Kilpisjärvi – The arctic paradise (part-1)
The arrival day in Kilpisjärvi
1080 driving kilometers, 13 travelling hours and finally one of the most famous fells of Finland is on my sight. The all mighty Saana fell, a nordic mountain. We have been arrived to Kilpisjärvi. It’s strange but immediately when we arrive, it starts to feel like home. I’ve never lived in Lapland but I think home is where your soul is home.
It’s 8. of july. Lapland now has a nightless night. In my opinion, one of the best times to visit Lapland and especially Kilpisjärvi.
Our first step in Kilpisjärvi is to check in our rental cottage. We are staying in Saivaara cottages for the next five nights. From our cottage is a direct view to Saana fell. Not a bad location at all. Saana fell is ruling almost all the landscapes here so it is almost impossible to avoid seeing it.
Tsahkaljärvi and Saana Fell visit
This time I’m on this trip with my 63 year old mom and 14 year old niece. And of course my dog, alaskanmalamute Juro. We are pretty tired after all the travelling but we just can’t rest. So we decide to go for a little evening hike to Tsahkaljärvi. Weather is changing all the time; rain, sunshine, wind, fog… You name it, we had it. But I think (in Lapland) there are no bad weathers – there is just bad equipment’s. And luckily we are well equipped.
At Tsahkaljärvi there are beautiful lean-to with great view to Saana fell and Tsahkaljärvi. We decide to take a break there and eat our snacks. Evening tea from ”kuksa”, surrounded by northern nature and total peace. Food for both, body and soul. I feel the serenity in me.
After a good dose of Lapland’s fresh air it’s time to go back to our cottage. Now it’s time to fall asleep. Underneath a midnight sun.
First day at Salmivaara, Kilpisjärvi
After good and long sleep all the tired is gone. I am full of energy. Today’s agenda is to climb on the top of Salmivaara. It’s nearby of our cottage. But first, a good breakfast on a balcony. Sun is shining. I could say it’s even warm weather.
We also have a another agenda for this day. My niece had her confirmation day few days ago and we decided to take her photos here in Kilpisjärvi. And what is better place than on the top of Salmivaara. Saana fell on the background. Perfect!
Climbing can start. Although Salmivaara isn’t very high (only 585 meters high), it is pretty steep. Weather is getting warmer and warmer. I’m not much of a ”warm weather person”, but it’s perfect for our photo shooting. The higher we go, the better the landscape gets. From the top the view is amazing! You can see the whole village from there and of course the Saana fell.
After a while admiring the scenery it’s photo shooting time! I love photographing nature, but never ever took this kind of photos. Our photo session went well although and my niece were very happy about her pictures. Beautiful girl in her party dress and rugged nature. Perfect contrast.
Salmivaara is one of my favourite spots here in Kilpisjärvi. Mostly because of the views. Wind in my hair and all the beauty in front of me. That is all I need. And that’s what a good hike is made of.
After the hike to Salmivaara are done, it’s time to think our next move. We thought it would be fun to grill some sausages. So, Tsahkaljärvi lean-to we go. It is raining again, but that won’t bother us. Weather is changing pretty quick here. When we get there, we notice there aren’t any firewoods. We wonder is it because of the forest fire warning or what but we can’t now grill our sausages there. Gladly in the yard of our cottage there are a cute hut. With reindeer hides and everything. So cozy. And sausages tastes so much better after a little extra effort. And one extra hike doesn’t make harm. Not in these circumstances. Extra dose of Lapland’s nature. That’s what I like. Next stop is bed. We are so tired. Juro is sleeping every night in my bed. That’s not allowed back in home but in Lapland we have our own rules.
Second day hiking to Saanajärvi
Today’s plan was to conquer the all mighty Saana fell. But the weather is pretty bad. Saana is covered with fog. As a matter of fact we were planning to go on for a night hike to Saana but now we have to make new plans. We wan’t to make a night hike still to somewhere. So Saanajärvi (lake Saana) sounds like a perfect plan. Daytime is for resting and eating well. When the night comes, it is time to go.
We start our hike to Saanajärvi from Kilpisjärvi Nature center’s parking lot. This is one of my favourite hiking trails here in Kilpisjärvi. So beautiful and quite easy going. I have walk this trail once before, last autumn when the autumn colors was the strongest. This time I’m on this trail under the midnight sun. I’ve always said that Lapland is full of magic but at night time there is even more magic than usual.
There are so beautiful that this doesn’t even feel like we are on a hike. These landscapes are something that touches my soul very deep. Just watching the infinite. Admiring. Enjoying. Mind is resting.
Midnight sun in Klipisjärvi
We arrived to Saanajärvi exactly at midnight. All the fog is gone by the way. There are a beautiful hut at the lake. We eat our night snack there. And of course tea from kuksa. Perfect again. No one else around. Just a couple of tents far away in distance. I can almost touch the silence.
On the way back we have amazing view to Saana fell. A combination of clouds and midnight sun above the Saana fell looks like a spirit of Lapland is dancing above the Saana fell. Pure magic, no doubt about that. Wonders of a nightless night in Kilpisjärvi.
We get back to our cottage at 2.30 am. What a hike. My reward is cloudberry long drink on a balcony. Night is so beautiful but fatigue takes me over and a bed is calling.
Third day- local foods in Kilpisjärvi
After a looong sleep all the tired is gone again. No plans for today. Sometimes that is a good thing too. However, we are not going to stay in cottage, that’s for sure. Must enjoy every moment here in this wonderful nature.
Today we are just wondering in nature and we are not going to any particular route. In Kilpisjärvi doesn’t matter where you go; everywhere you look there are something beautiful. This is a naturelover’s paradise. The arctic paradise.
For dinner we are having take away food from Tundrea restaurant. Creamy fish soups for everybody. So delicious. After a good meal we go to sauna. Here we go to sauna every night. It’s the best recovery method after long hikes and it’s just a very important part of the whole experience. Lapland and sauna, a perfect match.
We hope good weather for tomorrow. The Saana fell is calling us.
Story & Images by Maiju Wallenius, IG Profile Link