The haven for cross-country skiing pampers skiers

Ylläs offers an unparalleled extensive network of cross-country skiing trails – some 300 kilometers of first-class and well-maintained tracks await the skier. The versatile skiing trail system attracts both beginners and professionals from near and far, and not without reason, as Ylläs’ trails are in a class of their own.

In the heart of winter, the most thrilling experience is skiing over the vast swamp while the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park’s fells loom in the background against the pink-hued polar night sky. The donuts and coffee from the wilderness café taste exceptionally good, providing the energy to ski back home and jump straight into the sauna to warm up after a long day of outdoor activities. On Ylläs’ trails, you won’t get bored, but rather will be pleasantly surprised!

Wilderness Cafe Kotamaja in midwinter

Avoid getting bored

Ylläs has been known as a cross-country skiing mecca for decades. Its reputation still holds true, and for a good reason – the trails are among the best and most beautiful in Finland. There’s an abundance of skiing opportunities in Ylläs, and with plenty of space and tranquility, there’s no room for trail rage. Wilderness cafés and maintained shelters provide well-timed breaks in your skiing adventure. The trails are easy to access for everyone, and you can choose between freestyle, classic, or your very own style.

Rent skis

Free or Classic style?

For beginners, it’s advisable to start learning classic skiing, which is suitable even for those with lower fitness levels, as you can easily maintain a very gentle pace. On the other hand, freestyle skiing requires more stamina and a bit of balance, but it’s perfect for those who enjoy the thrill of speed. Towards late spring, freestyle skiing becomes particularly fast on the hardened snow due to temperature changes.

Cross-country skiing in the polar night and spring sunshine

Of the about 300 kilometers of skiing tracks, more than 30 kilometers are illuminated. During the polar night, on other trails you can ski with a headlamp on, enjoying the peaceful trees and the weight of snow they carry. Skiing under the light of a full moon is especially atmospheric as the moon illuminates the landscape perfectly, and you might not even need a headlamp.

In the spring (Feb, March), there are more skiers on the trails, and dedicated enthusiasts complete long loops, such as the classic route around Yllästunturi (approximately 30km) or towards Aakenustunturi, where you can almost always find solitude. April is great for skiing: comfort is at next level as it is warmer, sunnier and skiis slides very easily! It is also quiet month on the trails.

Skiing with a child or a dog

You can easily take small children on a skiing trip in a sled, which can be rented from rental shops in the area. Place a reindeer hide on the bottom of the sled, put the child in a sleeping bag, pack some snacks, and you’re good to go. Children can practice skiing at their own pace, for example, in the wilderness Cafe Aurinkotupa skiing area. Technical instruction is available for both classic and freestyle skiing enthusiasts.

There are 46 kilometers of dog-friendly skiing trails near both of the fell villages. At junctions, these trails are marked with symbols for skiers and dogs. You can find the dog-friendly trails on Ylläs’ skiing trail map.

Ski Schools & Guided tours

When do the Ylläs ski trails open?

When the first snow falls around October, the so-called “Lämpökolmonen,” an illuminated trail of three kilometers located on the Äkäslompolo side along road Maisematie, is groomed first. As soon as there is enough snow, the other most popular and near by trails are opened totaling 150km.

The second and third-grade ski trails open up in February – all ski trails are open by the time of the winter holidays (mid February).

The ski trails are maintained until May 1st, weather and snow conditions permitting. By purchasing the Ylläs outdoor map, you support the maintenance of the trails.

Feedback on trails can be send with email to

Trail signs

Cross country skiing trails are marked with brown signs with brown skier symbol.

Outdoor Etiquette

Please respect the hiking etiquette provided by Parks & Wildlife FInland on your day trips and longer hikes in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.

  1. Respect nature – leave no trace in it. Keep your pets on a leash.
  2. Mainly use marked trails and follow the rules for different modes of travel. Check the areas and times in which access is possibly restricted at your destination.
  3. Camp only where it is allowed. Do not wash the dishes or yourself directly in a water body. Follow the rules of wilderness huts.
  4. Light your campfire only where it is allowed and use a camping stove where possible. Do not light a fire when a forest or grass fire warning is in effect.
  5. Do not litter. Bring the trash back to your accommodation.