5 hiking ideas for snowshoes and ski trekking around Rovaniemi

Lapland is the perfect location for adventurers during winter time. There you will find a variety of unique outdoor activities. If you wish to discover the heart of Lapland nature on your own, snowshoes and ski trekking will allow you to contemplate those amazing white landscapes without worrying about the snow. Here are our 5 recommended hikes for snowshoes and ski trekking around Rovaniemi to make the most of your time surrounded by the beautiful Finnish nature.

Snowshoeing and ski trekking

During winter time, snowshoeing and ski trekking are ideal activities to explore Finnish nature by yourself. If you are more interested in the less frequented areas, those activities will allow you to go off the beaten paths and get to places that you cannot reach with cars or on foot. Moreover, they are accessible even to beginners, so don’t be afraid if you never tried before, you will get used to it in only a few steps.

For snowshoes, their way of working is very simple.  Just attach your shoes to them and you just have to walk. Yet be careful to not get them too close to each other or to cross them when walking to avoid you from falling. Few tips, if you find yourself uphill, it is better to put your weight more on the front of the snowshoes to help you mount. On the contrary, when going downhill, you should do the opposite, put your weight at the back of the snowshoes for a better grip and to prevent you from slipping.


As for the backcountry ski (or called in Finnish, “sliding snowshoes”). They are designed to let you glide on deep snow. On them, there is a skin that allows them to both hike uphill and slide downhill. However, be careful this is a completely different activity from cross-country or Alpine skiing. Their usage is also simple, instead of walking you just have to slide. When you are going down hill, don’t forget to bend your knees. If you’re not comfortable that way, you can always try to go on the snow beside the tracks to avoid you from falling. Moreover, when you are going off track in untouched snow, it will require more effort since you will have to sometimes lift the skis.

Those equipment can be used for long day expeditions or only a few hours hike into wild nature. The rental of snowshoes or backcountry skis is available at our Nordic Odyssey office or online on our website.

Below you can find our selection of recommended hiking trails for snowshoes and ski trekking around Rovaniemi. We have mentioned the official walking path as a safe trail to refer to (especially if you feel tired or not confident enough), but we recommend hiking off the beaten paths with your snowshoes and skis, for a more unique and personal adventure into the white landscapes! 

ski pair




Select your date & time and the number of snowshoes/skis you would like to rent. Our team will prepare the equipment for you.
You may then collect your snowshoes/skis directly at our Nordic Odyssey office in the city centre (address : Jaakonkatu 4-6, 96200 Rovaniemi)


Ounasvaara winter hiking trails are an ideal destination for a day-trip hike because of its accessibility. The beginning of the trail is located just 3km from the city center of Rovaniemi. You can choose to walk there or if you prefer, you have the option to take the bus nr 9 to get close to the hill (the bus stop in Ounasvaara is situated at the sport institute).

In Ounasvaara you will find 2 trails, a circular trail of 4 km and if you want to extend your hike, there is also a longer one of 8 km. Yet those two are accessible to all levels even for beginners.

The trail passes through the middle of the forest and goes around the edge of the hill. If you want to have a little break we recommend you to stop at a lean-to shelter called “laavu”. There you will be able to light a fire to prepare your snack. If you want to try the Finnish way, buy some sausages, bread and cheese and warm them by the fire. You will find firewood next to the shelter, but don’t forget to bring a knife and a firestick or matches to prepare the fire.

cultural e-fatbike circuit from Rovaniemi


Hike in the Arctic Circle area at Vikaköngäs on the Vaattunkivaara Nature Trail, a magical place during winter. There you will be able to pass on hanging bridges and cross the forest surrounded by old pine trees of over 450 years old.

This circle trail is about 4 km long for an approximate hike of one hour and a half. This trail is classified as medium level.

Vikaköngäs is situated approximately 20 km away from Rovaniemi, since it is a popular hiking area for the locals, this site is served by bus routes directly from Rovaniemi (closest bus stop is Lake Vikajärvi-matkahuolto.fi) There is also parking for your car which is the starting point of the hike.

Hiking facilities include lean-to shelters with fireplaces and firewood, dry toilets and an observation tower on the top of Vaattunkivaara Hill where you will be able to observe the wooded surroundings.

Vikaköngäs bridge winter


A little further away from Rovaniemi, Santavaara Hill is an ideal spot to observe Ounasjoki river and the natural winter scenery surrounding it.

On this site you will be able to go off the beaten paths to reach Kuninkaanlaavu, a lean-to-shelter where you will be able to have a break around a warm fire.

Santavaara is situated at 7 km from the city center of Rovaniemi, You can decide to go to this hill with your own car (cars can be parked on the side of the Ounasjoen itäpuolentie road or Santavaarantie road) . If you are more on the sporty side you can decide to link two outside activities by going there with a E fat-bike (for around 30 min by bike).

e-fatbike circuit Rovaniemi


One of the objectives of your Lapland trip is to admire the famous ‘cotton’ trees. The thick layer of snow that covers them creates magnificent and unique shapes that will let your imagination go free.

Through your hike on the winter trail Riisin rääpäsy, a loop of 4,3 km (2 to 3 hours), you will be able to witness the natural wealth of the park such as lakes, ponds, bogs or even the sighting of Riisitunturi fell. Note that this is an easy trail, thus suitable for families with children.

The national park is a two-hour drive from Rovaniemi, so you will need to bring your own vehicle as there is no public transport taking you directly to Riisitunturi. There is a car park and information shelter on site to help you find your way around the park. There are also toilets at the beginning of the trail.

During your break, you will be able to stop at the Riisitunturi open wilderness hut and have time to light a fire to cook your snacks.

Please note that daylight only lasts a few hours in winter, so it’s important to plan your journey carefully in advance.



At Nordic Odyssey we offer a large variety of guided tours with snowshoes and backcountry skis throughout all winter. Your guide will take you in small groups away from Rovaniemi to explore Lapland wilderness forests, hills and landscapes for a few hours (also possibility of private tours). Through those hikes, the guide will share its knowledge on this environment while you will admire those incredible natural sites. If you are lucky you might even spot or hear the wildlife surrounding you.

Yet you wish to find a more creative way to snowshoe or do ski trekking, well you are at the right place. Nordic Odyssey offers unique combinations of tours in protected Finnish areas such as an adventure to the Amethyst mine in Pyhä-Luosto National Park. There you will be able to get a bit of height to have a beautiful view of the finnish nature while learning about the activity of mining in this site, you will even be able to dig for your own amethyst stone.

Then, have you ever tried snowshoes or backcountry skis by night ? Well, this is a unique opportunity for you to have a new point of view of Finnish nature. It is also a chance for you to witness the famous northern light phenomenon (naturally if all the conditions are favorable, especially a clear sky).

All of our tours are welcome to all levels, thus they can be adapted from beginners to more-advanced levels depending on the terrain.

ski trekking amethyst mine
Snowshoes by night
This is the end of our recommendations of hikes for snowshoes and ski
trekking around Rovaniemi.


We hope you enjoyed reading this blogpost.
If you have any question, feel free to contact us!
We will be super glad to help you plan your  trip to Rovaniemi!






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