Pyhä

Tiina Kivelä

Monday morning well spent.

I used to live and work in here briefly, in the Pyhä Ski Resort and Pyhä Luosto National Park in Northern Finland, above the Arctic Circle. Back then (I sound so old – not really sooo back then, just a few years ago) on these trails, and in a matter of fact on all the trails in this and other national parks in Finnish Lapland, mountain biking was prohibited.

Back then, this was just a sleepy hiking and trail running paradise in summer, and skiing (alpine and Nordic) paradise in winter. This was also the place I and many more learned to really ski and where we, the kids from the neighboring towns, spent almost every winter weekend.

Later some made it to the Olympics, some bumming to the Alps.

Nowadays the place’s still all that but also a mountain biking paradise, both in summer and winter. This thanks to last year when, after many years of talking and lobbying, many trails in the national parks and near them were opened and even built from scratch for the two-wheeled ones, with the help of the modified park rules and the growing trend.

In winter on snow and in summer in the most rocky parts – kind of which you find plenty of here –  the trails are best with a fatbike. A normal one is also more than fine in summer, but remember to keep a well-equipped maintenance kit with you (and good protection on) then.

The quartzite doesn’t have much mercy.

This time I was just trail running the appr. 12km path through this tunturiaapa marshland to the Isokuru gorge and past Karhunjuomalampi day hut back to the ski resort, and snapping few pics of these silvery pine woods, my rare favourites of the dead things in nature, and of the hill chain (tunturiketju, as we call these in Finnish) which continues north from Pyhä to Luosto ski resort and village.

Things haven’t changed much since I left and this is always a good place to come back for a visit, as one of the few places in Lapland with the authentic original Lapland spirit left, with grey log cabin, one small hotel (which would need a renovation though) and many stories and legends to read and hear when in town.

For starters, ask for the story of Huttu-Ukko, or of the hill on the left in the pics – Noitatuntunturi, Witchhill.

Tiina Kivelä


Where: Pyhä Ski Resort / Pyhä-Luosto National Park, Lapland, Finland.

mtb trailmap

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