Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hiking in Lemmenjoki national park

I spent the first week of June in Lemmenjoki national park, hiking and chilling out with a friend and his dog. Here's few pictures taken along the way.

Our plan was to cross a river right at where we left the car. This time of the year water level is still quite high, so we decided to take a canoe with us. Only few hundred meters carry, and crossing was much easier than wading to the other side.

We would make a round trip, so canoe was left there to wait for our return. Up go the backpacks, and to the woods we head.

First kilometers we were hiking in typical pine forests here. Nice to walk, only small marshes to cross few times. Dogs are leashed, as it's nesting time for birds, moose and reindeers have newly born calves, so it's unnecessary to let hunting dogs running free.

Just after 5km or so we saw a bear. I walked at the front, and it was about 100 meters in front of me. It quickly dashed to the woods, and disappeared in few seconds.

           After tall forest we were heading towards the upper fell area. Even it's June, there's still quite a bit of snow left here and there.

After a short while I saw a moose with two very young calves just in front of us. The mother walked away from our direction, but only one of the calves followed her. Other one just laid down and was staying still. I was holding the dogs, and my friend went bit closer to take a pic. Then we quickly continued our way.

We had a break by nice small creek. Basicly all the water is drinkable here, especially running water.
Just after a while from this we had a nice surprise, a snowy owl took off on the fellside, less than 10 meters away from us. Very rare to see them!

Southside creeks and slopes are free of the snow already, but it's a different story on northern side.
This small creek had still almost 1 meter of snow on the bottom of it. Probably melts away in July, and then in September it's already time for the first snowfalls of the winter.

Tundra scenery from one of the lunch breaks. Not much sign of the summer up here yet. Good for walking, easy terrain, only a bit rocky at times. And definitely not too warm.

                             One of the relaxing things in the wilderness, a break by the campfire.

It's the time of midnight sun, or polar day. So the sun doesn't set at all here. Day is at it's longest bit after mid-June. And then after six months it's the opposite, you can't see the sun for about one month. This picture was taken around 1am. That day we hiked during the night, as the weather was good, and supposedly raining next day.

One reason for a hike to this area was our soon expiring gold panning site. We were packing all the stuff to be taken away in the winter by a snowmobile. At the camp we spent some time under this very professionally set up tarp. Straight from a text-book ...?

We had still a bit of food stored at the panning site. It's not difficult to guess that dogs would like some canned moose.

Kumu really looks like a teenager here.

Life of the dogs. Sunbathing around a small juniper. Completely unaware of what the coming days will bring, will this trip end tomorrow or last for a month. No plans for the future, just living in the moment.

A willow grouse on a treetop. For people who are used to see willow grouses regularly this looks out of place. They live on the ground, only sometimes standing on a birch branch, just couple of meters from the ground. This enjoyed it's life at 15 meters, on a tree in the middle of a small marsh.

About half of the trip we were walking on the upper fell area like this. Beatiful scenery. Harsh, but beautiful.

A lunch break in tall forest. Wind made the smoke swirl around, so dogs were happy to rest bit further from the fire.

Two logs over the creek here makes crossing easier for people. But not sure if for the dogs....

A portrait of our four-legged gang of the trip. Pyry 10 years, Ukko 2,5 years, and Kumu 9 months. We spent last night of the trip in open wilderness hut. Not much summer trafic yet, last log in the guestbook was from 2 days ago.

Short moment of work for a craftsman. Sawing off a crown of moose antler. Tips were already chewed by voles. Pyry is protecting "his" antler from other dogs.

 Last day we had a lunch and fishing break at a familiar place for me. There was still our cooking stick from my trip with WeekendWoodsman. Read about it here, and see how this place looked like in the autumn 2013!

Only a short hike back to the canoe, and then to the car. Another week in the wilderness was behind. Very nice trip all in all!


  1. Dammit!
    You lucky s.o.b.'s!! What a great trip!!
    And that moose.... Kind of risky with mum still around, wasn't it?

    1. I had to think for a while what is s.o.b., but then I figured it out all by myself. Yes, can be risky with a mom around for sure. It went furher away with another calf, and we were already very near the other before we saw it. Just a quick picture, then off our way.

    2. I do hope you're not offended, but it was just my clumsy way of expressing my jealousy!

  2. No no, not at all. I should have added :-D at the end, as I really was thinking hard for a minute :-D

  3. Nice trip! Great that you got to see so much wildlife up close. I'm looking forward to visiting that place again with you sometime. :)

    1. Forgot a few things! I remember you telling me about the gold-panning site when I was with you there. Sorry to hear the permit will expire. I think it's silly that they're trying to push the gold panners out over time. The place is surely big enough for a few small-timers...

      Also, it's a shame I missed a lot of the beautiful scenery of that place when I was there. Next time I'll have to hike a little longer/farther! ;-)

    2. We could have kept that site, but for several reasons decided to end the contract. Yearly fees got much higher, and we all also seem to have plenty of other things to do in life. If I remember correct, working with excavators will end in the national park in several years, but pick & shovel working can still continue.

      You missed some of this scenery last time, but next time it'll be a different story!