Hiking and trekking
The Arctic Trail (‘Kalottireitti’ in Finnish) is an 800km (500-mile) hiking trail running through the Nordic countries, 70km (43 miles) of which runs through the wilderness of northwest Lapland in Finland. Kilpisjärvi also offers several trails suitable for one-day hikes.
Saana nature trail
The 5km (3-mile) nature trail leaving from Kilpisjärvi Hiking Center circles the west of the Saana fell, over the Skirhasjohka river to the Jehkas fell, from where it circles back to Kilpisjärvi. On the hike you can appreciate the region’s nature and history. You can find guidebooks for this trail from the Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre and from the Kilpisjärvi Hiking Center.
This trail leaves from Kilpisjärvi, following the Tsahkaljoki river towards the Tsahkaljärvi lake. From there it turns back towards the foot of the Saana fell, where the trail carries on towards the hikers’ hut by the Saana lake. From the Saana lake, you can turn back towards Kilpisjärvi, stopping at Saana’s summit if you wish. Depending on the route you take, the trail is between 9 and 12km (between 5.5 and 7.5 miles).
The Salmivaara trail starts from Salmivaara road, 200m (220 yards) north of the Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre. Driving 200m up the road, there is a car park and signpost marking the start of a trail. From there it is about 800m (half a mile) and a 120m (400- foot) ascent to Salmivaara’s summit. You return to the start point using the same route. On this trail, you will have views of Finland’s, Sweden’s and Norway’s fells as well as of Kilpisjärvi village and of Tsahkaljärvi lake.
The trail leaves from Kilpisjärvi Hiking Center. You can return to Kilpisjärvi using the same route to make the hike around 8km (5 miles) in total. If you would prefer a slightly longer hike you can visit the Saana hikers’ hut before heading back, making the hike around 12km (7.5 miles).
About 3,000 hikers reach the summit of Halti every year. The five or six-day 45km (28 mile) trek to Finland’s highest fell will test both your hiking equipment and your fitness. You will be rewarded with impressive views of the rocky fell walls of the Meekojärvi lake, the distant shapes of the Saivaara fell, the steep Annjalonji cliffs, the Pihtsusköngäs waterfall, and the cool and windy exposed beaches of Pihtsusjärvi lake. The Kilpisjärvi- Halti trail is part of the Arctic Trail. The total distance from Kilpisjärvi to Halti and back is around 110km (68 miles). It is, however, worth veering slightly off path. Seeing the Salmikuru gorge around the Termisjärvi lake, and especially the Kutturankuru gorge, are definitely worth the extra effort. Additional extras on the Halti trail include diverting eastward to stop by the summit of Saivaara, on the shoulder of Meekovaara, to see incredible views of the Porojärvi valley. On Halti’s summit, those who reach the peak can record their names in the summit book.
The Arctic Trail (‘Kalottireitti’)
The Arctic Trail is a marked summer hiking trail through Finland, Sweden and Norway. The trail starts in Kautokeino in Norway, and continues through the fells in the northwest region of Lapland through to Kilpisjärvi, then back towards Norway and Sweden. The Arctic Trail ends in Sulitjelma in Norway and in Kvikkjokk in Sweden. The total length of the trail is 800km (500 miles), of which around 70km (43 miles) is in Finland. From Kilpisjärvi, the Arctic Trail continues northeast towards Halti, and west towards Sweden and Norway via the Three-Country Cairn.
Hiking trails available at Excursionmap.fi.