Gateway to the Reisa valley – Ovi Raishiin is an excellent base for hikes and shorter walks in Reisadalen (the Reisa valley) and towards the national park boundary in Sieimma (10km). The Arctic Trail (Nordkalottruta) passes here, while one of the main starting points for riverboat trips is the “end of the road” at Saraelv, which you will pass just before arriving at Ovi Raishiin. You can access the mountain areas west of the Reisa Valley from Ovi Raishiin. One alternative is to follow the Arctic Trail to Somájávri or Guolasjávri and the mountain Halti. In the wintertime, it’s possible to ski into the valley when the ice on the river is stable.
Ovi Raishiin means “door into the Reisa valley” in the Kven language. This is the main gateway to Reisa National Park and is well equipped with accommodation, information, fireplaces and basic sanitation facilities (read more about Ovi Raishiin here). You can park at Ovi Raishiin when the ground is dry. In the wintertime, the car park is at the end of the road at Saraelv. From there, it’s a 700 m walk along the forest road to Ovi Raishiin.
Ovi Raishiin is about 48 km from Storslett. Follow route 865 to the Bilto intersection, the gravel road to Saraelv and a forest road for the last 700 m. The route is signposted from Storslett. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reach Ovi Raishiin by public transport.
Arriving from the Kåfjord valley – starting point Guolasjávri lies at the foot of Finland’s highest mountain, Halti (1,325 m above sea level). Part of the mountain is on the Norwegian side of the border. The summit of the Norwegian part, which is 1,361 m above sea level, is situated 2 km from the Finnish summit. Both summits can be most easily reached from Guolasjávri. This starting point is also a good base for trips in the mountain areas west of the Reisa valley, i.e. Ráisdouttarháldi Protected Landscape Area and further into Reisa National Park. This starting point is situated at the end of a network of trails and roads in the Kåfjord valley, which are ideal for cycling and hiking. This is also the location of the spectacular Gorsa Bridge. During the summer months, thrill seekers can bungee jump off this bridge into the canyon below.
During the autumn (from mid-August), there is some reindeer husbandry activity in this area. Anyone who travels here at this time must show consideration, especially keeping dogs under control so they don’t chase the reindeer.
Guolasjávri is accessible by car when the ground is dry, or in other words from mid/late June to late September/early October. Turn off the E6 highway at Birtavarre and then follow route 333 to Ankerlia (10 km). From here, follow the construction road up a relatively steep mountain section after a further 10 km turn left at the intersection and continue along the northern side of the Guolasjávri river for approx. 8 km. It’s a total driving distance of 28 km from the E6 highway to the car park at the starting point.
In the wintertime, the road is only cleared as far as Ankerlia. Consquently, this should be regarded as the gateway – starting point from the Kåfjord Valley during the winter.
Furthermore, there is an official snowmobile trail to Guolasjávri from Gahpperus in the Reisa Valley, which is open from when it’s marked until 4 May.
From the starting point lake Ráisjávri/Reisavann, you can access the interior of Reisa National Park. The area around this lake is popular for berry picking, fishing and small game hunting. There is also some reindeer husbandry activity in this area.
Access from Kautokeino is from route 93 via route 6 to Cunovuohppi (10km). From there, follow the municipal road towards Biedjovággi. After driving approx. 35 km from Kautokeino, you must turn off this road and drive a further 4 km to Lake Ráisjávri/Reisavannet. There are two paths/roads down to the lake, one from the system of fences at Leamsejávrrit and the other that turns off the road approx. 3 km further north, i.e. due east of the hill Joalotoaivi. While you are permitted to drive on the latter, it’s worth noting that it’s in very poor condition. By the way, many tracks and roads in this area are used for reindeer husbandry, so please note that these don’t always lead where you are going.
Another option is to hike on the Arctic Trail (Nordkalottruta) from the start in Kautokeino to Lake Ráisjávri/Reisavannet.
In the wintertime, the road is only cleared as far as Cunovuohppi. Moreover, there is a snowmobile trail along the road to Biedjovággi and further on trials in the municipalities of Nordreisa and Kvænangen.
By starting from Kilpisjärvi near the Finnish border, you can access hiking areas northwards in the area called Käsivarsi (Finnish for arm). Käsivarsi is defined as a “wilderness area” in the Finland Forest Act and is one of the only mountainous areas in Finland. Kilpisjärvi has become a prominent destination, and the areas are popular for fishing, small game hunting and hiking year-round. The Arctic Trail (Nordkalottruta) from Kilpisjärvi leads through the entire area before crossing into Norway at Somasjávri.
There are many facilities in this area for outdoor recreation, including cabins/huts, marked hiking trails and bridges. During the wintertime, you will also find prepared cross-county skiing trails and public snowmobile trail in the area. This is a popular outdoor recreation area year-round, especially the areas closest to Kilpisjärvi, such as the hike up the iconic mountain Saana.
Another popular hiking target in the area is Halti. As Finland’s highest mountain, it has a natural attractive force. Halti is approx. 50 km from Kilpisjärvi or 6 km from Guolasjávri.
You will find more information about the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, the Arctic Trail (Nordkalottruta) and more on the website of the management authority for the area – Metsähallitus.
Arrive via the E8 highway from Skibotn (50 km/45 min). Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre is the starting point for trips northwards to Halti and Reisa National Park.
From Storslett to Skibotn, it’s 110 km (approx. 1 hr 45 min).