Many people choose to paddle for days along the Ounasjoki river. (More details about this are provided below). However, there is a wonderful 22km section which starts from Periläjärvi, close to Hetta, and ends where the river meanders close to the road in Ketomella, that makes a perfect daytrip. (The other rivers recommended as either longer daytrips / overnight paddles are both around 38km in length and therefore need the participants to be slightly stronger paddlers.
There are open shelters at either end of the Ounasjoki daytrip - a lean-to shelter on the shore of Lake Periläjärvi, and a campfire site and Sioskoski day-trip hut before the village of Ketomella. The Näkkäläjoki flows into the Ounasjoki at the eastern end of Lake Periläjärvi and a few kilometres after this it widens and becomes the quiet waters of Joentekiäinen pool where it is also joined by the Vanhajoki river.
If there is sufficient water flow, you may choose to put in, rather, at the east end of Lake Ounasjärvi, 5 km from the centre of Hetta. In-between this put-in and our standard put-in at Lake Periläjärvi is a 400m long section of shallow and rocky rapids called the Periläkoski rapids. These are only enjoyable in high water.
FYI: It is also possible to start this daytrip in downtown Hetta at our kayak rental location on the Ounasjärvi lake and paddle an additional 7km to the normal put-in point, including the 400m-long section of Orhinniva / Periläkoski rapids which run under the Periläsaari forestry road. These rapids are not recommended in either very high or very low water but they are wonderful when the time is right.
1-day Guided 22km Journey Price: Adults €200
1-day Facilitated 22km Journey Price: Adults €75
Palojoki Wilderness River: Either a 1 or 2-day 38km paddle or a 2-4 day 65km paddle
This gentle gd 1 and 2 wilderness river starts at Lake Palojärvi and eventually flows into the Palojoki estuary and River Muoniojoki, c. 65km later, having followed the eastern boundary of the little-visited Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area for part of its length. There are variety of put-in and take-out options along this river. Hence, you can choose to paddle as little as 31km or as much as 60km along the way.
Most people opt for the 33km section from a remote put-in near the bridge at Lake Palojärvi, c. halfway between the villages of Leppäjärvi and Palojärvi to the take-out at Palojoensuu just before the Palojoki joins the main border river. Whilst it is possible to do this distance in one day, it is generally recommended as an overnight journey.
Along the way, grade 1 and 2 rapids allow for intermingled relaxation and fun and there are a rich assortment of fish in the river for those keen to take some fishing breaks. Only the Perjantaikoski Rapids halfway down the river are difficult to paddle down although when the water is shallow, the river is rocky, so this river is best tackled early in the season.
The prices for the guided journey include the rent of the canoe, paddle and buoyancy aid, boat transfers to the river and food. The 2-day option also includes the overnight stay in our own wilderness hut. The facilitated journey prices include map support, canoe and kit hire and transfers to the put-in and take-out.
1-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €195
2-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €275
1-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €75
2-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €100
Käkkälöjoki River, Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area: A 1-2 day, 38km paddle.
This source of this gentle beginner's river is near the Norwegian border but most people paddle a 38km section between Kalmakaltio and Siltakoski through the Saaravuoma-Koskisenvuoma marshland protection area on the south-eastern side of the Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness Area. The river drops only 25m in altitude along its 38km length and provides easy paddling from early summer to August.
The journey can be completed in one long day by experienced paddlers. However, for most people it is a more enjoyable 2-day (or 3-day with children) trip with an overnight in a wilderness cabin.
The Kalmakaltio open wilderness hut and Nallatupa are on the banks of the River Käkkälöjoki.
Kalmakautio can be reached by driving 14.5km along a dirt road from the village of Nunnanen (which is c.20km from the main Peltovuoma road and the standard take-out at Siltakoski).
Those who want to extend their journey can do so by continuing on for a further 27km from Siltakoski to Ketomella although it is worth noting that this section includes the Haarakoski Rapids at the junction of the Käkkälöjoki and Ounasjoki rivers.
As always, the guided price for the 38km journey includes the rent of the canoe, paddle and buoyancy aid, transfer to the put-in transfers, food, guiding and hut accommodation when the trip is being made across two days.
The facilitated journey prices include map support, canoe and kit hire and transfers to the put-in and take-out.
1-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €205
2-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €325
1-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €95
2-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €135
Longer journeys than the 1 day 22km section described above are possible on this mighty river since it runs undammed all the way to Rovaniemi, c. 300km in the South. It is actually the longest river which is completely within Finland’s borders and is very popular with long distance canoeists. Round rocks which have been shaped by moving ice and water and which are difficult to spot from upstream are characteristic of the river. The rapids along the river vary in classification from I to III. The most difficult rapids along the route are Kurkkio, Köngäs and Molkoköngäs.
If you want to canoe down the entire river from Hetta all the way to Rovaniemi, you should take into account that the trip will take at least 2 weeks. There are 30 sets of rapids along the route and altogether this equals to a drop of 200 metres. There are villages by the river, but also long stretches which are uninhabited. From Ketomella to Rovaniemi a road runs beside the river. Our prices for longer journeys on this river are customised to your put-in and take-out preferences.
There was an EU project looking at this river and its tributaries in some detail but the website (http://www.ounasjoki.fi) is no longer working. These images are taken from the booklet which was produced about it./
Könkämäeno / Tornionjoki / Muoniojoki Border river : 1 day or many days
This river is described, more, in our multiday paddle adventure pages since it is a frequently paddled multiday journey. However, it is very easy to pop on and off at any number of places and take in a number of fun rapids along the way.
This river, which runs un-dammed for 560km between the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea and forms the natural border between Sweden and Finland, is Europe's longest wild river. It became well known in kayaking circles in the 80s and 90s as the location of the historic Arctic Canoe Race. Flatwater sections are interspersed between exciting rapids and there are many put-in and take-out options along its length. Hence, there are a wide number of journey options. However, since the river drops 473m along its length and contains 124 classified rapid water sections, some sections are fairly demanding. Despite this, it is still suitable for families with a local guide.
Detailed route descriptions and rapid water section classifications are available. A good website with lots of maps is 'skimuonio which contains a great
overview map which also opens up into individual river segment maps.
You can also dial in on the individual rapid sections on either google earth or a Swedish land material website.
The whole length can be completed in one week by experienced paddlers paddling c.80km days. Alternatively, one company offers a more relaxed two-week journey down its length, most summers from Lake Kilpisjärvi to the Gulf of Botnia.
Our 21km one-day guided journey on this river either puts in at Kuttanen and takes out at Palojoensuu or puts in at Palojoensuu and takes out at Saivomuotka. There are no major rapids along this section.
1-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €185
2-day Guided Journey Price: Adults €250
1-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €65
2-day Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €90
Pöyrisjoki River (43 km)
This is a relatively demanding early summer canoeing route which starts from Lake Pöyrisjärvi and ends in Lake Vuontisjärvi. Lake Pöyrisjärvi can be reached by all-terrain vehicle from Näkkälä or by hydroplane from Hetta and there is an open / reservable hut near Lake Pöyrisjärvi.
There is a 100m change in altitude along the 43km river. There are several rocky rapids in the river so it is best to canoe when the waters are high. The rapids get more difficult as you get further down the river and they range in classification from class I to IV. The class IV Kuirinkurkkio and class II Kirkkokurkkio Rapids are the most challenging - the latter because of the steep, undercut banks on the sides which make the corners dangerous.
The river can be seen on the (1:50 000) V423 Enontekiö and V424 Näkkälä topographical maps. It is also on the Enontekiö guide and 1:100 000 recreational map.Click to learn more about the Pöyrisjoki River
Lätäseno River: 115km
Experienced paddlers in search of a true wilderness adventure can opt for a helidrop (by hydroplane or helicopter) to the head of the completely wild Lätäseno river (or arrange to have your kayak taken out there in winter and hike out to it in summer!). Of course, you can also pack in an inflatable and it is worth noting that this river is a dream route for fly-fishing enthusiasts.
The put-in is normally at either Skadjajärvi or Porojärvi Lake and from there, the river drops 253m during its descent to the take-out at Markkina. Detailed route descriptions and rapid water section classifications are available.
Duration: 4 days including 1st helicopter transfer day
Guided Journey Price: Adults €925
Facilitated Journey Price: Adults €575
Tarvantojoki River: 30km
This river runs through the centre of a wilderness area from its source near the Norwegian border to the point at which it empties into the River Muoniojoki. You can only get to the upper course of the river by flying, but the section between the villages of Kultima and Kuttanen, on its lower course, is great for a short day trip. In many places the river bank is surrounded by vast marshlands which provide perfect excuses for the cloudberry enthusiast to stop and pick berries.
Näkkäläjoki River: 25km
This river provides an easy journey between Näkkälä and Hetta and is best tackled in early summer.