Ylläs is a mountain bikers paradise

Ylläs offers modestly the best cycling terrain in Finland, as confirmed by the audience who voted Ylläs as the best mountain biking destination of 2019. What sets Ylläs apart and makes it a top draw is the vast array of different trails, ranging from easy wide scenic paths to more challenging narrow forest trails, sweaty ascents, and technical descents. Most of it happens in beautiful Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.

There are a total of 200 kilometers of cycling trails. When cycling in the wilderness, it’s advisable to keep your eyes on the trail to avoid stumbling over rocks or tree roots. At the same time, you can fully immerse yourself in the moment and leave behind the worries of everyday life. Pedal through beautiful forests, over vast marshlands, and all the way up to the tundra.

Ylläs takes full advantage of its varying elevations when designing these routes, and the most challenging ones offer cyclists excitement and adrenaline. Mountain biking in Ylläs is suitable for both experienced cyclists and beginners. There are numerous rest stops and wilderness cafes along the way where you can take a break and enjoy delicious treats.

What kind of bike is suitable for mountain biking?

Mountain bikes come in various types: there are hardtail and full-suspension bikes, as well as different tire widths. Hardtail mountain bikes are simpler and lighter, typically featuring a stiffer frame and front suspension only. Full-suspension mountain bikes have both front and rear suspension, which improves comfort and traction on rough trails.

The width of the bicycle tires also affects its suitability for different trails. A fatbike, with its wide tires, is a good basic choice for beginners and performs well on uneven trails. A plus-size tire bike is even more agile to ride.

When choosing a bicycle, it’s important to consider your skill level and the type of trails you plan to ride on. Rental shops can provide more guidance in selecting the right bike. Typically, beginners may find a simple hardtail mountain bike suitable, while more experienced riders might consider a full-suspension mountain bike, especially for challenging trails.

Rent a mountain bike

With or without electricity?

An electric-assist e-bike is an excellent way to experience the various landscapes of Ylläs’ trails without the fear of running out of energy along the way. The electric assistance is particularly helpful on uphills, allowing you to easily reach even the summit of Kukastunturi to admire the panoramic views, with different peaks visible in every direction. Without electric assistance, the same route is significantly more challenging but provides an excellent workout! For those who prefer a more old-school experience, a traditional bike works just fine. It’s also easier to push a traditional bike if, for instance, you have a flat tire.

Gravel biking and Bike Packing

While Ylläs is better known for mountain biking, Lapland’s gravel roads and the easier MTB trails are also suitable for gravel biking and longer bike trips. For those looking for a longer journey see Arctic Post Road, 350km in Finnish Lapland.

With a guide, you’ll get the most out of your bike ride

The abundance of the routes can be overwhelming. The easiest way to experience the best routes in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park with their resting spots is to go with a guide.

Guided mountain biking tours and safaris

Ylläs Bike Park

You can experience the fun and thrill of downhill biking during the summer season at Ylläs Ski Resort in Ylläsjärvi. There are routes for both beginners and more experienced bikers, and the best part is that you don’t have to pedal uphill at all – you can reach the top of the fell by chairlift or gondola! Ylläs Bike Park offers the longest trails in Finland, and you might find yourself needing a rest stop during your descent. It’s a great opportunity to pause and admire the scenery. Bike Park is also an excellent activity when the mosquitoes are active, as you won’t encounter them up in the fell – the wind keeps them away. You can easily rent equipment from Hill Ski Rent, and it’s also possible to try the sport with an instructor.

Trail signs

In the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park mountain biking is allowed only on official summer trails, which are marked with brown signs with hiker symbol. Best and recommended mountain biking trails have white signs.

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.