National Parks and Wilderness Areas in Enontekiö
How the Hut Network Works
Hiking in Enontekiö:
Paddling in Enontekiö
Biking in Enontekiö
This section has been further subdivided into the following areas:
Hiking and Orienteering in the Hetta Area
There are two starting points for trails on the north side of Hetta. They are the Nature Centre Skierri and behind the Enontekiö centre school buildings. If you are heading towards Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park you need to first cross Lake Ounasjärvi. Private tourist services provide boat trips across the lake, but you can catch one boat from near the silver shop beside the municipality offices – ask in the silver shop for more details.
Jyppyrä Nature Reserve
Jyppyrä at the eastern end of Hetta, is definitely worthy of a visit whilst in Hetta - whether for its nature, the Fell Lapland Nature Centre or the Downhill Ski Resort. In earlier times Jyppyrä was considered a place of worship and small sacrifices used to be made at the site of an ancient seita rock (a holy rock) situated near the top of the hill. According to local legend, this rock was rolled into Lake Ounasjärvi in the 1800s in an attempt by local missionaries to put a stop to pagan worship. Today, various nature trails which set out from the Fell Lapland Nature Centre not only highlight such historical insights but also provide information on the local flora and fauna. The shortest trail (c. 2km) is a circular route that ascends to the summit of Juppyrä on a small forest trail and then descends via a well-maintained wooden staircase. In the autumn allow yourself plenty of time since you will no doubt be distracted by all of the abundant varieties of Lappish berries that can be found along the sides of the trail.
Jyppyrävaara Hill itself is covered by pine dominated forest, dotted with birches as well as aspen and mountain ash. There are only a few lone spruce trees in the area, as the northern growth line of spruce is 20 km south of the area. At the summit, a campfire shelter provides the perfect vantage point for the surrounding area. The surrounding fell landscape astounds visitors with its beauty time after time.
The Jyppyrä Trail (1.6 km)
This trail starts from the yard of the Skierri Fell Lapland Nature Centre and goes to the lookout point located at the top of Jyppyrävaara Hill. The trail has been marked with red-painted sun symbols, and there are steps and a rest spot along the trail. The information boards along the trail tell you about the area's history: the customs of the Midsummer celebration and the seida rocks. You may return to Skierri along another trail. The Jyppyrä Trail belongs to the trail network of the Hetta Area.
Services: A look-out campfire shelter at the top of Jyppyrä Hill.
Peurapolku Trail (2 km)
The trail has its starting point at Fell Lapland Nature Centre Skierri and is the most accessible trail. Whilst it has negligible ascent, it is still interesting as a classic example of a Scandinavian board-walk trail, with illustrated information boards (in Finnish) about the history of the wild forest reindeer hunting that was prolific in that area, historically. The trail leads along level easy to cross terrain on the south side of Jyppyrä Hill. The following trails go via the Peurapolku Trail: Kuntopolku Trail and the Palosenjärvi and Pahtajärvi Trails. There are several old hole traps, game running fences and boards with information on hunting along the trail. The trail is marked with poles that have hoof prints. The path eventually forms a ring at the end of the one-kilometre trail. You can return to Skierri along the same trail. There are also information boards along the trail describing old reindeer hunting methods and wild reindeer that were hunted to extinction. There are several remains of hunting pits along the Peurapolku Trail. They are protected by the Antiquities Act, which is why hikers must keep to the path.
Juhannuspolku Trail & Postipolku Trail, 1-2 km
You still see these trails advertised but actually, they have been superseded by a new trail network that has grown up following the development of the downhill ski resort in the Jyppyra area. Hence, check out the latest trail maps for the most recent information.
The Kuntopolku Trail (4 km)
This also starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings. The trail has been marked with green marks. The first part of the trail goes along the same route as the path that leads tothe top of Jyppyrä Hill. The trail goes around the hilltop from the eastern side, and at the midway point it joins with the lit jogging track. The trail returns to Skierri along the same route as the Peurapolku Trail.
The Palosenjärvi Trail (9.5 km)
Again, this starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings. The trail has been marked with brown marks. It circles around the Jyppyrävaara hilltop from the eastern side and goes across the upper circle of the lit jogging track and continues across Jyppyränselkä. On the slope of the Paljasselkä Fell, the trail branches off from the Pahtajärvi Trail and turns south towards the centre of Hetta. Lake Palosenjärvi remains on the eastern side of the trail. At the point where the trail meets the lit jogging track, it turns to the northeast. You can return to Skierri along the Peurapolku Trail. The entire trail has been marked with brown marks.
The Pahtajärvi Trail (18 km)
And again, this starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings along the same route as the Kuntopolku, Palosenjärvi and Näkkälä Trails. The Pahtajärvi Trail has been marked with blue marks. The trail continues on Jyppyrä Hill across the lit jogging track towards the Paljasselkä Fell. At Sissanginselkä the Pahtajärvi Trail turns west and the trail to Näkkälä continues to the north. After the Närpistönjoki lean-to shelter, the Pahtajärvi Trail turns south towards Pahtajärvi. The most rugged landscape along the trail is at Lake Pahtajärvi, where the lake is down in a canyon and the trail leads along the upper slopes on its east side. There are beautiful wetlands along the trail, where an abundance of Globe Flowers (Trollius europaeus) and the Wood Crane's-bills (Geranium sylvaticum) grow. Just before the village of Hetta, the Pahtajärvi Trail joins the lit jogging track along which you may return to Skierri. The last kilometre of the trail goes along the Peurapolku Trail. There are information boards or signposts in the branches of the Pahtajärvi trail. There are duckboards on the trail but despite that you will need waterproof hiking boots.
Lake Pahtajärvi is a long and narrow lake which flows through a steep gorge on the north side of Hetta. Although getting there involves either a 5km hike or a longer round-trip by skis, it is worth the effort to see the steep cliff walls on both side of the lake. During winter a skiing trail leads across the lake and during summer hikers can admire the area from Pahtajärvi Trail.
Services: Sissanki rental hut (Sissangin kota) which is located between Sissanginselkä and Paljässelkä. The hut can be rented for overnight stays otherwise it is locked. Närpistö lean-to shelter is located at the trail’s halfway point.
Sights: Lake Pahtajärvi, a long and narrow canyon lake.
The terrain in the Hetta area is ideal for orienteering. The area around Jyppyrä is the best place for beginners while the Ounastunturi area is challenging even for experienced orienteers that are in the best shape. There is a fixed orienteering course at Jyppyrä and evening races are organised there occasionally. Maps made for orienteering are sold by Fell Lapland Nature Centre Skierri and a new course is set every summer.
A new orienteering training course is also available at CAPE Lapland on the Hetta Huskies farm routes. Levi also hosts world-ranking ski orienteering events usualy held in Spring.
Hiking in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park
The scenery in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is dominated by fells surrounded by forests and mires in their natural state. Because the area’s nature is clean and beautiful and the terrain varying, the park is a wonderful place to hike, ski and enjoy the outdoors. The silhouette of the fells can be seen practically at all times and the marked trails lead visitors to the National Park’s most beautiful look-out spots. The picturesque beauty of the Pallastunturi Fells has made the area one of the Finnish national landscapes. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is Finland’s third largest National Park. The area of this park has doubled now that Pallas-Ounastunturi National Park and Ylläs-Aakenus Nature Reserve have been combined to create Pallas-Yllästunturi. The most southern fell of the chain is Yllästunturi Fell. It is outside of the park’s boundaries and used as a tourist ski resort hill. The highest fell in this chain is Taivaskero, which is 807 metres high. In the north the view is of the gently sloping upland-like Ounastunturi Fells.
Geologically Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is located between Northern Finland, Forest Lapland and Fell Lapland, making it a very varied and interesting habitat. In the park’s forests and on its fells there is a mix of northern and southern species. It is also the area in which visitors can see the transition area where peoples livelihood changes from farming to reindeer husbandry.
Hetta-Pallas Trail (55km)
One of the most popular hiking destinations in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the 55-km-long Hetta-Pallas Hiking Trail. The route for this trail was outlined in 1934. The trail leads over fells, sometimes descending to the ravines below to once again as if to prepare hikers for the breathtaking view from the top of the next fell. By the beginning of June snows have for the most part melted from the area, but because of the water from melted snow and ice the trail is wet and susceptible to erosion. The best time for hiking begins at Mid-summer in late June. Just before winter sets in mid-October there are only a few random wanderers on the trail.The trail can be travelled from south to north or from north to south.
The main starting and end are Hetta Village and Pallastunturi Visitor Centre. On the south side of Hetta Village hikers must cross Lake Ounasjärvi by boat. When coming to the lake from the direction of Pallas hikers must lift a signal flag, so that a boat will come pick them up.
The trail is considerably well marked and there are several places to stop and rest along it. This means that it is a suitable hiking destination for those with little experience. It is best, however, to have a basic knowledge of hiking and survival skills. Additionally you should keep in mind that the weather in the fell area can change rapidly and in the case of an accident help is far away. The trail is not suited for the disabled.
It is a good idea to plan your hike well in advance by obtaining outdoor map Pallas-Ylläs which show the trail.
The trail leads through varying terrain. Part of the terrain is easy to travel over, but there are also steep ascents and descents, such as Pyhäkero and Lumikero Fells. At some points the trail is very rocky but the rocks have for the most part smoothed out, making it easier to hike across them. There are duckboards across the wettest parts of the trail and hikers do no need to wade across rivers at any point, as there are bridges for this.
There are both open huts and ones that can be reserved approximately every 10km.
The first (open huts) are at Pyhäkero. Sioskuru and Hannukuru has both open and reservable huts. Montellin Maja’s hut is open, and there is both open and reservable accommodation at Nammalakuru. Cabins just off the main track include the open wilderness huts at Montellin Maja, Tappuri and Rautuoja.
Approximately 10km from Pallas there is a wilderness kota café serving coffee and very good doughnuts made by a lady who lives in the café for the season. At the end of the trail in Pallas there is a nature centre with exhibits and films on the nature of the area and a hotel which, when open, is a lovely location for relaxing, post hike, and enjoying a well-earned rest and coffee.
Vuontispirtti – Montelli Cabin – Vuontispirtti (Ylikyrö), (10km roundtrip).
This is a beautiful, fairly steep trail to a small, very old cabin, nestled in the middle of the fells. It is probably one of the most beautiful spots in the National Park and is also accessible in winter by a ski track. You can connect from this trail to the main Hetta-Pallas trail.
The trail from Vuontispirtti connects to the Hetta - Pallas Trail at Montelli open wilderness hut and is approximately 5 km long. This connecting trail starts from a private road to the boundary of the National Park, and continues from there up into the fells marked with white cross signs. Near the timber line the markings of the trail change to short poles with orange tops.
Ketomella-Tappuri Trail, (20km)
This trail leads up on old boardwalks to the Sami reindeer marking village of Tappuri. It is a fairly flat trail with easy walking although the boardwalks need care. Once at Tappuri, you are up amongst the high fells amidst stunning landscape.
You can connect from Ketomella to the main Hetta-Pallas trail. The connecting trail starts off at the old ferry-stop at Ketomella and joins with the Hetta - Pallas Trail about 1 km west of Tappuri open wilderness hut. The trail is managed by the Finnish Road Administration and it is marked with green poles with white cross signs the center of which is red. The distance from Ketomella to the Hetta - Pallas Trail is approximately 9 km.
Pippovuoma Wetland Trail from Ketomella, (10km)
This trail starts from the roadhead at Ketomella and is mainly on boardwalks which aren’t in great shape so it is a challenge for the agile. It is a beautiful marshland trail with dramatic fell scenery to the west.
Pyhäjoki Nature Trail, (Pallasjärvi), (3 km)
This is a small but very beautiful trail alongside the steep, alpine-style stream that descends from the fells to the Pallasjarvi lake. Vegetation around the stream grows thickly so the scenery is fairly different from the normal rugged Lapland scenery and well worth a visit.