What can one do in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park?
Walk on Marked Trails
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park has around 350 km of marked hiking trails. There are several nature trails in the National Park, which are not very demanding and have information boards on the area’s natural features and culture. There are many options for day trips.
When planning a trek hikers should find out about the areas conditions during different seasons.
The most popular hiking trail in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the Hetta-Pallas Trail, which is 55 km long. Hikers can also continue 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.
A trail, which is as of yet little-used, leads from the Pallastunturi Fells, by Lommoltunturi Fell south towards the Yllästunturi Fells. The trail has just been re-marked and hikers can get onto it, for example, in the village of Rauhala. As there are no service structures between Rauhala and Yllästunturi Fell, the trail is for experienced hikers only. When setting-off on a trek, hikers should take the National Park’s restricted areas into consideration. Entering these areas is partially forbidden during summer.
See the Sights and Scenery
The scenery in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park meets visitors’ expectations. The fell-tops rise out of a sea of forest and change their look with the seasons and time of day. Hikers experience the difference in the fells, forests, lakes and mires during different seasons. The local culture is vibrant and visitors can get a taste of it with the help of local entrepreneurs.
See the Nature and Visitor Centres
The Nature and Visitor Centres in Western Lapland provide information on the area’s natural features and culture. A car route known as “Tunturientie” - the Fell Road - winds along at the foot of the great fells. It leads from under the Yllätunturi Fells at Äkäslompolo in the south past Lakes Äkäsjärvi and Jerisjärvi to Pallastunturi Fells. From there the road descends eastward and follows the River Ounasjoki to its headwaters on the shore of Lake Ounasjärvi at Hetta in Enontekiö.
Visitors will get to know the entire fell chain, when they start at Kellokas Visitor Centre in Ylläs, continue to Pallastunturi Visitor Centre and finish off their trip at Fell Lapland Nature Centre in Hetta. Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre at the very northern tip of Finland has an exhibit on the natural features and colourful history of the people of fells in Yliperä Region.
Walk on Nature Trail
Visitors can get acquainted with the diverse natural features of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park on nature trails.
Ski Cross-country on Maintained Trails or off Trails
No matter which part of the National Park one is in the fells are the scenic backdrops. The skiing terrain is diverse; from the spruce forests and mires around the Yllästunturi and Pallastunturi Fells to the pine and birch forests of the Ounastunturi Fells. Ski trails are widest near the Hotels in Ylläs, Jeris, Pallas and Vuontispirtti, near the centre of Hetta Village and in the Ounastunturi Fell area.
The Ounastunturi, Pallastunturi and Yllästunturi Fells together have about 500 km of marked skiing trails. Part of the trails in the Pallastunturi to Ounastunturi area are not maintained by machines. The winter tourist season and maintenance of trails begins at Ylläs as soon as the first snow falls, in Ounastunturi Fells when there is a sufficient amount of snow and in the Pallastunturi Fells in early February. Before this, skiers can enjoy the silence and darkness of winter while treading their own trails.
There are many geocaches (www.geocaching.com) in the area of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.
Lake Pallasjärvi and the River Äkäsjoki, which flows from Lake Äkäsjärvi to the River Muonionjoki are the bodies of water in the National Park suited for canoeing and boating. Other bodies of water within the National Park are too small, too narrow or too difficult to access for these purposes. The Rivers Muonionjoki and Ounasjoki, which flow on the east and west sides of the fells, are perfect for canoeing, as is the River Jerisjoki.
Angling and ice fishing are restricted in the National Park. They are permitted only in some lakes, the most important of which is Lake Pallasjärvi. Local residents have the right to fish in certain lakes there, but others do not. Lure fishing permits for Lake Pyhäjärvi can be purchased at Kellokas Visitor Centre and Pallastunturi Visitor Centre. Local entrepreneurs rent boats for visitors at Lake Pallasjärvi.
Metsähallitus netstore (www.eraluvat.fi, in Finnish) sells lure fishing and recreational fishing permits for state-owned waters surrounding the National Park. Private waters are managed by local fishing collectives. Permits for each lake must be enquired about separately. More information about permits is available at the Visitor and Nature Centres.
Pallaksentie and Majavaojantie roads in the area of the Pallastunturi Fells are suited for cycling. Cycling is also permitted on the road to Sammaltunturi and on the road leading to the old hotel’s ruins. Cycling is forbidden off-trails and on hiking trails. The best biking trails in the Ylläs-Aakenus area are found outside the National Park’s boundaries. The trails are marked onto the Ylläs-Levi outdoor map.
Go Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is only allowed in the National Park, if you have a permit and only on trails marked for this purpose. Tourist enterprises should contact the head of the National Park for details.
Go Berry and Mushroom Picking
Berry and mushroom picking is permitted in the area. There is an abundance of all of the northern berries and mushrooms in the forests and bogs surrounding the fells.
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park waters are excellent for swimming, if somewhat chilly. The best swimming places can be found on maps. The words ‘hieta’ and ‘vuontis’ in place names refer to sandy lake floors and sand dunes.
Snowmobiling is not permitted within the boundaries of the National Park. Outside of the National Park there are, however, snowmobile tracks, which run north to south on both sides of the fells. On tracks near the National Park no permits are needed, but if continuing from Palojärvi Village in Enontekiö to Lake Kilpisjärvi a Metsähallitus snowmobile track permit is required. Permits can be purchased at Fell Lapland Nature Centre. The nature centre will also provide more information if needed.