Biking in Enontekiö

Enontekiö's fell highlands are great for mountain biking. There are numerous gravelled forestry roads, sandy heaths with trails, old German routes and challenging duckboards across vast wilderness areas to choose from. All areas aside from the Malla Nature Reserve and the Pallas-Ounastunturi National Park are open access although there aren't many great routes across the larger wetlands area or the Yliperä fells in Kilpisjärvi.

Road biking in the region is also pleasant - roads are generally in good condition and there is little traffic. National biking trail 21 runs through the village of Hetta in an east-west direction. The trail which comes from the south leads from Keminmaa via Kolari and Äkäslompolo to Muonio and from there to Palojoensuu. From Palojoensuu bikers can turn towards Hetta or to Kilpisjärvi. At Hetta Village the biking trail leads along marked biking routes and continues eastward via Peltovuoma Village to Raattama. The biking trail is marked with brown and white bicycle signs.

A number of the routes described in the hiking section of our website are also suitable for biking. For instance, Hetta-Näkkälä (26 km) and Kalmakaltio-Pöyrisjärvi-Näkkälä (c.93 km), Näkkälä to Pöyrisjärvi (c.18km), Kalmakaltio to Naltijärvi (c.20km) and Hetta to Sonkamuotka via Muotkajärvi (c.30km). There are Metsähallitus-maintained wilderness cabins in Pöyrisjärvi and Naltijärvi and there are also cabins available for hire in Pöyrisjärvi.

Slightly more demanding trails include the trails from Kultima to Leppäjärvi and Hetta to Ylimuonio. The Kalkoaivi terrain road and quadbike route to Hirvasvuopio (where there is a wilderness cabin) and on to Munnikurkkio, are options favoured by experienced mountain biking enthusiasts.

For expert riders we recommend the terrain trails from Pöyrisjärvi to the Norwegian border, Kalmakaltio or Vuontisjärvi, from Kivilompolo Customs via Salvasjärvi to the village of Kultima, or from Kaaresuvanto via Syväjärvi and Puussasvaara to Neuhkana and on to either Hirvasvuopio and Munnikurkkio, or via Kalkuaivi to Kelottijärvi.

The section from Saarikoski via Raittijärvi to Munnikurkkio is also only recommended for experienced, fit riders.

A very exotic mountain bike route is from Kåfjord (the fjord east from Skibotn) on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, up the “mountain road” leading to Guolasjärvi, and then onwards, on good terrain and quadbike trails, all the way to Somasjärvi, east of Halti, Finland's highest mountain.

Tapio Huttunen is one of the experts on the region and recorded all of his mtnbike excursions in the summers between 2004 and 2001 here


Trails to the North of Hetta
Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area
Biking in the Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area
Biking in the Arm of Finland in the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area / Area around Kilpisjärvi
Levi Bike Park
Biking North of Enontekiö in Norway


Trails to the North of Hetta

The Hetta-Näkkälä Trail (26 km)
This trail is part of an old postal route along which post was taken from Hetta to Näkkälä and from there to Pöyrisjärvi and Kalkujärvi. The trail is also suited for mountain biking. As a hiking trail the Hetta-Näkkälä Trail is not very demanding, but as a biking trail it is, because at different points the trail is rocky. There are duckboards on the trail, but not at every wet spot, so it is best to have waterproof footwear. The Hetta-Näkkälä Trail is marked with tall green poles with a white-red cross at the top.

From Hetta it is easiest to get to the Näkkälä Trail along the trail that starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings. At first, the trail goes the same way as the Pahtajärvi Trail, which has been marked with blue marks. At Sissanginselkä, the Pahtajärvi Trail turns west while the Näkkälä Trail continues to the north. The rest of the Näkkälä Trail has only been marked with tall green poles located at a distance of about three hundred metres.

The Hetta-Näkkälä snowmobile track starts out right next to the hiking trail and goes in the same direction. Hikers should be careful to not to walk along it. The snowmobile track crosses bog areas and there are no duckboards on it.

The trail has been marked in the Enontekiö guide and recreation map (opas- ja virkistyskartta) 1: 100,000. It has also been marked as a path in terrain maps of the area. You can get more information on the trail from the Fell-Lapland Nature Centre.

Services: Sissanki Rental Lapp Hut is located at the start of the trail, about 7 km from the village of Hetta. It is locked and can be rented for overnight stays. There is an open wilderness hut at the trails halfway point.
Sights: The Näkkälä seita rock is located near the village of Näkkälä at the end of the trail. Seitas are old sites of worship.


Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area

At the western edge
• Näkkälä - Pöyrisjärvi, 18 km, easy
• Näkkälä - Pöyrisjärvi - Näkkälä, 36 km round trip
• Pöyrisjärvi - Kalkujärvi, 20 km, very demanding

There is an unmarked, but clearly visible and easy to follow trail between Näkkälä and Pöyrisjärvi and this is also visible on the map.

At the eastern edge
• Kalmakaltio - Naltijärvi, 15 km, moderate
• Kalmakaltio - Ahvenjärvi, 18 km, moderate
• Kalmakaltio - Jorpavaara, 12 km, moderate


Across the Wilderness Area

Naltijärvi - Kalkujärvi, 35 km, very demanding
Kalkujärvi is the name given to the cluster of lakes shown to the east of Valkamapää on the map above.

Kalmakaltio - Naltijärvi - Kalkujärvi - Pöyrisjärvi, 75 km
Services: The Kalmakaltio, Naltijärvi and Pöyrisjärvi open wilderness huts (as well as the reservable hut at Pöyrisjärvi, are of relevance to this hiking section although the hut positioning leaves quite a long and commiting day in the middle of the hike. On the more western trail, the Lenkihaka open wilderness hut might be of use. There are also lodging enterprises in the village of Nunnanen and at Kalmakaltio for before or after the trek.

The Kalmakaltio-Pöyrisjärvi-Näkkälä Trail (~ 93 km)
This trail is not marked but it is quite clearly visible in the terrain. The footpath is extremely demanding and passes through the middle of Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area. When wilderness trekking in Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area you should always have a map, a compass, hiking boots and proper clothing as weather conditions can change very suddenly. There are no service structures along the footpath and rivers must be crossed by wading. In the past this was used as a postal route from Hetta to Näkkälä and on to through via Pöyrisjärvi to Kalkujärvi. The footpath is suitable for hiking and mountain biking.

You can get onto the Kalmakaltio-Pöyrisjärvi Trail at Kalmakaltio Spring. Kalmakaltio is a car ride away from the village of Nunnanen. From Lake Naltijärvi you have two different route options towards Lake Kalkujärvi. The eastern of the two crosses the border into Norway, so it’s not recommended if you have items that need to be declared in customs or if you have your dog with you. These two trails meet up at Suukisautsi from where the trail continues on via Kalkujärvi to Pöyrisjärvi. There is an unmarked, but clearly visible and easy to follow, 18 km trail to the village of Näkkälä. The Kalmakaltio-Pöyrisjärvi Trail is shown in the Enontekiö guide and recreational map 1:100 000 (in Finnish).

Services: Kalmakaltio and Naltijärvi open wilderness huts and on more western trail Lenkihaka open wilderness hut. Pöyrisjärvi open/reservable wilderness hut is near Lake Pöyrisjärvi. There are lodging enterprises in the village of Nunnanen and at Kalmakaltio and there are wilderness cabins available in Näkkälä.


Biking in the Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area

Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area is located west of the village of Leppäjärvi and north of the village of Kaaresuvanto. The north boundary of the wilderness area runs along the Finnish-Norwegian border. The northern limit of pine forests runs at the southern boundary of the wilderness area. Fell tundra rises near the Norwegian border. The highest peaks in these fells are over 600 m above sea-level. The area’s forests are mainly dominated by fell birch and about a third of the area is mire. The mires are mainly palsa bogs, which are bogs with frost mounds rising from them.

The Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail (25km)
The easiest place to set off on the Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail is along a sandy road from the village of Kultima. The trail is a good day-trip route and leads through mainly lichen filled dry forest, but there are damper sections on it without maintained duckboards. The last 5 km of the trail from the River Palojoki to the village of Leppäjärvi is a dirt track and there are privately-owned cottages along it. The trail is also suitable for mountain biking.

Sights: At the trail's halfway point you can turn off the route and go 1 km north off the trail to Lake Pahtajärvi (a popular lake name in this area for any lakes bounded by steep faces). The lake is clear and surrounded by cliffs.

The Kaaresuvanto-Lavivaara - Syväjärvi Trail (20km)
This trail has its starting point at the village of Kaaresuvanto and it leads to Lake Syväjärvi via Lavivaara Hill, at which point it changes from a gravel road to a dirt track. The trail is marked with kilometre posts, as are all trails maintained by the Finnish Road Administration. The terrain is undemanding although it is a bit rocky at the Syväjärvi end.
Services: Syväjärvi open wilderness hut.

If you are interested in a longer, wild and demanding trip, you can continue on from here via Puussasvaara to Neuhkana and then again to either Hirvasvuopio and Munnikurkkio, or via Kalkuaivi to Kelottijärvi. Some of these trails are described in the next section about biking in the arm of Finland. Remember, however, that the section from Saarikoski via Raittijärvi to Munnikurkki.

The Palojärvi-Salvasjärvi Trail (20km)
This is an old postal track which is maintained by the Finnish Road Administration and is still regularly used by locals. This trail, which is clearly visible in the terrain, runs from the north side of the village of Palojärvi to reindeer herders' summer cabins at Lake Salvasjärvi. It has kilometre signs marking sections of it but you should still take a map and a compass with you into this area to make sure that you don't get lost. The track also crosses over into Norway at one point, so you should technically have your passport with you. When approaching Lake Salvasjärvi the trail starts to ascend onto the tundra plateau landscape. The trail's end point is on the east side of Lake Salvasjärvi at Salvasjärvi open wilderness hut. The reindeer herders' summer cabins are to the south of Lake Salvasjärvi. This trail is fairly demanding for mountain biking with its large altitudinal changes and vast mires.

Services: Salvasjärvi open wilderness hut

Trails to the West and South of Hetta

Hetta - Puolitaival - Ylimuonio, 38 km, demanding

This is the old postal trail between Hetta and Muonio and there is an open hut in Puolitailval which can be rented if you wish to stay overnight on route.

Hetta - Sonkamuotka, 37 km, easy

This trail follows forestry roads and effectively cuts the corner between Hetta and Sonkamuotka. The main paved road goes (more or less) due West and then due South and the forestry road you turn off onto first goes due South and then due West (ie it is the other two sides of a rectangle of roads which lead to the same place).

The gravel road is lorry width and therefore easy to ride but quite bumpy and would be better done on a bike with at least half suspension. It is surprisingly easy to get lost on it, however, since the newest trails aren't necessarily the ones which lead back through to the main road again - it just depends on which section is being cut at the time. Hence, bare in mind that you have to go South until you hit a T-junction and then you will have to look at your map for the next section of trails en route back to the main road to ensure that you don't keep going down trails which have dead ends. Despite 'just' being on forest trails, the scenery on this route is very pretty and it is well worth the effort.


Biking in the Arm of Finland in the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area / Area around Kilpisjärvi

• Karesuvanto - Lavivaara, 12 km, easy
• Kultima - Leppäjärvi, 25 km, moderate and marked
• Vuoskuvaara - Kalkkoaivi, 25 km, moderate
• Hirvasvuopio - Munnikurkkio, 15 km, demanding
• Kivijärvi - Raittijärvi, 40 km, very demanding
• Kalkkoaivi - Hirvasvuopio, 26 km, very demanding

Some of these trails are described in the next section about biking in the arm of Finland. Remember, however, that the section from Saarikoski via Raittijärvi to Munnikurkkio is also only recommended for experienced, fit riders.

A very exotic mountain bike route is from Kåfjord (the fjord east from Skibotn) on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, up the “mountain road” leading to Guolasjärvi, and then onwards, on good terrain and quadbike trails, all the way to Somasjärvi, east of Halti, Finland's highest mountain.


Levi Bike Park

Levi ski resort is a down-hill bike centre (part of the Kona Bike Park chain) including free-ride and down-hill trails and some north-shore style sections. The park charges €57.50 for 3 hours entrance which includes bike hire and lift pass.

It also hosts a 24-hour endurance bike race in early June.


Biking North of Enontekiö in Norway

If you have time to pair the routes shown below from Tapio Huttunen's website to a ground map then you will find a whole new world of play potential in the area.