Hiking through the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Hiking, skiing, rowing, canoeing and piking berries and mushrooms in non-restricted areas are the main activities taken part in, in the National Park.

FYI: Pets are not allowed in any of the bookable wilderness huts and they are only allowed in the open huts if others who also happen to be staying there at that time agree. Hence, dog owners should bring a tent to camp in if they want to camp in a specific place or be willing to have to move further in search of an appropriate hut.


The Classic 55km Hetta-Pallas Route

The most popular hiking trail in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the Hetta-Pallas Trail, which is 55 km long and is Finland's oldest and most popular trail and was outlined before the national park was established, in 1934. Hikers can also extend this trail from Pallas to Ylläs. There are day trip, open and reservable wilderness huts along this trail. From Ylläs hikers can head for Levi and Olos. The trails from Ylläs to Levi and Ylläs to Olos have been bettered by renewing information boards and signs, and by laying new duckboards in wet sections.

Hetta-Pallas Car Transfer Services

A number of companies, including ours, offer car transfers from one end to the other of the National Park for those planning to hike or ski its length. We charge €65 for this service.

Read more about the route here or from our own pages, here.

Services: Wilderness Huts: (NB: Links to external pages move quite frequently but if you like through and the page has migrated, it should be easy to find its new location.) Pyhäkero at the foot (including ski café spring skiing season), Sioskuru (16 people), Reservable and open Tappuri (8 people), Pahakuru (6 people), Hannukuru (16 persons, sauna), Montell (4 people) and Nammalakuru (16 people); Reservable and open; with a cafe in the high season; huts Suaskuru (eat packed lunches and a campfire), and Rihmakuru Hannukuru.


NATURE TRAILS AT THE HETTA END OF THE PARK

The popular nature trails in the North of the park are described within our section on husky hiking activities.


HIKING & NATURE TRAILS IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE PARK.

Vuontispirtti – Montelli Cabin – Vuontispirtti (Ylikyrö), (10km roundtrip)
This is a beautiful, fairly steep 5km trail starting from a private road (at Vuontispirtti) and leading into the National Park, to a small, very old cabin, the Montelli open wilderness hut, 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 by following white crosses. Near the timber line the markings of the trail change to short poles with orange tops.

Ketomella-Tappuri Trail, (16km)
This trail leads up from the old ferry-stop at Ketomella on old boardwalks to the Saami reindeer marking village of Tappuri. It is a fairly flat trail with easy walking although the old rickedy boardwalks are in the process of being replaced with a more permanent duckwalk. Once at Tappuri, you are up amongst the high fells amidst stunning landscape.

You can connect from this trail to the main Hetta-Pallas trail c. 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 with a red centre. It is c. 9km from Ketomella to the Hetta - Pallas Trail junction.

Maintenance support for the 10km Pippovuoman wetland nature trail from the roadhead at Ketomella service, unfortunately terminated in 2014. This is a beautiful marshland trail, however, featuring unique aapa bogs, with dramatic fell scenery to the west, so if you are agile, it is still recommended before the boardwalks become too dangerous. In future, people will be redirected from Pippoharju to Hietajärvi, which has also got a new shelter. The trail starts 0.5 miles from Ketomella on the south side of the bridge.

The 3.5km Pyhäjoki Nature Trail is a small but very beautiful trail alongside the steep, alpine-style stream that descends from the fells to the Pallasjarvi lake through some steep cliffs. Vegetation around the stream grows thickly and includes lush groves of old growth fir trees so the scenery is fairly different from the normal rugged Lapland scenery and is well worth a visit. This pretty trail begins on the Pallas Road, near the shore of Lake Pallasjärvi, at St. Joe's parking lot. The trail is marked with cone signs.


Nature Trails which start from Pallas

The 9km circular Taivaskero route which goes to the top of Taivaskero takes c. three hours to hike. Taivaskero is 4km from and c.340m higher than the Pallas Visitor Centre.

This 7km circular 'Palkaskeron' trail climbs to a high rocky point on the fells where, although many before you have left behind cairns, the national park authorities would hope that you would be able to resist adding more since it goes against the aims of conserving the national park in its natural state. This trail branches off from the Hetta-Pallas route, a few miles north of the Pallas Visitor Centre and can cause confusion in bad conditions.

From this high point, c. 240m above the visitor centre, you can see all of Pallas's lakes and fells as well as the ruins of the hold Pallas hotel. This is a place at once steeped in a bygone era and also still thriving as a business. From there, the trail travels east through an old reindeer fence. Camping is permitted near to an old hut that you will find along the trail.

It is worth noting that this is one of the trails in the Pallas area along which you will find environmental art - in this case, seven bronze squirrels which embody the world's great religions and the oneness of creation.

The 3km Vatikuru Nature Trail begins at Pallastunturi Visitor Centre, is marked by cone signs, and winds around the slopes of Pallastunturi, presenting the life and culture of the region along the way.

During winter, visitors can take the unmarked 3-km Pallas Ski and Snowshoe Trail and learn about winter and about how nature adapts to these extreme conditions.

NATURE TRAILS IN THE SOUTHERN END OF THE PARK, CLOSE TO YLLÄS

A so-far little-used trail which has been recently remarked, leads from the Pallastunturi Fells, via Lommoltunturi Fell, south towards the Yllästunturi Fells. One access point is Rauhala but there are no service structures between there and Yllästunturi, and there are also some restricted areas along the route (entry into which is strictly forbidden in summer). Hence, this is recommended only for experienced hikers.

Ylläs-Rauhala-Pallas Trail (72 km) will take you to the beautiful landscape, woodland surroundings and across hills. You can start the route either at Yllästunturi Visitor Centre Kellokas in Ylläs or Pallas Visitor Centre in Pallas. When you leave Kellokas descend first through Varkaankuru Ravine along Lake Kesänkijärvi. Wander through the western end of the lake on the west side of the Kesänkitunturi Fell to Hangaskuru Ravine. Continue past the Hangaskuru lean-to shelter to Kotamaja in Kolmentunturin kuru Ravine, which operates during the winter season as a café. Turn from Kotamaja to the northwest and pass between Pyhätunturi Fell and Kukastunturi Fell to the shore of the River Äkäsjoki.

From there hikers travel beside the river northward first passing Lake Äkässaivo and then Peurakaltio Spring. From the spring hikers continue north across the top of Äkäskero Fell. After this hikers pass the Mustakero, Kolvakero, and Kesälaki Fells on the east-side of Lake Äkäsjärvi to arrive in the village of Rauhala, which is on the eastern shore of Lake Jerisjärvi. Please note that the Äkäskero-Rauhala route is a fair distance and route markings are sometimes incomplete. You will need to bring a tent, as there are huts only at Pahtavuoma and Kutujärvi. Also, access to water is few and far between.

Services: Juuanrova , Kuusikonmaa and Pahtavaara wilderness cabins , reindeer rock café (open in early spring and autumn-time), Äkäsmylly Mill café (open during the tourist season)

From the village hikers move north first along the lower slopes of fells and after Anuntinvuoma moving higher up to Koivakero Fell and onto Mustakero Fell on the east-side of Lake Keimiöjärvi. At the hill there is an open wilderness hut after which hikers follow the western slope of Lommoltunturi Fell towards the Pallastunturi Fells. Lengths of the sections of these trails: Ylläs-Rauhala 50 km, Rauhala-Pallas 22 km. You can identify the route with orange paint markings.
Services: lean-to shelter Hangaskuru; Kutujärvi lake wilderness huts Niittypirtti (4 people),Pahtavuoma (3 people), Pahtavuoma II (2 people) and Mustakero hut (5 persons); day room Keimiöjärvi


NATURE TRAILS AROUND YLLÄS

A very popular trail called Varkaankuru Trail (Wizard´s Trail) begins at Kellokas Visitor Centre. The trail is 4-km-long and leads you through Varkaankuru Ravine.

Services: shelter and campfire site

At Kellokas visitors can also get onto Kiirunankieppi Trail (12 km), which circles Keskisenlaki Fell in Ylläs, and Seitakierros Trail (9 km).

A 17-km-long trekking nature trail at Aakenustunturi Fell has exhibits on the area’s animals, geology and history.

Aakenustunturi hiking trail (17 km): The signposts on the trail introduce hikers to the local fauna, geology and history. The trail starts in the parking lot.

Kirunankieppi Trail (15 km): The trail will acquaint you with the geology of the area. The nature trail can be started either in the yard or the Nature Centre Kellokas Ylläsjärvi ski area. It circulates in the rugged mountain terrain of Ylläs with a score of easy-to-walk wooden boardwalks. The path can be recognized by signs with a ptarmigan footprint, seeing as the trail is named after the ptarmigan (Finnish word kiiruna).

Lalvajärvi Joutsenpolku trail (6 km) explores the distinctive characteristics of the area including birds, mammals and fish. Located in the middle of the path, at Lalvajärvi bird-watching tower people have observed more than 80 species of birds. The trail starts in the parking TOTOVAARA and is marked with a swan (Joutsenpolku literally means Swan trail).

The volcano park's nature trail (1.5 miles) explores the volcanic history of the area, where you'll notice that the reports of Lapland's ancient volcanoes are true. The bedrock of Linkupalo tells geological tales about the volcanic eruptions that occurred over 2 billion years ago. The trail begins at Aakenuksentie, Linkupalo and is marked with red paint.

Niesakero nature trail (2.7 miles) starts at Luosu, Niesakero. This nature trail that passes through the varied landscapes of Niesakero acquaints you with the old hunter-gatherer culture and practical game husbandry.
Services: shelter, fire making, water supply point.

Ylläslompolo nature trail (3 km), passing through the old spruce forest to a small beautiful wilderness lake and meadow will introduce you to the meadow culture, old forests and wetlands. The trail starts in the parking lot of Ylläslompolo and is partly on wooden boardwalks. It is built by the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, and is marked by stakes. From Ylläsjärvi the trail starts at the bird watching tower.
Services: trail hut, bird watching tower that is wheelchair accessible.

Seitakierros Trail (9 km) is a culture-themed trail that tells the traveller about the northern people's relationship with nature and their world view. The trail starts in Nature Centre Kellokas and rotates around the Kellostapuli fell.
Services: shelter and campfire site.

Saalistusjotos Trail (5 km) explains the chase and the struggle between predators and prey as well as the methods that nature has developed for survival. The trail begins on the south side of the Yllästunturi with a parking lot and is marked by paw prints.
Services: Kahvikeita shelter

Tähtipolku Trail (8 km) passes through Kesänkitunturi terrain and guides the wanderer to observe the northern sky. Along the trail signs discuss celestial tales. Tähtipolku (star trail) starts from the parking lot of Kesänkijärvi and passes through Pirunkuru Ravine, Kesänkitunturi fell and Tahkokuru Ravine. Pirunkuru Ravine is very rugged and steep, and hence not recommended for beginners. You can identify the path with star signs.
Services: two lean-to shelters, campfire site.

Hillapolku Trail (6 km) encircles Lake Kesänkijärvi. The trail is easy to walk and smooth, and it is easy to get around by following the signs of the cloudberry. You will also be introduced to the plant kingdom of Ylläs.
Services: campfire spot.

Saivonkierros Trail (3 km) passes through Äkäsjoki River and Äkässaivo scenery, guiding you through the historical sites as well as following the traditional peasant culture associated with the lime kilns and meadow hay barn. The nature trail signs tell of historic sites in addition to forest, nature, and fishing. It starts on Aakenuksentie road and is marked by wooden poles with Saivonkierros sign.
Services: cozy Laplander's hut


OTHER ROUTES IN PALLAS-YLLÄSTUNTURI NATIONAL PARK

You can start the Ylläs-Levi (47 km) from the Yllästunturi Kellokas Nature Centre or the village of Kittila (Sirkka). When you leave Kellokas descend first through the Varkaankuru Ravine along the shores of Lake Kesänkijärvi. Wander through the western end of the lake on the west side of the Kesänkitunturi Fell to Hangaskuru Ravine. Continue towards the Hangaskuru shelter via Kolmentunturin kuru Ravine to Kotamaja, where there is a cafe in winter. Continue from Kotamaja through the ravine between fells Lainio and Pyhätunturi to the southern end of Lake Pyhäjärvi to an open wilderness hut.

The Lake Pyhäjärvi route runs along the foothills of Aakenustunturi Fell to the Äkäslompolo-Kittila road. After crossing the bridge over Aakenusjoki River then arrive at a gravel road along the shore of Lake Aakenusjärvi. Continue from there through Homevaara Fell to the day hut at Muusa. The last end of the journey is through the north area of Pyhätunturi Fell and Kätkätunturi Fell to the wooded landscape of Sirkka village. The trail and path intersections are marked with orange coloured markings. Wooden boardwalks cover the marshy areas.
Services: Muusa and Pyhäjärvi Day trip huts, lean-to hut Hangaskuru, Aakenusjärvi hut, Kotamaja hut with cafe open in winter.

Ylläs-Olos Trail (69 km) can go either from Yllästunturi Nature Centre Kellokas or Olostunturi ski resort. When starting from Kellokas first pass Ylläs-Levi Trail to Kotamaja cabin. Turn from Kotamaja to the northwest and pass between Pyhätunturi Fell and Kukastunturi Fell to the shore of River Äkäsjoki. From there continue beside the river northward, first passing Lake Äkässaivo and then Peurakaltio Spring. From the spring pass the west-side of Äkäskero Fell to Äkäsmylly Mill. The mill's café is open in winter for peak season. After crossing the Äkäslompolo-Muotkavaara road continue through forest. For the final part, journey to the open wilderness huts at Juuvanrova and Kuusikonmaa and by the north-side of Olostunturi Fell to its end at Olos ski resort.