Stuorrahanoaivi trek

This hike through Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area in Eanodat (Finnish: Enontekiö) in northern Finish Lapland leads to the Stuorrahanoaivi peak on the World Heritage Struve Geodetic Arc from either side of the wilderness area.

Our article on the Struve Geodetic Arc says “if you visit many points, the vastness of the project performed in the age of horses and carts may come off as what’s really fascinating about this set of locations. This point is the one that remains in roadless wilderness, as most of Lapland was in the days of Struve. The couple of days on this trek of a mere 60 km could in your imagination be extended to the more than tenfold distance the expeditions trekked, without the comfort of modern hiking equipment.

Metsähallitus, responsible for the wilderness area, describes it as “a perfect retreat for experienced hikers looking for peace and quiet as well as unforgettable nature experiences”. Take your time to enjoy.

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Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area in the “arm” of Finland

The stretch of the arc from Tornio to Kautokeino was lead by the Swedish Nils Selander in the years 1845–1852. Struve himself made the last measurements on the stretch up to Tornio in 1851, while the stretch northward from Kautokeino was led by Norwegian Christopher Hansteen.

The next point southward in the World Heritage inscription is Pajtas-vaara – or Tynnyrilaki as it was named after Selander had hoisted a barrel there, to be seen from the next and previous distant measurement points – in Kiruna Municipality in Sweden, downstream Muonionjoki. The previous one to the north is Baelljasvárri in Kautokeino

What is now Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area played a role also in the 1950s: the veterinary surgeon, wilderness backpacker, photographer and author Yrjö Kokko wrote a book on his treks trying to find any last nesting whooper swan, which he finally found in this area. The whooper swans were close to extinction in Finland, and his tireless work for them, including the book, were instrumental in their protection. The whooper swan is now the national bird of the country.

The wilderness areas were founded in 1991. Part of their function is to “protect the traditional livelihood of the Sámi” – although most regard the areas wilderness, they are home to Sámi communities, pasture for their reindeer and their fishing, hunting and berry picking grounds. Many Finnish also come to roam, fish and hunt, but there are still vast space for everybody venturing to here.

There is varying nature, with pine woods in the south, fell birch in much of the area, many wetlands, and fells and fell heath in the north, where this hike is leading you. The character of the legs from Karesuvanto and along the Norwegian border differ significantly, the former through forest, by lakes, rivers and bogs, the latter mostly on fell heath, with wide views.

This itinerary is for summer and early autumn. You can travel by ski, snowmobile and ski, or snowmobile and snowshoes in winter and spring, but the issues of a winter hike are not handled here.

Metsähallitus is responsible for the wilderness area. See their pages for some information on it: Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area. Their customer service should be able to give any advice needed:

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