The ultimate Hetta-Pallas guide, part 2: open wilderness huts and reservation huts

Let’s continue, shall we?

You can acquire the keys to reservation huts and you can handle the booking by calling the Visitor Centers. The earlier the better, especially during Easter, Summer season and Fall colors. And remember, you can’t bring pets in reservation huts.

Open wilderness huts are open to everyone. So anyone can stay the night or enjoy a nice meal in one. You can also bring a pet, if it’s okay to every inhabitant. If it’s not, the pet stays outside.

These huts have a so called first in, first out principle. If there’s no more room, the first to arrive needs to make some for the last to arrive. This hasn’t happened to us once, not even when Salomo storm hit the fells. But I personally carry a tent at all times just in case. Oh and ear plugs. Bring a pair. Trust me.

Open wilderness huts have a variety of armaments and the current situation can always be found from luontoon.fi or by asking a Visitor Center. So far on this trail they have gas stoves, firewood and a regular stove in each hut. They also have a water hole or a fell river.

Resevation huts have more room, cleaner kitchenware and linens/pillows. It costs 11 euros per person per night (2017).

So here are all the accommodations from Hetta to Pallas.

Reservation huts and open wilderness huts along the Hetta-Pallas hike

Pyhäkero wilderness hut: This small cabin is about seven kilometers away from Hetta and most travelers enjoy a meal here on their way to Sioskuru. They have lovely tent spots on dry sand dunes and they have a cafeteria during winter. A cafeteria yours truly has helped paint! The wilderness hut accommodates five people. The courtyard has a well to refill your vessels.

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Sioskuru wilderness guide and reservation hut: this is a cute one. It’s located after you summit the Pyhäkero fell and the endless downhill that follows, eight kilometers from Pyhäkero. The reservation hut accommodates eight people and the wilderness hut 16. With plenty of tens spots to choose from.

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Most people stay here for the night or head to the Tappuri hut a few kilometers away.

The Tappuri hut: a kilometer away from the main trail but a place worth stopping by. The wooden platform accommodates eight people. There’s also a reindeer separation fence nearby.

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Pahakuru wilderness hut: 12 kilometers from Sioskuru lies Pahakuru. It’s a sort of underappreciated place to stay even with it’s beautiful vistas and open spaces.

Not counting the waterhole somewhere in the middle of nowhere (still no clue where it is) this is a good substitute for the oasis that is Hannukuru. You usually get to be on your own here. It’s only a two kilometer hike through a magical forest to Hannukuru.

You can also spend an extra day here with all the 15 kilometer per day hikes. The trail continues on downhill in sort of a weird way, so pay attention to the posts. There’s a good illustration in the house book inside.

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Hannukuru wilderness hut, reservation hut and sauna: The new reservation hut with a drying room, located on a hill. The well and the sauna provide a refreshing change to weary travelers.

Yes, you read it right: there’s a sauna in the middle of the fells. It’s pretty amazing. You pay for it by calling a number (should you find signal in there – the best bet is in front of the wilderness hut).

Oh, by the way! To get to the wilderness hut you need cross the entire area and head up the steep stairs. The guide posts are not the greatest since you first spot the reservation hut.

Hannukuru is huge. With room for 32 people in the wilderness hut and room for 24 in the reservation one. It tends to get crowded at times since it’s halfway down the trail.

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Suaskuru shelter: After the oasis of the fells and across the meadows you start to yearn for a little hobgoblin forest action. Which is exactly what Suaskuru is, located about five kilometers from Hannukuru. Stepping inside, you see absolutely nothing but thankfully I had a headlamp with me.

The waterhole is not great and people are adviced to boil the water before consumption. The shelter accommodates five people.

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The Montell hut: After crossing Lumikero and Vuontiskero you descend to a valley where the Montell hut lies. It’s 13 kilometers from Hannukuru. The “Hotel” Montell is modest but a welcome break before Nammalakuru. It accommodates four people and I’d love to pitch a tent on the courtyard. And it’s just a kilometer from Nammalakuru.

It’s only around five kilometers from Montell to Vuontisjärvi parking lot, should you wish you go that route. I suggest parking near the guide posts.

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The Nammalakuru wilderness hut and reservation hut: the newest of the bunch outshines some of them with its location and design. I’ve talked to the guy who’s the main designer of this and Hannukuru and I couldn’t thank him enough for the drying rooms. It was a real life-saver when Salomo storm hit us a year ago.

Nammalakuru accommodates 16 people in the wilderness hut and eight people in the reservation hut. It’s only 12 kilometers to Pallas from here.

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Rihmakuru shelter: Before the goal there’s still one more place to stay the night or have a break. It accommodates five people with room for tents outside.

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Pallastunturi shelter: If you don’t have a hotel room waiting for you or you miss the last bus, you can spend the night here. The open shelter has room for a few people but the yard has plenty for tents.

The shelters are located about 500 meters from the Visitor Center, just take Orava Ave (Squitrel Avenue) and you’ll get there!

If you want, you can continue the adventure past Pallas to the Pyhäjoki Nature Trail and all the way to Ylläs by taking the Tunturi-Lappi Trail. It’s 124 kilometers in total, whereas Hetta-Pallas is 55km.

 

Join us next time when we go over hut etiquette!

Caution: despite the abundance of huts, always keep an emergency accommodation option at hand.

The ultimate Hetta-Pallas guide answers your questions about the most popular and the oldest hiking trail in Finland. This is the second installment. Click the texts below to go to the other blog posts. If the post is already published, you’ll see a link. You can also ask additional information in the comment section below or by sending us a message in Facebook!

Installments:

  1. Preparations and bookings/services
  2. Huts along the trail
  3. Hut etiquette
  4. National Park rules and regulations
  5. Terrain difficulty, trail safety and cellphone coverage
  6. Trash-free hiking, economic use of gas and firewood
  7. History and culture

Writer Anne Sulander has been volunteering in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in 2016 and 2017. She has also hiked the trail several times. If you find an factual error in the text or if you have any questions, comment below!

Sources: Metsähallitus leaflets, map of the area, hut diaries and luontoon.fi

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