Instructions and Rules in Valtavaara-Pyhävaara

Instructions on Exploring Valtavaara Nature Reserve

In Valtavaara Nature Reserve it is

Allowed

  • Hiking, skiing, boating and canoeing,
    • We recommend that while anywhere in Valtavaara Nature Reserve you remain on marked trails as the changes in weather and terrain conditions may make the area dangerous and there are threatened plant species growing there, which are best protected if people do not step on them.
  • Picking berries and mushrooms,
  • Hook and line fishing and ice fishing. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

Photo: Minna Koramo

Restricted

  • Lighting campfires and camping, which are restricted to the spots designated for those purposes,
  • Horseback riding, which is only permitted on roads.

Forbidden

  • Lighting campfires 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.
  • Letting pets run at large,
  • 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,
  • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests,
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates,
  • Driving motor vehicles except on roads,
  • Littering and damaging structures,
  • Landing aircrafts in the area,
  • Hunting, which however is permitted for locals 
  • Cycling, except for along the Valtavaara skiing trail base to the Valtavaara Lapp ‘kota' hut.

Preparations

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.
  • The signal for mobile phones is usually good on Valtavaara Hill.
  • 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

  • During winter visitors in the Valtavaara-Pyhävaara area should take into consideration that as the snow layer is very thick there is a possibly of an avalanche. For this reason we recommend that if you ski off-trails you stay close to maintained ski trails. Hillsides can be especially dangerous.
  • Within Valtavaara Nature Reserve it is not safe to go off marked trails at all.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • 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.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Peak Season

  • The busiest time at Valtavaara is during early spring around the end of February when schools are out for ski holidays. During this time hundreds of skiers can ski the trails between Ruka and Valtavaara each day. The area's lean-to shelters, campfire shelters and their campfire sites are however only large enough for a few visitors at a time. You should take this into consideration when planning a packed lunch.

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!