Long Distance Hiking Trails near Hetta

This is section of our website is simply about providing area information. Although the trails in the national park are well maintained and marked, some of the routes suggested here are through Europe's last remaining wilderness areas and, as such, can be navigationally challenging. They are only recommended for experienced hikers (in summers) or backcountry ski tourers or snowshoe-ers (in winter).

However long or short your trip, we are happy to arrange guides for you or to point you in the right direction.

Click herefor information about trails across and within the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, including the classic 55km Hetta-Pallas Marked Trail.
Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Hiking, NE of Hetta
Hiking in the Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area, NW of Hetta
Hiking in the Pulju Wilderness Area, SE of Hetta

Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Hiking

The Pöyrisjärvi wilderness area is where we take those who are interested in more challenging navigation, far from other tourists. You are unlikely to see anyone other than reindeer herders during your hike in this area.

The rolling fell and forest landscapes of Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area make for wonderful hiking terrain, but the area’s large bogs are best to circle. There are no marked trails within Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area, but there are many old unmarked trails - most of which are visible on terrain maps - as Pöyrisjärvi has always been an important fishing, hunting and reindeer husbandry area for locals.

Access Permissions

Everyman’s Rights are valid in Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area. Pets are allowed in the area’s open or reservable wilderness huts only if the others in the hut allow. You can leave your route plan and timetable at for example Skierri, Fell-Lapland Nature Centre. Remember to also report on your return, so that a search party is not sent after you needlessly. Search and Rescue services charge for needless search operations. Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage.

Top Tips

When wilderness trekking in Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area you should always have a map, a compass and proper clothing, footwear and overnight gear depending on the length of your trek. Please note that weather conditions change very quickly and it can snow even in summer. Make sure you pack a first-aid kit. Hiking in wilderness areas is more demanding than on marked trails. For this reason it is good to be an experienced hiker before attempting a wilderness trek. The most popular time to visit the wilderness area is from June to September, but there are no peak seasons, when the area would be overly crowded.

The Hetta-Näkkälä Marked 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 Skierri, Fell-Lapland Nature Centre.

Services: Sissanki Lapp pole tent 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.

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.

Näkkälä - Pöyrisjärvi - Näkkälä, 36 km round trip
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.

Hiking in the Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area

Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area (Area: 670sq.km. Established 1991) is a perfect retreat for experienced hikers looking for peace and quiet as well as unforgettable nature experiences. Whooper Swans, for instance, nest in large numbers in this area but they are only one of the extremely diverse bird population in this area and the Lätäseno-Hietajoki Mire Reserve, which borders Tarvantovaara in the northwest. The wilderness area is still relatively unknown by the public, but experienced bird watchers have found it.

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.

Many of the rivers that flow into the River Muoniojoki have their source on the fell tundra or at the area’s lakes and mires. The largest of these tributaries are the Rivers Tarvantojoki and Harrijoki. There are plenty of new catches for avid fishers, who are looking for new challenges.

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 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 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. The trail is also suitable for mountain biking, but it is demanding as there are great changes in altitude and vast mires.
Services: Salvasjärvi open wilderness hut.

Hiking in the Pulju Wilderness Area: (Area: 614 sqkm. Established 1991)

Sauli KoskiPulju Wilderness Area is known for its large mires and its numerous hills and fells. It is a perfect destination for experienced trekkers. During late summer the area’s abundant cloudberry crop attracts day trip visitors to its mires. A rather large road runs through the centre of the wilderness area so it is a very convenient and easy-to-reach target for those cloudberry pickers with orienteering skills. A road and snowmobile track run through the area from the village of Nunnanen to the village of Pulju. Pulju Wilderness Area is surrounded by several protected areas. Lemmenjoki National Park lies to its east and Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area to its northwest. The northern boundary of the wilderness area follows the Finnish-Norwegian border. Øvre Anarjohka National Park (www.dirnat.no) is on the Norwegian side of the border.

Reindeer husbandry is a significant source of livelihood in Pulju Wilderness Area. The reindeer of three herding co-operatives graze in the wilderness area. The boundaries of the municipalities of Enontekiö, Kittilä and Inari meet up at Korsatunturi Fell. This is also the place where the boundaries of the Näkkälä, Kuivasalmi and Sallivaara herding co-operatives run. The northeast boundary of the Kyrö herding co-operative runs on the lower slopes of Korsatunturi Fell. Herders often meet each other at Korsatupa wilderness hut.