Instructions on Exploring Hetta - Pallas Trail

  • When hiking on the trail you must follow the rules and regulations given for Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.
  • Visitors may freely walk and ski anywhere in the National Park except in the restricted areas at Lake Onnasjärvi, River Onnasjoki, Hannukuru, Suaskuru and Hanhivuoma. During summer entering these areas is restricted.
  • Mountain biking is allowed on Hetta - Pallas Trail.
  • Horseback riding is forbidden.

 

Camping and Campfires

  • Camping is only allowed in the vicinity of campfire sites and wilderness huts.
  • Lighting campfires is only allowed at campfire sites. You may also light a fire in the fireplace at wilderness huts. Lighting campfires is strictly forbidden everywhere when there is a forest fire warning in effect.
    • Making open fires is always prohibited at both marked campfire sites and when fires are permitted by the land owner if a forest fire warning has been issued for the area (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
    • This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.

Reindeer

  • The National Park is a reindeer herding area. There are fences sectioning off lands used by reindeer herding co-ops. Getting into or out of the fenced areas is difficult except through gates or by bridges, which cross over the fence. The gates and bridges are situated on marked trails. You must always shut the gates after you have passed through them. If herders and their herd should come your way, move out of sight or stand very quietly out of the way. This is the best way to ensure that you don´t disturb the animals on their travel.

You will meet reindeer on the fells. Photo: Maarit Kyöstilä

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the Hetta - Pallas Trail 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.
  • We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.

Safety

  • Do not go hiking alone and do not leave your group.
  • Make sure you have a compass, maps, supplies for building a fire, a first aid kit and enough food when setting off on a hike. You should always fill your water bottle when you are near clean water.
  • Take changing weather conditions into account. Weather can change rapidly in the fell area. When the region is foggy it is easy to lose your sense of direction.
  • Dress appropriately. Pack warm and wind resistant clothing with your gear. Remember to have a change of clothing. Water resistant hiking boots are the best option for footwear.
  • Inform a friend or the local visitor or nature centre of you schedule and route. Also inform the same person or place of your return.
  • Sign your name and write down the route you are taking in guest books at each wilderness hut.
  • It is safest to hike along marked trails.
  • Search and rescue services are available in the National Park. Finland's national emergency telephone number is 112.
  • If you face an emergency on your hike, e.g. get lost, get injured or observe wildfire, call 112 and report an emergency. More information on how to act in an emergency.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Seasons

  • The best time to hike in the area is from the end of June to mid-October. Snows melt from the Pallas-Ounastunturi Fells for the most part in May, but the ravines between them are still snowy in June. At the beginning of June the trails along the fell slopes are wet and especially susceptible to erosion. Erosion is becoming a continually growing problem in the area. Hikes taking place at the beginning of June cause the most damage, as the terrain is wet. This is why we recommend that hikers come to the area at the earliest during the last week of June.
  • Mosquitos arrive in the area at Mid-Summer in late June, but the fell trails are still enjoyable during the middle of summer, as the slopes are windy and this keeps insects at bay. Räkkä-season when there are many biting insects ends at the end of August. The vibrancy of autumn's colours changes each year. The best time to experience the
  • Ruska colours is around September 10th.

Peak Seasons

  • The trail is at its busiest in September, during Ruska when the leaves change colour. The trail is packed with hikers during weeks 36 - 38 in September. If you have not in advance reserved a bed in a reservable wilderness hut for this time, you should take a tent with you. October brings with it quiet as nature prepares for the oncoming winter.

Emergency number 112

In case of an emergency along the way, for example if you get lost or injured or see a forest fire, dial 112. Detailed instructions.

Dogs must be kept on a leash! Photo: Seppo Leinonen.

Dogs must be kept on a leash!