Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park

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Pallas Yllastunturi National Park is located in the far northwest portion of Finland along the border of Sweden.  The park encompasses an area of 390 square miles (1,020 sq km) making it the third-largest national park in the country.

The pine, spruce, and larch forest make up the boreal forest known locally as Taiga.  These forests are scattered across the mostly barren landscape.  The majority of the park is characterized by the moor-covered rounded mountains and valleys.

The park is renowned for picturesque terrains and recognized as one of Finland’s national landscapes. Based on visitors, it is the country’s most popular national park reaching well over half a million annual visitors.

Taivaskero is the highest point in the park reaching a height of 2,654.2 feet (809 m). Amongst the folded and rounded mountains are habitats that include heath forests, mires, and old-growth forests. These ecosystems include streams, ponds, and lakes with Pallasjarvi Lake being the largest.

These habitats support an array of wildlife.  Some of the more popular species include elk, reindeer, bear, lynx, and fox.  Some of the more popular smaller species include the hare, weasel, lemming, squirrel, and the mole.  There are an abundance of bird species with some of the favorite species including owls, hawks, rock ptarmigan, and the colorful pine grosbeak.

Pallas Yllastunturi Highlights

The park is renowned for an abundance of hiking opportunities that allow visitors to explore the astounding folded-mountain landscapes that feature Taiga or boreal forests nestled amongst the terrain.

The polar nights cover most of December and January creating tremendous opportunities for seeing the northern lights, the stars and planets, and the milky way.

Trails of Pallas Yllastunturi National Park

Pallas Yllastunturi National Park is renowned for hiking trails that primary function as loop trails keeping hikers experiencing new things on the entire journey.  There are over 211 miles (340 km) of trails during the summer. 

The winter brings a new season and a different collection of trails with over (500 km) of ski trails and over (100 km) of hiking trails.  The winter landscapes are stunning and bring typical winter exciting when it comes to snowshoes and snow trekking.

Trails range in length and difficulty providing something for everyone to engage the pristine wilderness.  This is another reason; it is one of Finland’s most popular destinations.

Jyppyranpolku Trail: This is a rated easy trail that has an elevation gain of only 295 feet (90 m) while covering a distance of only 1.12 miles (1.8 km).  It is a walking trail that provides views of the moor-covered picturesque landscapes.

Taivaskeron Kierros Trail: This is a trail that covers a distance of 5.15 miles (8.3 km).  It is rated moderate with an elevation gain of 1,437 feet (438 m) while providing views of the remarkable folded mountain landscapes.

Varkaankurunpolku Trail: This is a serene trek through one of the boreal forests in the park.  The trail covers a distance of 2.17 miles (3.5 km) with much of it boarded for easier navigation.  The trail is rated easy and only has an elevation gain of 282 feet (86 m).

Hetta-Pallas Trail: This is one of the favorite trails of the park and it is the longest standing marked trail in the country.  The trail covers a distance of about 31 miles (50 km) while meandering amongst moor-covered plateaus, valleys and down into ravines.  The multi-day hike does feature rental huts along the way for night stays or rests.  The trail is rated difficult with an accumulative elevation gain of 4,432 feet (1,351 m).

Park Protection

Pallas Yllastunturi National Park was created to protect the remarkable landscapes and the habitats that support the wildlife in the area.

It is a favorite destination amongst the Finnish people and the government is committed to protecting this terrain for generations to come.  Hiking is permitted in the grounded principle of litter-free-hiking.  This means you carry out whatever you carry in.  The Sammaltunturi weather station located in the national park reports some of the purest air in the world.

Pallas-Yllastunturi Highlights

  • Stunning moor-covered landscapes
  • Northern lights
  • Planet and stargazing

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