Hiking Trails

Starting Points for Trails

The starting point for the marked trails of the wilderness area is located at the Skolt Sámi Heritage House in Sevettijärvi.

Marked Summer Trails

  • Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki Trail, 60 - 70 km, goes into the eastern part of the wilderness area. The southern end of the trail is located at the Skolt Sámi Heritage House in the Skolt Sámi village of Sevettijärvi. The northern end is on the south shore of the Lake Pulmankijärvi in Utsjoki, which is about 20 km from Nuorgam along the road. The southern half of the trail goes through pine forests, and the northern half through treeless mires and fell highlands. Because of the many waters, the trail is well suited for recreational fishermen. The waters can be crossed by a hand-operated ferryboat, wading, or over a bridge. The terrain is not difficult, but you need to take into account the wilderness-like nature of the area. This trail is not recommended for beginners.
    • Services: A campfire site and a lean-to-shelter at the Lake Opukasjärvi and the open wilderness huts of Iisakkijärvi, Rousajärvi, Huikkimajoki, Tsaarajärvi and Tsuomasjärvi.
  • Inarinpolku Trail (Anárašmáde), 100 km, is a historical market route to Karlebotn in Norway. Karlebotn, located on the southern shore of the Varanger Fjord, was a busy market place from the 1600s until the 1890s. The Norwegian border was closed in 1852, but the trail was still in unofficial use at summertime. This trail, which was forgotten for 150 years, has now been renovated.It begins on the grounds of the Skolt Sámi Heritage House following Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki Trail, from which it separates to cross the Norwegian border in Aittoaivi. The northern end of the trail is in Karlebotn, which can be reached along the road via Pulmanki or Näätämö. On the Norwegian side, a map and a compass are unquestionably needed, because the trail is marked in the old traditional way by stones piled up so that the one on the top shows the direction. The topographic maps of the Norwegian side (Norge 10178 Buodggaidnjarga) are sold in Karttakeskus. The trail is demanding and not suitable as a first hiking trip.
    • Services: A campfire site and a lean-to shelter
    • Shelter at the Lake Opukasjärvi and the open wilderness huts of Iisakkijärvi and Rousajärvi. Please note that there are no open wilderness huts on the Norwegian side.
    • Bridges across the river are located on the Sevetti-Nuorgam Trail on northwest side of Näätämö Village.
Stuorravuodna, Karlebotn, Norway. Photo: Jyri Mikkonen

Old Tracks and Roads

  • To the western side of the wilderness area, you can follow the footpath going to Skállovárri reindeer round-up fence.
  • Another track going to the western part of the wilderness area begins in Mieraslompolo and ends on the shore of a large highland lake called Vetsijärvi. From this track, a footpath separates towards Puksajavri.
  • From the main road 4, on the northern side of Kaamanen, a road goes to the large Lake Iijärvi in the northwestern part of the area.

Other Hiking Tips

Own paths

The three marked trails only cover a small part of Kaldoaivi Wilderness Area, but there are plenty of possibilities for independent trekking. The fells in the middle and in the northern part, and the Lake Vetsijärvi and the River Vetsijoki are destinations worth a hiking trip. Because of the large size of the wilderness area, experience and skills are needed - the nature may arrange surprises for even the most experienced hiker.
Day Trips
  • There are short sections from both Näätämö and Sevettijärvi that visitors can travel on short hikes. A good day trip hike could be for example
    • from Lake Jänisjärvi over Jänispää Fell to Kontinpaistama on the bank of the River Näätämöjoki and then back the same way. The terrain is quite demanding, but the view makes it worthwhile. This route is 12 km long.
    • from Lake Jänisjärvi over Jänispään häntä Fell tail to Saunakoski Rapid of Näätämöjoki River and back; this section is about 14 km. The route is demanding because of stones and reliefs.
    • from Village Näätämö over Palovaara Fell to Kallokoski Rapid, route is 15 km long. 

Destinations accessible with a wheelchair or with a baby pram: There are no destinations suitable for visitors with a wheelchair or with a baby pram in the wilderness area.

Cross-country Skiing Trails

  • In the winter, the frozen mires and waterways offer the hiker the easiest routes. If the snow is squashy, the marked snow mobile tracks may be the fastest way. 

Canoeing Routes

  • The River Näätämöjoki Canoeing Route, 92 km, begins from the Lake Iijärvi in the northern part of the municipality of Inari, and on the Norwegian side ends in Neiden at the Barents Sea. The River Näätämöjoki is an official place for crossing the Finnish-Norwegian border. The route goes through wilderness-like landscape (at least 5 km to the nearest road), and there are many rapids. It is considered one of the most difficult canoeing routes in Finland. The rapids belong to class I - VI. Except Kolttaköngäs, all of the rapids can be shot in a canoe.
    • Services: The lean-to shelters of Kontinpaistama, Saunakoski and Kallokoski, the campfire sites of Opukasjärvi, the rental cabins of Silisjoki, Kontinpaistama, Saunakoski and Kuosnijoki.  

Snowmobile Tracks

  • There are three marked snow mobile tracks in Kaldoaivi Wilderness Area.
    • In the western part of the area, south-north direction: Main road 4-Petsikkojärvi-Johtijärvi-Vetsijärvi-Utsjoki.
    • A connection tract to Nuorgam separates from this trail on the northern side of Johtijärvi-lake to Skiehtsaras Sevetti-Nuorgam trail.
    • In the eastern part of the area, south-north direction: following Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki hiking trail: Sevettijärvi-Opukasjärvi-Silisvaara-Nuorgam.

Sevettijärvi - Pulmanki Trail

The trail is marked with orange-topped wooden poles. By the beginning of June snows have usually melted from the wilderness area, but this is when the area's rivers and streams flood. The best time to hike is from late June to the beginning of October.

Please notice, that there is nomore a winter trail for skiers from Sevettijärvi to Nuorgam.

Sevettijärvi-Nuorgam Trail Map by Metsähallitus 2017.

Level of Difficulty

The Sevettijärvi - Pulmanki Trail is marked considerably well. There are numerous open wilderness huts as well as one campfire site along the trail. The trail is demanding as it leads across a vast wilderness area, which has no roads. This means that hikers should have good hiking, survival and orienteering skills. Hikers must also take into consideration that weather conditions in the fell area are very difficult to predict as they can change quickly.

Terrain

There are few changes in altitude along the trail and for the main part the terrain is easy to travel across. Bodies of water are crossed by different means. Sometimes there are bridges, at other times you must wade through and yet at others take a boat across. There are hanging bridges across the Rivers Näätämöjoki and Pulmankijoki. Bridges across the river are located on the Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki Hiking Trail on the west side of Lake Opukasjärvi.

Duration of the Hike

Among other things a hiker's physical condition and the area's weather will affect the time of one's hike. Hikers advance at an average of 3 km an hour through this terrain. This trail takes approximately 4 - 7 days to hike.

The Trail Route Description

Sevettijärvi - Opukasjärvi - Iisakkijärvi 19 km

From its starting point at Sevettijärvi the trail leads through pine forests and along lake shores and river banks. Lake Sundeejärvi a long narrow lake can either be passed along its east side by hiking trail or along its west side by the ATV-track. Before arriving to Opukasjärvi hikers must cross the River Äylijoki either by wading or along a bridge built for ATVs. About 2 km on from Opukasjärvi there is a campfire site called Ylä 1. It is situated on the south bank of the River Näätämöjoki, 0,8 km up-stream from the hanging bridge. After crossing Näätämöjoki, a river known for its salmon, hikers come to the River Silisjoki. This river is crossed by wading or by boat, when waters are high. The landscape is diverse: there are pine forests, barren fells, mires, cliff walls, rocky patches and small lakes. This section of the trail ends at Iisakkijärvi open wilderness hut.

River Silisjoki. Photo: Antti Keskitalo

Iisakkijärvi - Huikkimajoki, 9 km

The fell birch forest is dotted with barren fells and small lakes and streams. Four kilometres north of Iisakkijärvi the trail reaches a crossroads. There are two route options from the crossroads; hikers can either continue north to Huikkimajoki open wilderness hut or take the alternative route and head northeast to Rousajärvi open wilderness hut. It is a 5 km hike to both wilderness huts from the crossroads.

The alternative route for this section is Iisakkijärvi - Rousajärvi - Huikkimajoki, 15 km
The trail leading to Rousajärvi turns off the Iisakkijärvi - Huikkimajoki 4 km north of Iisakkijärvi. At the north end of Lake Lyöttijärvi there is a small stream which must be crossed. The terrain along the trail alternates between fell birch forest and fell upland. Rousajärvi open wilderness hut is situated on the south shore of Lake Rousajärvi 9 km from Iisakkijärvi.

From Lake Rousajärvi the trail continues for 6 km before joining the main trail again leading to Huikkimajoki. From Rousajärvi open wilderness hut the trail follows alongside a stream towards Lake Rousajärvi. It then passes the lake along its west side. The trail climbs up a fell slope, from where there is an open view of the surrounding landscape. Huikkimajoki open wilderness hut is situated in the middle of fell birch forest.

Huikkimajoki - Tsaarajärvi, 12 km

From Huikkimajoki the trail leads across almost treeless fell upland towards the Tsaarajärvi lakes, which are separated from one another by isthmuses. Near Tsaarajärvi open wilderness hut the trail travels through an opening in the fence separating lands owned by the Kaldoaivi and Näätämö reindeer herding cooperatives.

Tsaarajärvi - Tsuomasjärvi, 11 km

Here the trail leads across treeless fell tops. The peak of Golmmesoaivi (379 m), a fell along the trail, is the border mark between Finland and Norway. The last wilderness hut along the trail is Tsuomasjärvi open wilderness hut. Just behind the wilderness hut Čuomasvárri Fell rises to 435 metres. On clear days those who climb to the top are rewarded with a beautiful view over the wilderness area and over the border into Norway.

Tsuomasjärvi - Pulmanki, 13 km

The trail leads along the Finnish-Norwegian border towards its northern end point at the south end of Lake Pulmankijärvi. On the last section of the trail hikers cross the River Pulmankijoki by bridge.