Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 4: Luirojarvi – Suomunruoktu

Route: Luirojärvi – Tuiskukuru – Kustunlampi – Suomunruoktu

Distance: 23 km, 7,5 hours

The fourth day of the trip looked promising. Clear blue sky and no sign of rain anywhere in the horizon. Once again it was cold but we kept ourselves warm making some more firewood. The day’s hike was going to be the longest so far. First we would hike 8km to the Tuiskukuru hut, eat lunch and rest for a while and the we would continue 15km to the Suomunruoktu wilderness hut. After a quick breakfast we packed our stuff, cleaned the hut and headed for the trail around 10:40. Just like every previous morning once again there was a river to cross. After that the path was very easy and wide, mostly in the flat pine wood forests. No hiking above the treeline today.

Route map Day 4

Route map Day 4

At 14.10, exactly two hours after the river crossing we arrived to the Tuiskukuru wilderness hut, where we rested for a while and cooked some instant lunch. The hut had just been renovated and was in very nice condition. It is located on a nice opening nearby a small river (good for getting water), with the porch facing towards the hottest midday sun we had experienced since starting the hike. Almost warm enough for wearing a t-shirt (+12°c).  Here we could have easily spent the rest of the day relaxing.


It was time to continue to the our next destination. The first hour was an easy path that you could even run on (without the packs), but soon at an intersection we turned to a smaller trail following a riverbank up and down. The views were very nice, steep cliffs and more elevation, but the path was much more challenging. It took around one hour of walking this part until we arrived to the next resting place, a nice fireplace and an outdoor shelter located nearby the beautiful small lake Kustunlampi. There we met three guys who were just starting their trip and this had been their first overnight stop.


We hit the trail again at around 17.00 and calculated that it should take around one hour to reach the day’s final destination, Suomunruoktu. The trail once again followed a river and at one point there was even a small rapid between the cliffs. The diversity of of the nature and scenery on the trip so far has been really astonishing. We were expecting mostly boring trails in the forest with no views, but now during the past 4 days we had already seen almost every type of scenery there is to see in the Lapland.

The winding trail looked much shorter on the map and it seemed that we had underestimated the time it would take, but finally we found a bridge where the difficult trail ended and an easy (and boring) ATV path begun. From there it took only 20 minutes to the Suomunruoktu wilderness hut, which is a very popular camping and resting spot for people starting their trip from Kiilopää (the place where our trip would end). At the hut we were happy to find some old friends; Sanna and Jaakko who we met on first day, and Matti who shared a hut with us on the second day. It was fun to chat with them and compare routes and experiences.

The last part of the trail

The wilderness hut consists of two separate parts; an open hut available to be used by anyone, and a reservable side from where you can reserve a sleeping spot beforehand. The price is usually under 10 euros per spot per night and includes a mattress. The reservable side is usually less crowded and in better condition, but this time it was booked full for two different groups; 5 men wanting to enjoy their upcoming week without their wifes, and 5 women wanting to enjoy their upcoming week without their husbands. For both groups this was their first night on the trail, and they had booked similar spots in other reservable huts for every consecutive night. The funny thing was that both of the groups had  exactly the same route plan and reservations for the same huts, so they would be sleeping together in crowded huts for the whole duration of their trip. None of them had tents or even sleeping pads with them, so they could not change their plans.


Behind the hut there were also over 20 school kids and their teachers camping in tens on a class trip. For them also it was their first night and many of them seemed excited about the upcoming week. For the first time in four days there were lots of people in and around the hut.

This being our last night we ate most of the food we still had left. That meant luxurious double portions of pasta, lots of trail mix and some extra chocolate and soup. Sanna and Jaakko were also doing the same and prepared huge meals, including meatballs and all kinds of fresh ingredients we had not even dreamed of eating during the past four days. They even made some pancakes and offered them to all of us. Matti contributed his last apple pudding which we used to substitute apple jam. These pancakes were the best thing we had eaten since leaving home!


It was a fun evening chatting with the others, until one of the women from the reservable side of the hut came to our side and asked if they could move there for the night. She told us that one of the men was vomiting and suffering from some kind of food poisoning. For the next 30 minutes we watched them hauling all their gear and mattresses to our side, which now became packed. If they only would have moved in earlier, we could still have had some energy left to pitch a tent outside and sleep there, but now it was already too late and we were too tired to do anything but try to sleep.

Here you can find a few more pictures:

Here is the map of the full route we hiked in 5 days:

The full route of the UKK hike


Day 1: Aittajärvi – Sarvioja

Day 2: Sarvioja – Muorranvaarakka

Day 3: Muorranvaarakka – Sokosti – Luirojärvi

Day 4: Luirojärvi – Tuiskukuru – Kustunlampi – Suomunruoktu

Day 5: Suomunruoktu – Kiilopää

Make sure also to check the packing list if you are planning a trip of your own to the Finnish Lapland.



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