave was left high and dry with its three labyrinthine parts and its total length of 60 m.
11. The Mjölkbäcken brook cave is an active outlet cave. Inside the narrow entrance the roof height rises almost to standing level. The walls of the cave have attractive dissolution formations and slender freestanding limestone pillars. The end of the brook is situated 300 m to the northeast, upstream towards the old dry brook channel.
12. Sjul-Nilsvallen. An old Sami tent hut site. Such sites are found in many places in the mountain country and can be recognised by the contrast of the grass vegetation with its surroundings. About the turn of the twentieth century a Sami named Sjul-Nils had a meadow here for milking his reindeer.
13. Limestone slabs with cracks. These enlarged cracks are called karren and are typical limestone formations in a karst area.
14. The Blue Road car park near the Mjölkbäcken brook home-stead and holiday cottage complex.
The above description of the caves is from Rabbe Sjöberg & Rolf Eng: Grottvandringar i Tärnafjällen (Exploring caves in the Tärnafjällen mountains), Rapport C:68 Umeå University 1985.

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