Introduction

Saariselkä Wilderness, incorporating the 253,800-hectare Urho Kekkonen National Park and large tracts of protected forest, extends to the Russian border. It’s a fabulous slice of Finland, home to bears, wolverines and golden eagles, plus thousands of free-grazing reindeer. This is a brilliant trekking area, with a large network of wilderness huts amid the unspoilt beauty of this huge expanse of forest, marshland and low fells.

The area is divided into several zones, each with different rules. Although fires (using dead wood) are allowed in certain areas, take a camp stove, as fire bans are common in summer. A map and compass are essential for the most remote areas of the park.