The Best cross-country ski tips in Pyhä-Luosto

BEST CROSS-COUNTRY SKI TIPS IN PYHÄ-LUOSTO I arrived in Luosto in the beginning of December for a seasonal work contract. It was my first time here so as a keen cross-country skier I packed my ski gear with me. My accommodation was located on the Luosto side of the national park area, in close proximity of the center and ski trails. To start getting to know the area, I picked up the ski trail maps from the local shop. Both Luosto and Pyhä feature a selection of ring trails that can be extended by choosing a longer trail. Speaking for experience, I recommend taking the trail maps with you, the signs on the trails can be slightly cryptic sometimes. Most of the ski trails are classified as blue, meaning easy, however, a more experienced skier can choose from the more hilly red ones. The terrain is a bit hilly, so be prepared to face lots of smalls up and downhills! There is around 150 km of ski trails in the beautiful Pyhä-Luosto area. Information and experiences on cross-country skiing is a little scarce, so I put together a little list of highly recommended must do’s for skiers. The best cross-country ski tips for you!
The most beautiful ski trail – The Kiima-aapa loop

The title of the most beautiful trail goes to the Kiima-aapa trail in Pyhä. Being one of the fewer hill-less trails, the trail crosses swamps with breathtaking views over the fells. The trail has hardly any uphill and it is pleasant to ski, perfect for a sunny day! A fire place and a cafe can be found on the trail if a pit stop is needed. The trail is easily accessible from Pyhä Asteli Resort, where you can leave your car. During the ski season the Asteli Resort offers soup lunch and snacks. The resort is also equipped with a sauna for ultimate relaxation after the exercise! The total length of the trail is approximately 12,5km.

Best break spots – The trail around Luosto fell

No cross-country ski adventure is complete without snack breaks! Trail side cafes and fire places can be found along all longer trails in Pyhä-Luosto. This half blue, half red trail takes you around the majestetic Luosto fell. Two cafes are located on the trail.  Lampivaaran cafe on the south side of the fell, next to the Amethyst Mine, offers sweet and savoury snacks to keep you going. The distance from the main gate in Luosto to Lampivaara is just under five kilometres. Ski cafe Torvisen maja, located on the northern side of the fell, 13 kilometres from Luosto, when doing the loop clockwise. The cafe isn’t equipped with electricity nor running water, however the food is still top notch. Soup lunch and traditional coffee guarantee a boost in energy levels of a tired skier. If you prefer to bring your own sausages and hot drinks with you, there are three fireplaces to choose from. Ukko-laavu has stunning views on the fell and if you’re in luck, reindeer can be spotted on the side of the fell. Tikkalaavu is slightly off the trail, yet still easy to get to, closer to the main gate of Luosto. The third fire place is located next to the Lampivaara cafe and normally all three fireplaces are supplied with fire wood. The 20km trail can be accessed from the Luosto ski centre or parking lots of Torvisen maja and Ukko-Luostontie.

The home-made donuts at ski cafe Torvisen Maja

Ski cafe Torvisen Maja, already mentioned in the previous tip, is a very traditional ski cafe. The atmospheric little cafe is known for its’ mouthwatering treats, especially the donuts baked in a wood oven and warm service. The cafe can also serve alcohol. If you’re a crêp lover, hear me out: Mondays and Thursdays are for you! It is also possible to reach the cafe by car, snowmobile and snow shoes. Check the updated opening times here.

Reindeer park Kopara

If you’re looking for some exotic Lapland experiences, this one is for you! On the cross-country ski trail from both Pyhä and Luosto, the reindeer park offers a sight hard to pass: a reindeer trail. Want to learn more about reindeer? Check! What about feeding and even petting these calm animals? Check! The reindeer trail is perfect for animal lovers and reindeer spotters. Reindeer sleigh rides and safaris are also available. If you just want to warm up after skiing, the warm cafe awaits. Open daily during the ski season, the cafe offers, of course, delicious reindeer soup and snacks. The distance between Luosto and Kopara is 13km, from the Rykimäkero parking spot 5km and from Culture and Visitor Center Naava in Pyhä 15km. It is possible to drive to Kopara as well. Book your visit  here.

Pyhä wilderness trail

This trail circling the Pyhä fells opens on week 8. 30 kilometres of easy trail with unbelievable views over the pristine national park, what’s not to like? The trail is shared with winter cyclists and dogs, therefore remember to consider other trails users. The course of the trail is clockwise and it is strongly recommended to bring plenty of snacks and drinks, as there aren’t many cafes especially on the southern parts of the trail. When taking off from Pyhä, the first ski café is in Huttujärvi, 19km from Pyhä. However, there are some open fire places along the trail and a day hut for warmer breaks. If you are looking for a real adventure, the Huttujärvi rental hut can be booked for a night. A sauna is included in the rent. More information from Culture and Visitor Center Naava.

Pyhä has 14km of illuminated ski tracks and Luosto 18km. The lights are on daily 7.00-21.00, then dimmed gradually until 21.30. A very useful tool to plan your cross-country skiing trip is this map page, unfortunately currently available in Finnish only. It can be used to calculate desired trail lengths and to check when the trails have been groomed. A ski bus between Pyhä and Luosto enables longer one-way trips.