Did you know that our sled dog center is right by Pallas-Ylläs National Park, Finland’s third largest national park, dominated by a chain of fells (tunturi) and taiga forests in the boreal forest zone. The fells are remains of an ancient folded mountain range, and the rounded fells are shaved down bases of those mountains that stood here eons ago. What makes Pallas-Ylläs National Park particularly appealing, is the vast network of different hiking and skiing trails. From the number of different trails one can choose the ones best suitable for their fitness level. So there truly is something for everyone at our very own national park.
The landscape is breathtaking, and coincidentally the national park has been chosen as one of Finland’s national landscapes. Do I have to say more?? There are ancient holy and sacrificial spots of the Sami people in the park as well, which you can visit. If you are looking for the real Lapland nature experience, you need to look no further.
Depending on the time of the year, you can hike, mountain bike, ski and snowshoe in the park. Obviously there are dozens upon dozens of trails to choose from (find all of them here), but we asked our guides for their favourite trails and things to do within a hiking distance from our sled dog center.
The long and short of it – The trails you can walk straight into from our doorstep:
1. “Our” hiking trail to Laavu (10km round trip).
Laavu (lean-to) is an ancient shelter structure used by travellers and hunters to overnight in in the wilderness, and to protect them from the harsh elements of the arctic plains. This trail starts from our doorstep and takes you through the surrounding woods to our Laavu, where you can start a campfire and barbecue your lunch of sausages, reindeer meat, or prepare stuffed mushrooms you’ve picked up in the woods! You can hike back through the forest path, which will make your hike a nice and leisurely 10 km. But you can also continue on the trail for as long as your heart desires and admire the quiet and ancient woods that surround you.
2. From Äkäsmylly along the side of Äkäskero fell (18km round trip).
Äkäsmylly mill is a hundred year old tiny mill by Äkäslinkka rapids, which in itself is a beautiful and cosy spot to sit down by a laavu and grill your snacks while watching the water fall into the small lake below. But you don’t want to stop here just yet! Continue the trail to Peurakaltio, half way up to to the top of the fell. Here you can enjoy a cup of coffee and home-made Finnish treats at Peurakaltio B&B café. If you want to continue all the way to the top of the fell, it will be an additional 10 km to your hike, or you can start to make your way down back to Äkäsmylly and our camp.
3. Sami people’s ancient holy sacrificial and worship spot at Äkässaivo canyon (28 km round trip)
Overlooking the deep canyon which was believed to house elves and a parallel world for the water people. 30 meters of high rock surrounds the canyon, and the water is so deep and clear, that one can see fish swimming several meters below the surface. Folklore knows to tell, that the deep water holds within several underwater “chambers”, and who dares to measure the depth of the lake will disappear along with their quest into the world of the water people, never to be seen again. The Äkäsaivo Nature Trail leaves from a car park 11 km away from our camp, and the trail from there on is 7 km round trip.
4. Midnight sun on top of Särkitunturi – This one is our guides’ favourite!
It’s a bit of a longer way to go, about 20 km from our camp. You can drive or bike to the parking lot, and take the 3 km one way hike on top of the fell. Everyone here says the same: It’s not physically demanding to hike up to the top, but the landscape is absolutely breathtaking! A number one must do, I hear. You will have the magnificent view down to the national park, with hills, lakes, streams and the arctic tundra landscape. You might even see some reindeer on their summer pastures. There are Kotas (another ancient shelter structure, a type of a tipi), where you can rest on your way up or down.
You can stay with us and use our cabins either at the Husky Village (we also have a hostel here!) or our Nature Resort cabins which are located literally inside the National park, while enjoying the surrounding pristine woods and fell trails. You can hire fatbikes if you want to bike into the park, but you can easily hike in. During winter time you can hire snowshoes and skis to go off-trail and onto the deep, deep snow in the deep, deep woods.