Winter mountain biking in the national park landscapes is fun and challenging

Ylläs has more winter biking routes than anywhere else in Finland, 100 kilometers in total. Biking in winter is both challenging and fun and the best part is the winding forest trails. Biking across the vast swamps, you see the ancient, glistening white fells in a different way than before. This is definitely an experience worth trying!

Beautiful polar night winter biking tour in Ylläsjärvi

Riding a fat-tire bike on top of the snow feels like an entirely different sport compared to regular biking in the summer, which surprises many who try this sport for the first time. The speed is slower, and the atmosphere is more reminiscent of hiking than cycling. In the spring, when there’s a solid snow crust, the sport resembles regular biking more, and the speed increases.

Fell Kukastunturi winter biking trail during the sunset

The wide tires of a fatbike are suitable for snow

In the winter, biking is done with a fatbike, which has wide tires. The bike can carry you on soft terrain and usually doesn’t leave a deep track. When cycling on snow, it’s advisable to choose a fairly high gear so that the bike grips the snow more effectively and doesn’t slip. For your bike ride, all you need is a water bottle, as there are Wilderness cafes along the various routes. In winter, your toes and fingers tend to get cold more easily, so make sure to wear good woolen socks in your shoes and warm mittens on your hands.

Electric or conventional bicycle?

With an electric-assisted fatbike, it’s possible to reach places that you might not have the energy to pedal with your own muscle power. With the help of electric assistance, you can go on rides that are 30-40 kilometers long. This allows you to see several different fells of Ylläs in one go.

There are multiple levels of electric assistance, and it’s possible that a group with varying levels of fitness or skills can progress at a fairly consistent pace by utilizing this feature.

However, electric bicycles do have a cold limit, around -20 degrees and in temperatures colder than this, the battery’s operation becomes uncertain. A fatbike is a carefree and excellent choice in all weather conditions.

Rent a fatbike or electric bike

Plan your trip with the help of the Ylläs outdoor map

Weather permitting, winter trails are maintained daily as needed from December until May. With the help of the Ylläs outdoor map, you can plan your trip more effectively and at the same time, support the maintenance of these beautiful trails.

Guided winter biking tours and safaris

With a guide, you’ll have worry-free adventures

There are plenty of crisscrossing bike trails in Ylläs. The most carefree way to embark on a biking adventure is with a guide. They know the best routes and rest stops, can assess the trail’s difficulty in advance, and can instruct on proper cycling technique.

Guided Bike to Ski tour on way to warm, cozy lunch break in wilderness cafe Kotamaja and then backcountry skiing to the surrounding fells

Head into the backcountry

You can also combine winter biking with activities like snowshoeing or downhill skiing in the backcountry. Just pack your gear in a backpack or a towable sled and pedal to the base of the suitable fell. For instance, base of fell Lainiotunturi is easily accessible by bike.

In late spring you might be able to experience the freedom going anywhere, leaving the prepared trails behind, with wide tired fatbike

In april hard snow you can explore around outside the trails. Start early or even very early so you will be back before sun makes the snow soft and makes moving impossible.

Take into consideration

Winter biking is recommended only for bikes with wide tires, at least four inches thick. Avoid riding on winter trails with narrower tires before the spring.

After heavy snowfall, winter trails are soft, and biking can be challenging. When the snow is deep and fluffy, you may need to lower your tire pressure. If your tires leave deep ruts, it’s better to switch to roads for cycling. This helps preserve the trail’s condition until the new snow hardens.

Remember that winter trails are also used by pedestrians, and cyclists should yield. Don’t ride too fast if there are other trail users in sight. Announce your approach in advance, and be sure to express your thanks if a pedestrian moves aside from the trail.

Consideration for others is essential on shared routes.

Trail signs

Winter Biking Trails are marked with blue signs with blue winter biker symbol. Then on route there is blue sticks.

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.