Instructions on Exploring Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

In Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, the Following Are

Allowed

  • Hiking, skiing, rowing and canoeing except in restricted areas.
  • Picking berries and mushrooms except in restricted areas.

Restricted

  • National Park is managed following Rules and Regulations.
  • Lighting campfires and camping are only permitted at sites marked for these purposes. In the Wilderness Zone camping is permitted anywhere and campfires may be built close to bodies of water with dry twigs as fuel.
  • Organizing events for large groups (over 50 persons). A permit is required.
  • Entering restricted areas, which have been established to preserve the area's species. Restricted areas are:
    • The area around the lower Lake Onnasjärvi and the River Onnasjoki. Entering the area is forbidden from 1.5. to 30.11.
    • The Hanhivuoma area. Entering the area is forbidden all year round.
    • The areas around Pahakuru Ravine, Suaskuru Ravine, Haltioletto is forbidden all year round.
    • Pyhäjoki and Varkaankuru herb-rich forests. Entering allowed 1.5.–30.11. only on marked trails.
  • Mountain biking is allowed on almost all officially marked summer trails with a few exceptions. Mountain biking is not allowed for nature protection or safety reasons at Palkaskero Fell or at Varkaankuru, Tuomikuru, Pirunkuru and Kellostapulinkuru Gorges. Ylläs Area has a number of marked mountain bike routes, including the new Ylläs - Levi Trail.
  • Horse riding and dog sled driving is allowed only for national park co-entrepreneurs on certain routes.

Mountain biking on the trail in Yllästunturi Fell. Photo: Annina Kivikari

Forbidden

  • Letting pets run at large. Pets are not allowed in any of the wilderness huts. Dog owners should therefore bring a tent to camp in.
  • Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones.
  • Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals. It is also forbidden to pile up stones on the fells.
  • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests.
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for this purpose.
  • Leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions.
  • Lighting open fires even at campfire sites if the forest fire warning is in effect. During the driest season visitors are asked to not light fires even in the fireplaces in Lapp pole tents or wilderness huts, so that the sparks do not set the dry earth alight.

Preparations

A trip is most enjoyable if it is well-planned and the local conditions are not a surprise. It is therefore good to do as much research before hand as possible.

Safety Tips

  • Please remember to leave your hike timetable and route with a friend or relative or at your place of lodging or one of the area's visitor centres. Inform the same person or place of any changes that occur in your timetable or route. The area's emergency and rescue services are arranged by law and can be reached by calling the public emergency number. Remember to tell the person or place that you have returned from your hike, so that they do not send out an unnecessary search party. Emergency and rescue services will bill for unnecessary work. The emergency number, which works throughout Finland 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.
  • The weather may change rapidly on the Fells. A quickly forming fog or blizzard may cause dangerous situations.
  • In winter, trekking is very demanding. Harsh weather and poor light in the middle of winter cause difficulties. The temperature can drop to -40° and during the darkest part of winter there is sunlight for only a couple of hours. Wind adds severely to the bite of cold weather.
  • Orienteering skills are essential. Be prepared for emergencies such as having to camp out in the forest.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Early spring is a popular time for trekking, but even then proper gear is needed.If you have normal cross-country skis, you should stay on maintained trails.
  • When following snowmobile tracks be cautious. Getting lost is especially dangerous during winter.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Seasons

Autumn comes and leaves start to change colour in early September. This process lasts two to three weeks when they fall from the trees, unless an autumn storm rips them off earlier than usual.

Winter begins at the end of October, but in recent years proper snow has only fallen after New Years. There is usually little snow at the end of the year. Lighting during autumn in the beginning of ‘kaamos' season is strange and ethereal. The rays of the sun pierce the atmosphere at a slant and colour the snow covered landscape all shades from red to blue. The evening and night are lit by the moon and the Northern Lights. 

The snow cover is at its thickest in March and April. In some parts the cover can be over a metre thick. The temperature can stay below -20 Celsius for days at a time. Winter trekking and staying overnight in the wild require proper equipment. Early spring is the best ski-season, and usually lasts from the beginning of February to the end of April. The snow may melt earlier some years than others. 

Skiing in the Kukastunturi Fell. Photo: Heli Koivulahti

Spring begins at the beginning of May and continues to the middle of June. Water from melting snow covers trails making them very susceptible to wear. Hikers are asked to take this into consideration when planning their route and timetable.

Summer begins after Mid-June. Insects such as mosquitoes (Culicidae Family) hatch after Mid-Summer. Sand flies (Simuliidae Family), horseflies (Tabanidae Family) and Ceratopogonidae follow close behind. There have been quite few mosquitoes in recent years and visitors have been able to enjoy Lapland in peace and quiet.

Peak Seasons

The most popular tourist seasons in the National Park are the ski-season from March to April and hiking-season in summer and autumn. The most popular trail in the park is Hetta - Pallas Trail. Reservation for reservable wilderness huts along this trail should be made at least half-a-year in advance. Open wilderness huts are often full during the tourist season. It is therefore good to have a tent with, unless you want to sleep under the stars.

Equipment

When trekking in the National Park visitors should have at least a map, a compass and other equipment needed for outdoor recreation according to the length of their trip. In the Wilderness Zones trekking and outdoor recreation are much more demanding than hiking along marked trails. Wandering off-trails requires hiking experience.

Mobile Phone Coverage

Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park 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.

Waste Management

In the future Metsähallitus will attempt to make all its conservation area litter-free. Hikers are asked to take all the waste that accumulates during their trip out of the area and deposit it at recycling points. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park will become a Hiking Without Littering area within the next few years.

Recycling points can be found at wilderness huts at Pyhäkero Hill, Hannukuru Ravine and Nammalakuru Ravine, as well as, at Pallastunturi Visitor Centre, Kellokas Visitor Centre and Fell Lapland Nature Centre. Glass, metal and problem waste can be sorted into separate containers. Use campire sites to burn those articles which can safely be burnt, and leave biodegradable waste in the dry toilets.

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!