Geographically, it starts in the Norrbotten County, also known as the Swedish Lappland province where it drains the lakes Hornavan, Uddjaur and Storavan near Arjeplog; then goes south-east into Västerbotten County, passing through the town Skellefteå , and finally discharging in the Gulf of Bothnia, in the Västerbotten province.
It is one of the major northern Swedish rivers, with a length of 410 kilometers. Like many large northern rivers, it has been cultivated for water power.
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