“This is the farthest North I have ever been in my life!!!” – This is precisely what I was saying while I stood in awe sank in snow up to my knees, and was surrounded by giant pine trees covered in a snow cap at the Pyhä-Luosto National Park!
During my visit to Rovaniemi, a local friend highly recommended taking a day trip to Pyhä-Luosto National Park, as it offers an exceptional opportunity to explore the pristine wilderness of Lapland. It’s considered a must-see for anyone visiting this region, providing a unique natural beauty that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The park is very versatile, making it a great place to visit all year round. Here you can find great hiking routes for both day trips and longer hikes.
Pyha-Luosto National Park was established in 2005 after joining Finland’s oldest national park, Pyhätunturi National Park (established in 1938), with Luosto, making it one of Finland’s oldest and newest national parks.
If you are planning to visit the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, this is your one stop guide. Here you will find all the helpful information on how to get to the park, best things to do in Pyhä-Luosto NP during winter and summer months, the best collection of all the hiking trails and a very helpful FAQ to help to answer all the questions before you come check the park for yourself!
You will also love ❤️:
- Pyhä-Luosto National Park Orientation & Map
- Pyhä-Luosto National Park: Summer vs. Winter
- How to Get to Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- How to Visit Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- Best Ways to Experience Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- 1. Visit the Pyha-Luosto National Park Amethyst Mine
- 2. Go snowshoeing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
- 3. Wilderness skiing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
- 4. Rent a classic Fat Bike
- 5. Rent an electric Fat Bike
- 6. Photograph the Northern Lights in Pyha-Luosto National Park
- 7. Marvel with Twilight (or Polar Night)
- 8. Ice fishing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
- 9. Go on a guided ice climbing tour in Pyha-Luosto National Park
- 10. Visit the Kopara Reindeer Park
- 11. Take the Scenic lift ride
- Best Hikes in Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- Best Places to Stay Near Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- Places to Eat Near Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- FAQ Pyhä-Luosto National Park
- Pyhä-Luosto National Park Conclusion
⚠️NOTE: I visited the Pyha-Luosto in December, when the day light is short. You only have a couple of hours of light, before having to turn the headlamp on. Then again, at noon it is both sunrise and sunset at the same time so the sky is just breathtaking. Then darkness falls for another 20 or so hours. But the good news is that you have plenty of time to enjoy the northern lights.
Pyhä-Luosto National Park Orientation & Map
Pyha-Luosto National Park is located in Eastern Lapland. Boasting age-old forests, charming lakes, and rugged landscapes, this place has a lot to offer. Depending on when you visit, it’s also a great place for appreciating the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun.
Here, you’ll find a variety of awesome hiking trails, allowing you to admire the park’s beauty. There are both day hikes and multi-day hikes, so there’s something for everyone. Visitor Center Naava is also found in Pyha-Luosto and there are a variety of other things to do as well.
This national park is teeming with wildlife too; home to brown bears, moose, otters, and reindeer. There’s also a huge variety of birdlife here (around 128 species have been sighted) including the Siberian jay and rough-legged buzzard.
Pyhä-Luosto National Park: Summer vs. Winter
Pyhä-Luosto National Park in Finland offers different attractions and activities depending on the season. Both winter and summer have their own unique charms, so the best time to visit depends on your interests and the experiences you’re seeking.
During the summer months you can hike among wetlands, pristine taiga forest and tall tress guiding you to amazing hiking trails. While during winter months you can explore the winter trails at the park, you have plenty of options such as cross-country skiing, snow-showing trails, and winter bike trails.
❄️ Pyhä-Luosto National Park during Winter❄️
- Skiing and Snowboarding: Pyhä-Luosto is known for its excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The winter season, typically from December to April, is ideal for those who enjoy winter sports. There are 2 ski resorts at either end of the national park with 29 slopes split between the two.
- Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing: during winter you can take advantage of the 120 km (74.5 mi) of winter trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- Northern Lights: Winter nights in Finland provide a good chance to witness the magical Northern Lights. The park’s location, away from city lights, enhances the visibility of this natural phenomenon.
🌳 Pyhä-Luosto National Park during Summer🌳
- Midsummer: Finland celebrates Midsummer in June, and the park is a beautiful place to experience the long days and the midnight sun. The days are long, and the weather is generally milder, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities.
- Hiking: Summer allows you to explore the park’s hiking trails, with around 85 km (53 mi) through the park. While the hiking is great the park is an amazing place to learn about the Forest Sámi and their culture and traditions
- Nature Exploration: During summer you will be able to explore the flora and fauna. The landscapes transform into lush greenery, and you can witness the beauty of the Finnish wilderness.
- Wildlife Watching: Summer is a good time for wildlife observation. You may encounter various bird species, reindeer, and other animals during your hikes. There are always plenty of reindeer roaming around the area during the summer months before they are brought back to the farms.
How to Get to Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Pyha-Luosto National Park is around a 1.5-hour drive from Rovaniemi, which is the closest city. As this is such a popular spot in Finland, you’ll have no problems reaching the park! To get to Rovaniemi, you can catch a train, plane, or bus, so there are plenty of options.
For the best experience, I always recommend renting a car as this offers the most flexibility. I tend to do this whenever I travel, as it means I’m not restricted to public transport timetables and I can visit off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Below, I’ve covered the ways in which you can reach Pyha-Luosto.
🚗 BY CAR:
The easiest way to reach the park is by driving from Rovaniemi. Luckily, there are plenty of car rental companies in the city, or you might even be road-tripping the country and starting from somewhere else. Regarding parking, there are five main spots; Naava Visitor Centre, Huttujärventie, Luostonloma, Luostonportti, and Rykimäkero.
Pyhä-Luosto National Park is located about 90 minutes from Rovaniemi, making it a perfect day trip. But keep in mind that driving your own car can be challenging, considering the snow conditions on the road – yes, even with experience driving on snow, I got stuck at one point and had 3 cars stop to help me (Thanks to the kind Finnish people)!
You can get 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend Discover Cars because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.
🚌 BY BUS:
If you don’t have your own set of wheels then you can take the bus from Rovaniemi. You can either head to Luosto or Pyhätunturi, but make sure you check the timetable in advance, as this may differ depending on the season.
✈️ BY PLANE:
If you are planning to fly to the Pyha-Luosto National Park, the closest airports are Rovaniemi, Kuusamo, and Kittila.
📷 PRIVATE TOUR GUIDE:
If you are looking for convenience, this day trip from Rovaniemi is a perfect option for you. This tour lasts for 7 hours and includes a guided hike as well as a visit to the Amethyst Mine. You’ll have a guide with you who knows all about the local area, and the tour includes a BBQ lunch.
How to Visit Pyhä-Luosto National Park
There are two ways to visit Pyha-Luosto National Park; self-guided or guided. The first offers you the most flexibility, as you can prioritize the areas you’d like to visit, as well as the hiking trails that you’d like to do.
However, heading to the park with a tour guide is the best option if you want to learn all about the area. Your local guide will be able to take you through the park’s history and its geology, while also showing you the best spots. If you’re short on time and you don’t have your own vehicle, then you’ll get to see a lot in a short amount of time, without having to worry about the logistics.
This day trip from Rovaniemi is a great option and lasts for 7 hours. You’ll head out on a guided hike of the park, visit an amethyst mine, and enjoy a BBQ lunch. What more could you ask for?
At the base of Pyhätunturi, there is a wonderful Nature Center Naava, where a lunch restaurant and a souvenir shop are located. There are plenty of services for the needs of various hikers and explorers in the Pyhä and Luosto area.
Also, you can get equipment rental, you can stroke cute reindeer at the reindeer farm, participate in a husky or snowmobile safari, or even try ice climbing.
PRO-TIP: It is very important to follow the safety rules & regulations.
Below, I’ve covered all the practical information you should know before visiting the park.
🏞️ ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER: Luontotie 1, 98530 Pyhätunturi (Pelkosenniemi), Finland | PHONE: +358 206 39 7302
🏞️ PARK ENTRANCE LOCATION: The two main villages of the national park are Pyhä and Luosto. Both of these are great starting points for exploring the park, as many hiking trails start from these areas.
🏞️ VISITOR CENTER: The Naava Visitor Centre is located within Pyhä. It’s free to enter and is generally open from 10 am – 5 pm. However, this may change depending on the time of year. Here, there’s a nature exhibition, as well as a cafe and shop.
🏞️ ENTRANCE FEE: There is no entrance fee to visit the park on your own. Guided group tours of the exhibition are subject to order. Price: €50/hour/group or €1.5/person
🏞️ PARKING LOCATIONS: There are five main parking areas here; Naava Visitor Centre, Huttujärventie, Luostonloma, Luostonportti, and Rykimäkero. The visitor center is certainly one of the most popular, while the Luostonportti parking area is the largest, with space for approximately 200 cars.
🏞️ PETS: Pets are allowed within the national park and on the hiking trails. However, they must be kept on a leash at all times, to respect the area and its wildlife. This is vital, especially when brown bears are found in Pyha-Luosto.
🏞️ CELL PHONE SERVICE: There are some areas in Pyha-Luosto National Park where you won’t have cell service. In other areas, you’ll have interference, so it’s best to keep a GPS device with you, in case of emergencies. Otherwise, head to a higher location or an open area, where you’ve got more chance of getting service.
I recommend buying this Wi-Fi router. Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can insert any SIM card, and it shares data across all your devices, up to 10, via Wi-Fi and the battery lasts up to 12 hours.
Best Ways to Experience Pyhä-Luosto National Park
1. Visit the Pyha-Luosto National Park Amethyst Mine
Lampivaara Amethyst Mine is a real highlight of this national park. It’s located on top of a fell, and the views from here will take your breath away.
This mine is best accessed by going on a tour, which lasts between 1-2 hours depending on the season (these are available during the winter and summer. On these tours, you’ll learn about the area’s geology and how these beautiful crystals form (they date back around 2,000 million years). Better yet, you’ll get to dig your own amethyst, which you can take home as a souvenir.
This day trip from Rovaniemi lasts for 7 hours and includes a guided hike as well as a visit to the Amethyst Mine. You’ll have a guide with you who knows all about the local area, and the tour includes a BBQ lunch.
2. Go snowshoeing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
If you’re heading to the national park during winter, then you have to go snowshoeing. It’s such an awesome experience and is a great way to explore the park. Luckily, there are a couple of great snowshoeing trails for you to try out.
Some of the most popular options include the Luosto-Torvisen Maja Snowshoeing Trail, the Lampivaara Snowshoeing Trail, and the Tunturiaapa Nature Trail. These range in difficulty and generally take between 2-4 hours, depending on the one you choose (the distances vary).
This guided snowshoeing tour lasts for around 2.5 hours and will show you the very best of Finnish Lapland. It includes all equipment, snacks, and warm drinks, and you’ll generally meet the guide at the Family Slope parking lot.
3. Wilderness skiing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
For those after a bit of adventure, then why not spend some time wildness skiing? Typically, you’ll explore the national park on Altai skis, which is essentially a cross between a snowshoe and a traditional back-country ski. These make it easy to travel across the area’s thick snowfields.
If you’re looking to try wilderness skiing then I’d recommend checking out this 2.5-hour skiing tour. It’s suitable for absolute beginners and includes a guide, all equipment, and hot berry drinks to keep you warm.
Of course, there are other tour options out there but make sure you go for a reputable provider. Also, keep in mind that this activity can be expensive so you may want to shop around for the best deals!
4. Rent a classic Fat Bike
What is a classic Fat Bike you ask? Well, it’s essentially a typical bike, but the tires can be up to twice the standard width. These tires are also underinflated to ensure that the bikes can be driven over soft surfaces such as snow.
These bikes offer a much quicker way to explore the area than by snowshoeing. They’re also much more eco-friendly than snowmobiles, as you won’t be damaging the environment or disturbing the local wildlife.
This classic Fat Bike tour lasts for around 2 hours and will take you through the snow-covered Taiga forest. Throughout the tour, your guide will teach you all about the local area and its fauna and flora. You’ll also have hot drinks included (berry beverages).
5. Rent an electric Fat Bike
An electric Fat Bike is essentially the same thing, but you guessed it, they’re pedal-assisted. They still have those huge tires, so are perfect for getting around Pyha-Luosto National Park. However, they require much less exertion, so may be more suited to those who aren’t as active.
This electric Fat Bike tour lasts for around 2 hours and is suitable for every fitness level. You’ll be exploring the national park in a small group tour, and you’ll get to choose your bike size, along with the level of electric assistance.
If you’re after a workout, then the previous Fat Bike tour may be a better option. However, an electric bike tour allows you to enjoy the experience and scenery, without puffing yourself out, while cycling over the snow.
6. Photograph the Northern Lights in Pyha-Luosto National Park
Seeing the Northern Lights is on everyone’s bucket list I’m sure. Luckily, Finland is a great place to spot this incredible phenomenon, especially Pyha-Luosto as it’s located above the Arctic Circle. The Northern Lights are most visible from the end of August until April.
This Northern Lights photography tour lasts for around 2.5 hours. You’ll head through the national park with a guide, who will teach you all about the local nature and the sky. They’ll also show you the best camera settings to photograph the Northern lights. What more could you ask for?
The best advice I can give you is just to be patient. This is a natural occurrence after all, so there’s no guarantee you will see it during your trip. I personally did not see the Northern Lights at the park, but I had to drive for about 8-hours to catch it at the Sweden border with Finland.
7. Marvel with Twilight (or Polar Night)
Catching the twilight during your Lapland winter vacation is magical, and also known for the Polar Night.
Because the days in Lapland in winter are shorter with the sunrise around 9:30 AM and the sunset around 2:30 PM, it takes the twilight time last longer.
The pictures you see below are from around 3 PM at the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, and for all the days I spent in Lapland, this was the most beautiful twilight I have ever seen. Being in the silent wilderness, with the deep snow cover and away from the artificial light of the city, it was truly a breathtaking photogenic experience.
8. Ice fishing in Pyha-Luosto National Park
If you’re after a unique activity while visiting Pyha-Luosto then why not try ice fishing? As the name suggests, you’ll be fishing through a hole in the ice which is a really cool experience. Just be prepared to get chilly as you wait so wrap up warm!
This ice-fishing tour lasts for around 2.5 hours. Your guide will teach you the secrets of ice fishing, and you’ll get to make your own hole in the ice. Not only that but hot drinks are included to keep you toasty.
If you’d prefer a more tailored experience or something a bit longer, then you can always email the company that offers this tour. They’ll be happy to organize something more suited to you and your timeframe.
9. Go on a guided ice climbing tour in Pyha-Luosto National Park
Ice climbing is such a fun activity and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend! I tried ice climbing in Iceland and had such a fantastic time. There’s nothing quite like making your way up a glacier or icefall by using an axe to climb up.
There are plenty of ice climbing tours available in this area. However, this 2.5-hour adventure tour is specifically for children so is perfect for families. They will get to learn the basics of ice climbing from an experienced guide and all the climbing gear is included.
When searching for adult ice climbing tours, make sure you do your research and go with a reputable company. It can be an expensive activity as well, so shop around for the best deals.
10. Visit the Kopara Reindeer Park
Visiting Kopora Reindeer Park is one of the best things to do in Pyha-Luosto National Park. It’s the perfect place to have some authentic reindeer experiences, and you’ll get to learn all about the life of a reindeer herder.
There’s also a restaurant on-site where you can try traditional Finnish dishes, along with sweet treats and pastries. Don’t forget to visit the shop either, where you can pick up some fantastic local handicrafts, such as jewelry.
This guided farm visit lasts for around 1.5 hours and includes a visit to Kopara Reindeer Park as well as a sled experience. On this tour, you will learn all about reindeer farms in Lapland. Your guide will teach you all about the herding culture, how the reindeer are cared for, and the training practices that are used.
11. Take the Scenic lift ride
Finally, no trip to this beautiful national park is complete without taking a scenic lift ride (in my opinion, anyway). The PyhäExpress is a 6-seater chairlift that will take you to the top of a fell. It’s the perfect option for skiers, snowboarders, and pedestrians, who simply want to get to the top.
The chair lift takes about 15 minutes and along the way, you’ll get spectacular views of the surrounding area. Not to mention, there’s a cafe at the top of the fell (Restaurant Tsokka) where you can grab some tasty waffles.
For those who want to hike as well, I’d recommend taking the ski lift to the top and then hiking back down, as the scenery along the trail is beautiful too. This way, you get to experience the best of both worlds.
Best Hikes in Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Boasting over 63 miles (101 km) of marked hiking trails, Pyha-Luosto National Park is the perfect place for outdoor lovers. These range from short 2-hour hikes to multi-day trips so there’s something for every type of traveler. Of course, they differ in difficulty too, from easy to demanding.
The great thing about these trails is that many of them will take you up over the fells, so you’ll be treated to striking views of Pyha-Luosto.
While here, I chose to hike the trails myself but guided hikes are available. These are run by local activity programs and are a great option for those who aren’t experienced hikers, or who just want to learn more about the national park.
Below, I’ll take you through some of the best hikes in Pyha-Luosto and the top snowshoeing trails if you’re heading to Finland during the winter.
Summer Hikes in Pyhä-Luosto National Park
1. Karhunjuomalampi Trail
2. Tunturiaapa Nature Trail
3. Pyhä-Luosto Hiking Trail
4. Summit of Ukko-Luosto Fell
5. Trail to Noitatunturi Fell
6. Poropolku Trail
7. Luosto-Yli-Luosto trail
8. Rykimäkuru Trail
9. Luosto Nature Hiking Trail
10. Ukko-Luosto Hiking Trail
Winter Snowshoeing Trails in Pyhä-Luosto National Park
1. Luosto-Torvisen Maja Snowshoeing Trail
2. Lampivaara Snowshoeing Trail
3. Tunturiaapa Nature Trail with Snowshoes
Best Places to Stay Near Pyhä-Luosto National Park
🏨 Top Places To Stay:
- Santa’s Hotel Aurora & Igloos, Luosto (⭐️ 8.7) – Some of the rooms at this hotel feature a private sauna and fireplace. As well as an in-house restaurant, there’s also a bar, and you’ll benefit from a Northern Lights alert system, which comes through an app on your phone.
- Lapland Hotels Luostotunturi & Amethyst Spa, Luosto (⭐️ 8.4) – This popular spa hotel has three restaurants and four bars. The rooms here are beautiful, with some of them featuring a private sauna. Thanks to the hotel’s spa facilities, this is the perfect place to relax.
- Parkside Pyhä, Pyhätunturi (⭐️ 9.4) – A stunning place that offers apartments with a private sauna. Some of these sleep up to 6 people so are perfect for groups and families, and they feature plenty of facilities. This includes a kitchen, seating area, fireplace, washing machine, and WiFi.
- Pyhä Igloos, Pyhätunturi (⭐️ 9.4) – This place offers awesome igloo accommodation, where you can admire the starry skies and (hopefully) the Northern Lights. It provides ski-to-door access, an outdoor fireplace, a sauna, walking and cultural tours, and a bicycle rental service.
- Ski-Inn PyhäLinna, Pyhätunturi (⭐️ 8.0) – Another awesome option if you’re after ski-to-door access. It boasts a fitness center, a sauna, and a restaurant. There are also a variety of studios and apartments available sleeping between 2-10 people.
Places to Eat Near Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Here are some of the best places to eat near the national park:
- Restaurant Punakettu, Luosto – This family-friendly restaurant is known for its cozy vibe and charming atmosphere. With a separate kid’s menu, hearty dishes (including burgers and pizza), and tasty desserts, this place has so much to offer.
- Restaurant Pyhän Uula, Pyhä Ski Resort – Located at the foot of the area’s main slope, this is a great place for skiers. There are some tasty bistro dishes on offer at this restaurant, or there’s also the option to grab a takeaway pizza from here.
- Huttuhippu, Pyhätunturi – Known for its casual atmosphere, tasty food, and large variety of vegan dishes, Huttuhippu is another popular option. Huttu-Pub is located alongside the restaurant, which is known for its brewery products, including beer and whisky.
- Café Loimu, The Naava Visitor Centre – As it’s located in the visitor center, this cafe is in a convenient spot. There’s an ála carte -menu or you can enjoy a home-cooked lunch from the buffet. Don’t forget about the fresh pastries and sweet treats either.
- Lapland Hotels Luostotunturi, Luosto – This hotel has several restaurants to choose from. Here, you can try everything from traditional Finnish dishes to pizza, and there’s an extensive wine list. Just make sure you check the seasonal opening hours.
FAQ Pyhä-Luosto National Park
How long do I need to visit Pyha-Luosto National Park?
I’d recommend allowing at least 2-3 days when it comes to exploring the park. You can either do a multi-day hike or base yourself in Rovaniemi and then do some of the park’s day hikes, along with the other available activities.
Covering an area of 55 square miles (142 square kilometers), as you can imagine there’s a lot to do here. As such, please don’t rush your time in Pyha-Luosto, as you’ll regret it. Honestly, it’s one of the best places to visit in Finland.
What are the animals at the Pyha-Luosto National Park?
There are plenty of wildlife species that call this park home, including brown bears, moose, otters, and reindeer. When it comes to birdlife, there are around 128 species that have been sighted in Pyha Luosto. This includes the Siberian jay and rough-legged buzzard among others.
For the best experience, bring some binoculars along for your visit. If you can, I’d also suggest bringing along a good-quality camera with a zoom lens. This way, you’ll be able to photograph any animals that you spot.
What is the best time to visit Pyha-Luosto National Park?
Pyha-Luosto is open all year round so it doesn’t matter when you visit. However, it all depends on what you want from your trip. If you want to hit endless hiking trails and take in the Midnight Sun, then you’re best visiting during midsummer.
For those who want to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, try ice climbing, or give snowshoeing a go, then winter is the best bet. Some hiking trails are still accessible at this time of year as well, so you’ll have the best of both worlds.
Is Pyha-Luosto National Park good for kids?
Pyha-Luosto is a great location for families with small children. There are plenty of awesome activities on offer here for kids, as well as places to visit. One of these is the Kopara Reindeer Park, and there’s also the scenic chair lift which is a fun activity.
In terms of hiking, the popular trail between Pyhä and Luosto (the park’s two most famous fells) is suitable for families with children. It’s not very challenging and you’ll create some great memories along the way.
What are the best National Parks in Finland?
Aside from Pyha-Luosto, there are some fantastic national parks in Finland. Some of the best (and most popular) include Koli, Nuuksio, Oulanka, Pallas-Yllästunturi, Repovesi, and Urho Kekkonen. Of course, there are some lesser-known gems too.
Finland’s national parks are located all across the country and have so much to offer. Whether you’re a keen hiker, looking to spot wildlife, or you’d simply prefer to relax, they have something for everyone.
Pyhä-Luosto National Park Conclusion
In my opinion, Pyha-Luosto is one of the best national parks in Finland. Not only will the rugged landscapes take your breath away, but there are plenty of things to do here. Hiking is of course one of the most popular activities, but there’s a lot on offer for the more adventurous traveler too.
Here, you can try everything from ice climbing and wilderness skiing to ice fishing and snowshoeing, so there are plenty of activities available. Of course, this will all depend on when you visit. There are also some great places to visit within the national park including Kopara Reindeer Park.
From my own experience, I can tell you that this isn’t a place you want to rush. Although there’s a lot to do here, Pyha-Luosto is also the perfect place to take it easy and just relax in nature. As such, there’s something for everyone!
If you are planning a visit to Finland, you may also enjoy reading the following:
- Best Things to do in Lapland in Winter
- How to Visit Rovaniemi in Winter
- Best Things to do in Rovaniemi
- 23 Reasons Why Finland is Known for
- Everything you need to know about reindeer farms in Rovaniemi + Best Tours
- 15 Amazing Glass Igloos in Lapland to see Northern Lights
Follow + Share
I would love it if you could follow me on Pinterest and share this guide on my social media.
Plan your Trip
You can plan your trip with this easy guide and have access to the best services I recommend and you can get discounted prices.