Pyhä-Luosto Summer- and Winter Trail
Luosto – Pyhä, Summer Trail 45 km
- Käyräsvaara – Yli-Luosto 6 km
The trail starts by Highway no. 4 from Käyräsvaara. The distance from the Käyräsvaara starting point to the border of Pyhä-Luosto National Park is 5.2 km. First walk for one kilometre along the forest road, whereafter it becomes a narrow path. This section runs through commercial forests, i.e. outside of the national park. There are duckboards across the wettest spots. When arriving at Pyhä-Luosto National Park, the landscape changes and you will arrive at the lush banks of the Luostonoja stream. At the point where the old spruce forest changes into a pine forest, you will reach the Yli-Luosto Open Wilderness Hut. For a long time, Luosto was a peaceful place far away from travelling routes. It was not until after the Second World War that Luosto was discovered by tourists. They skied to Luosto from the village of Torvinen. Yli-Luosto Open Wilderness Hut, which has greyed elegantly, was built in 1949 to function as a rest spot for hikers. It is the oldest hut in Pyhä-Luosto National Park still in use by trekkers. Here you can grill sausages before setting off for the next section, and why not make coffee as well.
- Yli-Luosto – Ukko-Luosto 12 km
The most demanding section of the Pyhä-Luosto Trail starts from the Yli-Luosto Open Wilderness Hut. The trail ascends onto the Yli-Luosto felltop and keeps climbing onto the summit of Keski-Luosto. This section runs along an open fell area. Lined with twisted old pines, the trail wriggles along a block field and occasionally pops onto a treeless felltop. Keski-Luosto is a peculiar, narrow fell ridge that gives you foretaste of the upcoming terrain. Here the path might be quite narrow from time to time, but it get´s easier to follow after a while. Next, the trail will descend from Keski-Luosto and cross the Torvinen - Luosto road. The journey goes onto the slopes of Ukko-Luosto Fell, where there is a very handsome old pine forest. The distance to the Ukko-Luosto summit is about 5 km. On the summit, there is a lookout platform from where you can admire gorgeous views opening out onto the Pyhänlatva-aapa mire. If you want to visit the Luosto resort, there are steps descending from the lookout platform along the slopes of Ukko-Luosto and a connection to the centre of Luosto. In the centre of Luosto, you will find shops, restaurants and hotels. There are no rest spots in the terrain along this section of the trail.
- Ukko-Luosto – Huttujärvi 16 km
The trail continues from the summit of Ukko-Luosto Fell towards Lampivaara. Be careful when descending along the block field; luckily, the handsome view opening out onto the fell chain will cheer you up. There are some fascinating places at Lampivaara, which is in the middle of Pyhä-Luosto National Park, such as the amethyst mine (amethystmine.fi) (www.amethystmine.fi) and the Lampivaara Café. The amethyst mine is open daily in summer and in winter, and so is the café, which is famous for its tasty pastries. There is a lean-to shelter at the Lampivaara yard where you can light a campfire independently.
From here onwards, the trail descends towards Pyhälampi Pond. This section is easier than the previous one. The Pyhälampi Day Trip Hut and a campfire site are located by the banks of the River Pyhäjoki. From the campfire site, you will see Pyhälampi Pond, through which the River Pyhäjoki flows and enters, by the village of Vuostimo, into the large River Kemijoki. Lure fishing is allowed in the national park if you have a fishing licence.
The trail ascends from Pyhälampi Pond onto the summit of Latvavaara Hill and descends to the Porontahtoma lean-to shelter. What is the difference between a vaara (wooded hill) and a tunturi (fell)? A tunturi has a treeless summit. Nevertheless, the forest on the summit of Latvavaara Hill is not very thick – just old pines and junipers as well as birches bent by the wind and snow. The Porontahtoma lean-to shelter is located in a sheltered depression. Behind the lean-to shelter rise the slopes of Kapusta Fell, onto which the trail continues. The distance to the Kapusta Day Trip Hut is less than two kilometres.
When arriving at the Kapusta hut, you will get the best views by climbing onto the westernmost summit of Kapusta Fell. There is a campfire site in the hut's yard. In autumn at the start of the hunting season, you may see local hunters stop here for a break or Pyhä-Kallio reindeer herders carrying out the round-up of reindeer for separation by the cooperative. However, there are only a few people in the area.
After a relaxing break at the Kapusta hut, continue along the slopes of Huttutunturi Fell. Along the Huttutunturi summit you will arrive at Lake Huttujärvi. The names Kapusta and Huttu are a fascinating combination: the word huttu means porridge and a kapusta is a wooden ladle with which you can scoop porridge onto your plate. There is a rental hut (and a sauna) on the shores of Lake Huttujärvi. You can book the hut at the Pyhä-Luosto Visitor and Culture Centre Naava for an overnight stay (50 € / day).
Huttukaira is the home of Huttu-Ukko. This Pyhä-Luosto spirit has assisted many hunters and other locals in their endeavours. According to legend, Huttu-Ukko was so tall that a skier had not noticed that he had skied between Huttu-Ukko's legs, and the marks left by the rings of Huttu-Ukko's ski poles on the ice of Lake Huttujärvi were like large holes.
- Huttujärvi – Pyhä 11 km
After a good night's sleep the five fells of the Pyhätunturi fell range await you. The area formed by these five fells is called Pyhätunturi. The summits from west to east are Laakakero, Peurakero, Noitatunturi, Ukonhattu and Kultakero. From Huttujärvi, trek along the roadbed to the Huttuloma Open Wilderness Hut. From here, the trail gradually ascends towards the summits. In the Huttujärvi - Annikinlampi trail section, you will see some beautiful fell uplands, as if you were further up north. There are also small patches of mire on the slope, and occasionally you will hear the melancholic whistle of the European golden plover. By Annikinlampi Pond, choose one of these two trail options: the Noitatunturi - Oravanlampi Trail or the Karhunjuomalampi - Isokuru Trail. The descent from Noitatunturi Fell to Oravanlampi Pond is very demanding, particularly if you are carrying a backpack. From Annikinlampi Pond towards Karhunjuomalampi Pond, the trail slants gently and also calls on some herb-rich forest spots. The trees become taller and the view opening out onto the fells is gradually obscured. The Karhunjuomalampi Day Trip Hut slumbers next to the summit of Ukonhattu. There are two campfire sites at this yard. After a break, take a course towards Isokuru Gorge. The views opening out from Uhriharju Ridge onto Isokuru are breathtaking. Isokuru is the largest fell gorge in Finland.
From Uhriharju Ridge, you will hear the charming bubbling of the Pyhänkasteenputous Waterfall and your footsteps will become lighter when descending the roughly 400 steps towards Pyhänkasteenlampi Pond. At the bottom of Isokuru Gorge, there is a trail equipped with duckboards. You must keep to the duckboards as access to this area is restricted. Isokuru Gorge is stunning. Next, take the steps up from Isokuru. At the upper end of the steps, there is a Lapp 'kota' hut, which is a suitable rest spot. The remaining distance to the centre of Pyhä and the Pyhä-Luosto Visitor and Culture Centre Naava is about two kilometres.
Luosto – Pyhä, Winter Trail 35-40 km
In winter, a network of cross-country skiing trails connects these two fell centres. Some of the skiing trails wind around Pyhä-Luosto National Park while others venture outside the park. You can plan a suitable one-day skiing excursion for yourself. A coach operates between the fell centres. You can return to your place of accommodation by coach. Check the timetables before setting off for your skiing excursion. You can also go ski trekking on unbeaten tracks. The Siurunaapa and Pyhänlatva-aapa mires are very peaceful places in winter. Lake Huttujärvi is located roughly midway through the route.