Tag Archives: Ylläs

Two ski routes to fells in Ylläs – Lapland

Kukas and Haavepalo ski routes

Want to reach two fell tops by maintained cross-country ski tracks in Ylläs area? There are two wonderful points you ought to visit if visiting the area in the winter season.

First, Kukastunturi fell which is close to village of Äkäslompolo, offers very beautiful views from the top to surrounding fells of Lainio, Pyhä and Kesänki. All of them, as Kukastunturi fell, are in the national park of Pallas-Yllästunturi.


Although the route near the top of Kukastunturi is marked as black (difficult), it is worth a visit if you are an more experienced skier. The suggested route is to go to Kotamaja ski hut first (and have a coffee break) and then reach the top from there. The first part of the route down can get pretty fast and has a challenging curve at the track after about 600 m from the top.

The other fell top is Iso Totovaara fell, the point called Haavepalo. It offers a view to the same fells as Kukastunturi, this time to their eastern side. Haavepalo is located a bit farther away from the villages of Ylläsjärvi and Äkäslompolo, the easiest way to reach the track of 22 kilometers is to drive to the parking place near Lainio River. From the villages the route can get to about 40 kilometers long.


Along the route there are two ski huts with outside fire places and shelter for breaks.

There is almost all time some wind at fell tops, the conditions can be very different what they are down at the village. That means also that signs of tracks might be swept away, so at least some orienteering skills might be needed if the area is not familiar. Both routes can be reached by skating style skis also.

Get your printed ski map from local stores and check the maintenance of tracks before going. Both fell tops are among the most special places in Ylläs area by x-country skis. The maintained ski tracks to fell tops are a luxury, thanks to those who keep them available and in good condition.


Two fells by snowshoes in Ylläs – Lapland

Two fells to go snowshoeing

My favourites, two easy routes for snowshoeing in Ylläs area are Kuertunturi route and Pikkulaki route, both marked in ski maps and on ground. Kuertunturi route starts at the village of Äkäslompolo. See my post on Kuertunturi route.

The route to Pikkulaki can be started from several points, the longest one from the village of Ylläsjärvi and the shortest one near Iso-Ylläs ski area. See my post on Pikkulaki route.

The beautiful views from both fells gives to nearby taller fells. You do not have to follow the routes, can go anywhere with snowshoes, but for a easier return to the village bring the map with you.

There are several other routes in Ylläs, buy the ski map from local stores and see route descriptions (only in Finnish).

Snowshoeing on Kuer fell in Lapland

In the middle of hot July day, temperature reaching +30C, it feels nice to think of last winter’s trips in Lapland.

Kuertunturi is a small fell near village of Äkäslompolo in Lapland. In winter it is approachable by snowshoes or skis, the marked trail starts behind the chapel of the village. The trail is marked but to be sure of directions a skiing map can be obtained at the village.

Start of the trail.

Nice pine forest at the first part of the trail. It’s only under 3 kilometers to the top by the marked trail, going up might take a couple of hours, coming down is a lot faster.

Start of the trail

Through pine forest

Alternative to snowshoes, ski hoks that you can slide down the hill It has skins to help you to ascend.

Ski hoks

The steeper part of the trail may make you want to have a break afterwards.

The steeper part of the trail

Visibility at the top was not the best. Pretty heavy wind at the last stretch. Only few small trees near the top.

Visibility at the top

Reaching the top.

The last stretch to the top

A welcomed break neat the top beside a tree looking for a bit of shelter.

A break at the top

Under the tree

A limited view to the village of Äkäslompolo.

A view to the village

Soft snow for descending with ski hoks. Good place to practice for a few slides.

Soft snow for descending

The day is short in December. Headlight were needed to keep you on the trail.

The day is short in December

Äkäslompolo, Lapland in December

Kellostapuli fell

A day before 24th of Dec., Jouluaatto for Finnish is nice and snowy in Äkäslompolo, Lapland. Luckily escaped the wet and rainy southern Finland where winter has not really arrived. 175 km of ski tracks open, 38 km of them are lighted.

Ski tracks in Äkäslompolo

The sun does not really rise for a few days at all, the blue lightness of the day last only a couple of hours. To ski on tracks that are not lit one has to plan to go between 10 am and 2:30 pm.

Trees in Pallas-Yllästunturi national park

The well maintained ski tracks go beside the Pallas-Yllästunturi national park. The weather is perfect, about -7C degrees.

Midday light

The Kellostapuli fell is close by.

At Kesänginkeidas ski cafe

There are some skiers but one really can not talk about a busy route. Kesänginkeidas ski cafe and other ski cafes open for a few hours a day.

Beautiful skiing route

Beautiful, blue moments of the day.

Dipper (cinclus cinclus) on river Kesänki

The dipper on Kesänki river can be spotted by the ski track.

Altai skiing to Pikkulaki fell in Ylläs – Lapland

A good start for the new year was my visit to the top of Pikkulaki, a smaller fell in Ylläs, Lapland. In early January the day in Lapland is very short. We were lucky to catch some beams of light on the way up on that clear day.

There is a marked snowshoeing trail to the top with two different starting points. There was a clear path almost to the top that day, and it was easy to follow the trail. There was a lot of new light snow so it was much harder to go outside the trail.

Coming downhill one would not want to follow the trail. I tested new Altai Ski Kar -skis, short skis with skins. They worked fine when going up and were a lot more fun than snowshoes when coming down the hill. In deep new snow they were not that fast but they beat snowshoes, no more walking downhill for me.

Day light showed for a while at noon
Day light showed for a while at noon
Moomin had landed
Moomin had landed
In thirty minutes the show is almost over
In thirty minutes the show is almost over
Lots of soft snow
Lots of soft snow
At the top of Pikkulaki
At the top of Pikkulaki
Time for a hot chocolate
Time for a hot chocolate
The old style
The old style
Ascending is easy with altai skis
Ascending is easy with altai skis
Skins on Altai ski Kars
Skins on Altai ski Kars

A 360 -view from the top of Pikkulaki, Ylläs.

Christmas day snowshoeing in Lapland

The length of the day today in the 25th of December in Lapland is 35 minutes, starting at 12:06 and ending at 12:41. There is daylight longer than that though, several hours of blue, soft light.

The temperature was below -22C so it is more suitable for snowshoeing than skiing. Lots of soft snow everywhere that even with snowshoes you would sink in to the snow. Peaceful and relaxing snowshoeing in the middle of the quiet forest with spruces and snow.

Cover developing
Cover developing
Retro poles from 21st century
Retro poles from 21st century
Entering jänkä that is bog
Entering jänkä that is bog
Christmas day at 14:30
Christmas day at 14:30

The Prey Trail in Ylläs

Prey trail sign

The Prey Trail is a short nature trail in Lapland, and it goes along the fell side of Yllästunturi. Iso-Ylläs is the best place to start for this easy 5 km trail, called Saalistusjotos in Finnish. There is Kahvikeitaan laavu, a lean-to shelter on the way up and after that you will enter the Pallas-Yllästunturi national park for a while.

Autumn colors

Prey trail in the forest

Part of the trail goes in the forest across little streams.

Little streams along the trail

Ascending terrain

Ascending terrain and leaving the forest behind..

Up the ravine

Into the ravine..

Sign post

A view to the fell

A view to the fell.

A viewpoint bench

A viewpoint to the east.

A view to the east

Mire and Aakenus fell on the background.

Rock plates

A closer look at rock plates.

Rock slope

Vast areas of the fell side.

Fell side

Passing reindeer

Passing reindeer at a suitable distance.

Autumn colored rowan (pihlaja)

Overall, these trails around Ylläs fells are very nice for short half day hikes. Of the many circle trails you can combine longer ones or go across the fells.