Pyhä Winter Trails: The Beautiful Soutaja Fell

Pyhä Winter Trails: The Beautiful Soutaja Fell

Dazzling white snow, beautiful crown-snow covered firs and open fell landscapes invite you to breathe clean air and be present in the moment.

Soutaja fell is perhaps the most beautiful fell in the Pyhä-Luosto area in Lapland, Finland. Soutaja fell is a great year-round outdoors destination, suitable for snowshoeing, fatbiking and skiing in winter. Due to its magnificent powder snow Soutaja (373 m) is especially popular among snow surfers and off-piste skiers.

Pyhä-Luosto winter trails offer wonderful opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Soutaja fell is considerably smaller than Pyhä's highest and most famous Kultakero fell, but on a sunny frosty day the fell’s beautiful crown-snow scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Soutaja is uncrowded even in the middle of the busiest skiing season.

Pyhä-Luosto National Park is Finland's southernmost great fell area. Pyhä has been a sacred place for the Forest Sámi people, which can still be seen in the place names of the area. Peaceful Soutaja on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi is perfect for a quiet mindful day trip in the midst of everyday hustle and bustle.

Pyhä-Luosto skiing trails

In the Pyhä-Luosto area, there is a maintained cross-country skiing track network of approximately 150 kilometers. Pyhä's skiing trails are suitable for both classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing. Around fourty kilometers of the ski trails are lit.

In Pyhä, there are around 14 km of lit ski trails. The tracks light up around 7 AM and dim out at 9:30 PM.

Pyhä’s Soutaja winter trail

Soutaja winter trail is a snowshoe route and a winter biking route. The snowshoeing route is marked with blue plowing signs or blue snowshoeing symbols. Snowshoeing routes are not maintained in winter, except when the route is also a winter cycling route.

The winter biking route is marked with blue plowing signs or blue winter biking symbols. Walking and snowshoeing are also allowed on the winter biking route. You can go on the winter biking and snowshoeing trails with your pets, as long as they are leashed.

The length of Soutaja's marked winter trail from Soutajantie road to Soutaja's Lappish hut is about three and a half kilometers.

Skiing to Soutaja with fell skis

If you're looking for an adventure, but don't want downhill skiing, put on a pair of fell skis and head for the unmarked trails! The best equipment would probably be sliding snowshoes, but fell skis equipped with skins will take you up as well.

With regular cross-country skis or skating skis, it may be difficult to reach the fell, as there are no maintained skiing tracks. If there is a lot of snow, even walking in the deep snow can seem like a lot of work.

Route to Pyhätunturi’s Soutaja

The Soutaja winter trail starts from Soutajantie road. The marked route goes from Soutajantie road, first meandering up to the smaller Ranta-Soutaja fell from the east side of the fell, and from there descending a little before turning to Soutaja Lappish hut.

The winter route runs along the summer route between Soutajantie road and Soutaja Lappish hut. You then return the same route. There is a parking area at the intersection of Pyhäntie road (962) and Soutajantie road.

You can reach Soutaja also from the north side of the fell along Pyhäntie road (9621). The smaller crossing road leading to the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi is closed with a gate, but without a car you can pass it to the path and towards Soutaja. There are paths in the snow that follow to summer routes.

If you are skiing with fell skis, it is easy to head to Soutaja from the skiing track that goes around Lake Pyhäjärvi. Soutaja can be reached quickly from the northern end, more kilometers are accumulated from the southern end of the lake. The skiing track between Lake Pyhäjärvi and Soutaja is not lit.

There’s a tunnel with a skiing track at the intersection of Soutajantie and Pyhäntie roads, when skiing to Soutaja from the Pyhä resort side. Shortly after the Kortelammi crossroads, turn left and cross Soutajantie road. The skiing track runs along the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi on the west side of Ranta-Soutaja fell, sometimes going up and sometimes going down.

After passing Ranta-Soutaja, there may be some kind of trodden path on the right side of the track. There is a biking route sign next to the track, which means it is a summer route. It is not maintained in winter. But, you can still go up on fell skis (or sliding snowshoes or snowshoes) straight towards Soutaja.

At some point, the slope eventually ends up on the summer route, to a trodden track, which leads to Soutaja Lappish hut. If there was no track but only deep snow on the summer biking route, it’s best to continue further north to the summer hiking route.

Soutaja Lappish hut

Before the fell summit, among the snow-covered fir trees, you will see gray log cabins. The Soutaja Lappish hut is located below the tree line in the forest, on the northeast slope of the fell. In the atmospheric and spacious shelter, it's nice to warm up by the fire on a cold frosty day while eating snacks. There are a couple of adjustable grates above the fireplace where you can grill for example sausages or buns.

There is also a firewood shed and a dry toilet in the yard area. Bring your own toilet paper.

The trail to Soutaja's peak starts right behind the hut. During the high season, there is almost certainly a trodden path in the snow, which you can follow up to the peak. It's still a long way from the Lappish hut to the top of Soutaja, but you can reach the scenery above the tree line relatively quickly.

On a sunny winter day, the most beautiful landscapes open to the south and southwest towards Pyhä’s Kultakero and the skiing resort and to the west in the direction of the evening sun and Lake Pyhäjärvi. Kultakero can be spotted from the link tower, the peak of Luosto can be seen far in the background of Lake Pyhäjärvi.

Dazzling white snow, beautiful crown-snow covered firs and open fell landscapes invite you to breathe clean air and be present in the moment.

You can get down from the fell fast, twisting and turning in the midst of snowdrifts. The choice of route is free, but in powder snow and with fell skis it is best to stick to the beaten track.

Tips for Soutaja winter day trip

  • If you go to Soutaja along a route other than the marked winter trail, you must know the basics of winter hiking and know how to navigate. Getting lost in winter is really dangerous. Carry a charged cell phone with you and keep it in a warm place throughout the trip.
  • A winter trip can easily take a lot of time, so pack enough food and drink and warm spare clothes. The fireplace in the Lappish hut is great for both grilling and warming up. Bring matches just in case.
  • The route to Soutaja is sometimes very steep and if there is a lot of snow, you will sink in it anywhere else other than on maintained tracks. Weather conditions may affect the condition of the maintained routes, so check the weather forecast before the trip. Also consider which equipment you should use for the trip.
  • In spring, the snow is dazzling, so remember to use sunglasses. In winter, the days are short, and it can get dark suddenly. Always carry a headlamp with you.
  • If you visit Pyhä and Soutaja, visit also the beautiful Pyhä-Luosto National Park. In Pyhä-Luosto National Park, you will find a 150-kilometer network of maintained skiing tracks and great snowshoeing routes.

See also other Pyhä-Luosto tours:
Hiking to the top of Pyhä
Pyhä’s Karhunjuomalampi cross-country skiing route


Pyhä Ski Resort
Pyhä-Luosto National Park - winter trails
How to get to Pyhä - Transport connections and timetables on the Visit Pyhä website

Pyhä Soutaja Winter Trail

  • Destination: Pelkosenniemi and Kemijärvi, Central Lapland, Finland
  • Difficulty: easy
  • When to go: winter trail from December to April, year-round destination
  • Duration: a day trip

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