Hiking in the WILDERNESS OF NORTHERN FINLAND

A pure nature trip where the sun never sets. Meet the light and life in northern Finland's most desolate lands, among newborn reindeer calves and newly awakened vegetation bursting with chlorophyll.

Muotkatunturi Wilderness Area is one of the most remote corners in Lapland. There are no marked trails and the only signs of humans are the occasional old fire pits or reindeer herders atv tracks. Our route starts from the old pine forests, the last ones surviving this north. Soon as we gain more elevation, pines give space for mountain birch and eventually for ground crawling dwarf birch, crowberry and lichen. Open tundra offers great scenery but also exposes us to the winds from the Arctic ocean just a hundred kilometres away.

The water in crystal clear rivers, brooks, ponds and lakes is so pure that you can drink straight from them. These waters are home to trout, grayling and arctic charr. The area is also home for countless reindeers, elks and grouse birds. Even spotting bear tracks from soft ground is possible. Few of the last arctic foxes in Finland also live in the area. With a lot of luck you could even see one of them on a hunt for lemmings.

We will hike moderate distances in various terrain with no trails. Good and tested footwear is essential and a basic level of fitness will make hiking more enjoyable. We will always set our camp in valleys with some forests so camping under a tarp and lighting a campfire is possible.

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Departures

StartsEndsStarting pointPriceGuidePlaces available
2023-06-102023-06-17Ivalo 1.145 EUR (excl flight)Sampo Rouhiainen (wildernessguide)Yes

Trip facts

Trip length8 days
Group sizeMin 6, max 12 persons
Grading2A

Included in the trip

  • Transfer t/r Ivalo aiprort/trainstation – Gjellajohka
  • 2 nights, 2 dinners and 2 breakfast in Gjellajohka holiday village
  • Experienced wilderness guide with good local knowledge and specialized in Finnish bushcraft.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the hike (Dried food by our guide)
  • Digital meeting with the guide for tips and advice before the trip

The price of the trip does not include:

  • Transportation to and from Ivalo (flight, bus, car or train)
  • Snacks during the hike
  • Equipment such as tent, sleeping bag, mattress etc (can be rented)
  • Personal insurance

Questions and booking

Do you have questions regarding this trip? Do you want to send us a notification of interest or make a booking?
Contact us on +46 31-707 00 80 or or send an email to info@pathfindertravels.se.

Daily itinerary

Day 1  Arrival to Ivalo airport

Transport to Giellajohka holiday village takes 1h30min. On the way we have a chance to do last minute shopping in supermarket in Ivalo. The family-run holiday village Giellajohka is located between Kaamanen and Karigasniemi villages, 60 km from the town of Inari. Surrounded by wilderness Giellajohka is a perfect place for viewing the Northern Lights and enjoying the tranquility of the Lappish nature.

Dinner and introduction to area

Day 2  In to the wild..

We will start out trek after the nutritious breakfast in Giellajohka and trek along Giellajohka river deeper into the wilderness.

Day 3–6 Wilderness of Muotkatunturi

We will start our days by cooking our breakfast and packing up the gear followed by trekking marvelling the beauty and ruggedness of arctic wilderness. Crossing rivers, climbing uphill, going around wet bogs, finding our way in thick jungle of mountain birch, enjoying easy steps in open ground… After a few hours we will stop to cook a quick lunch. In the afternoon we will continue walking for a few hours more. A day’s hike from camp to camp typically takes around eight hours including lunch and snack breaks on the way. When we arrive at our campsite it’s time to put up the tents, cook dinner, stretch, take it easy and tell stories by the campfire. The daytrips vary from 10 to 15 kilometers on the map. As there are no trails to follow the actual kilometres can vary. The maximum elevation gain per day will be under 300 meters.

Day 7 Gjellajohka

Towards the afternoon of this day we arrive at Gjellajohka holiday village where it all started a few days ago, now many wonderful experiences richer. We have a good dinner and talk about the past week. Maybe we’ll take a well-deserved sauna and a dip in the river to finish this week on top!

Day 8 Time to go home

Breakfast in Giellajohka
Transport to Ivalo airport

map_marker: Muotkatunturi

Good to know

To safely enjoy this trip you should have camped out some nights in a tent or under a tarp beforehand. Please note that there are no outdoor toilets or washing facilities along our way. We will teach you the basics of wilderness hygiene to keep unpleasant odours and blisters away. And you can always take a refreshing bath in cool lakes.

There are no long distances but the days are still quite demanding so you should have a decent physical condition. It’s always nicer to start campsite chores when you still have some energy left after the day’s walk. However we will always make sure that there is enough time for rest and recovery and hanging around by the campfire before the next day’s hike.

The daytime temperatures in June in Muotkatunturi area typically vary from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. Nighttime temperatures are typically below 10 degrees Celsius. However you should prepare for night temperatures dropping below zero. So make sure you bring a proper sleeping bag with comfort temperature around zero.

Weather in the area can change quickly so prepare with a windproof and waterproof shell layer but don’t forget to get something warm and fluffy for the cold evenings and mornings at the camp. Durable hiking boots support your ankle best but once they get wet they stay wet. Rubber wellies with a good gripping sole will also work. Many lightweight backpackers enjoy hiking in trail running shoes. If you wish to use them, make sure you have a tested plan to keep your feet dry and warm during the time at the camp.

The campsites are selected so that camping with a tarp is possible but many hikers favour tent to keep the wind and mosquitoes away. Hammock is also an option but at some campsites you might need to look for a pair of suitable trees for a little longer as the mountain birch does not grow very big. Also make sure to have a warm sleeping pad or an underquilt if camping with a hammock.

Before the trek you will have a digital meeting with your guide Sampo.

If you have any questions or want to book please send us an email: info@pathfindertravels.se

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