Pyhä-Luosto National Park

Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Pyhä Luosto National Park was originally founded near the Pyhätunturi and has since spread to the Luosto area. The park has many different hiking trails and nature tracks with amazing views. Fells, primeval forests, beautiful ponds and steep gorges paint a spectacular scenery. On the east side, the Pyhätunturi fell, and on the west side the Ukko-Luosto fell dominate the landscape.

There is also a lot of history linked with the scenery of Pyhä-Luosto. Stripe-patterned stones and rocks tell a story of ancient oceans that covered the area billions of years ago. Before the national park was founded, large forest loggings were held in the area, and therefore you can still find many large tree stumps, roads and the remains of an old log cabin in the park grounds.

Visitor Center Naava is a great starting point for your hike in the national park. The center is open every day of the year, has an interesting nature exhibition, and gives you useful instructions for your trip to the park. You can also start your hike from Luostonportti, the parking areas near Rykimäkero and Luostonloma or by the Käyräsvaara road.

Hiking in the Pyhä-Luosto National Park

There are many hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties in the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, so both beginner and expert hikers can enjoy the area to the fullest. There are plenty of fireplaces and outhouses in the park, as well as lean-ons and huts for resting and sleeping. lists the most popular trails of Pyhä-Luosto. How about a 7-kilometer trek across duckboards to a bird-watching tower with a panoramic view of the fell scenery, or a 17-kilometer hiking trail where the scenery changes from forests and swamplands to treeless fell tops? Between the Pyhä and Luosto villages there is a 30-kilometre long Pyhä-Luosto park trail. Mountain biking is allowed on most of the marked trails.

In the winter the park trails become maintained ski trails and marked trails for snowshoeing. Read more about skiing options and snowshoeing at Pyhä here and here. (cross-links to corresponding sites) The Isokuru area is closed during winter because of possible avalanches.

Please note that Isokuru and parts of the Ukko-Luosto route are closed in the summer of 2021 due to maintenance.

Nature and sights of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park

In the middle of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park rises the 12-peak fell range of Pyhätunturi. The highest peaks, Noitatunturi and Ukko-Luosto are over 500 meters tall. As a contrast, there are also deep gorges in the park, the most spectacular being the 220-meters deep Isokuru.

Because of the rocky terrain, the nature and vegetation of the park is rather bare and scarce. In the lowest parts of the park there are wide strangemoores with ridges and small pools of water. Some of the bogs even climb up the fell slopes because of the water that pours down from the fell springs. Across the bogs there are many duckboard trails perfect for hiking. Higher on the fell slopes there are coniferous forests that are hundreds of years old. In these forests you can meet friendly Siberian Jays that are very tame and can even hop on your arm to greet you. Near the fell top, the conditions become harsher, and the scenery is bare apart from the resilient downy birches.

Finland’s steepest gorge, Isokuru, is one of the must-see places in the park during summer. A long stairwell takes you down to the bottom of the gorge, where you can walk on a pier-like wooden bridge. By the trail there is a small wishing pond where many visitors have tossed a coin and made a wish. On the old rocks at the bottom of Isokuru you can see stripe patterns created by the waves of ancient oceans. Deep in the gorge you will find 12-meters deep Pyhänkasteenlampi pond and 17-meters high Pyhänkasteenputous waterfall. Located nearby is Uhriharju ridge, a place where ancient peoples sacrificed game to increase their hunting luck.

Another unique sight in the Pyhä-Luosto National Park is the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine, which is one of the only gem mines in the world that is open for visitors. A visit to the mine is an interesting pit stop for a hiker. Read more about the Amethyst Mine here. (cross link)