Ounasvaara is a hill in Northern Finland, right at the Polar Circle. It's next to the town Rovaniemi, home of Santa Claus. It's easy to climb with many walking trails. You can also get on top on the hill with the ski-lift on one side of the mountain. The Ski Centre has 4 ski lifts, 6 slopes, half-pipe, equipment hire, ski maintenance, ski school and café. It's also a very good place for cross-country skiing (123km of tracks) and snowshoe-walking
The region of Ounasvaara has on average 183 days of snow / year. In the summertime the sun doesn't go down, The Midnight Sun, for a period of 1 month (6th of June - 7th of July) and in wintertime temperatures of -30°C (-22°F) are quite normal and if you're lucky you can see the Northern Lights .
Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is located on the Arctic Circle, approximately 800 km north of the capital Helsinki with excellent connections. Finnair flies from Helsinki to Rovaniemi five-six times a day. VR, the national railway, operates five trains a day. Many coach companies pass through Rovaniemi on their way to the North.
Rovaniemi Airport is about 10 km from the town centre.
Ounasvaara hill is about 3 km east of the town of Rovaniemi. You can just start walking from the city center across the river (Jätkänkynttilä bridge) and follow the signs Sky Hotel Ounasvaara (which is located at the top of the hill).
No permits are required and there are no seasonal closures. You can park for free at the bottom of the hill.
When To Climb
The Rovaniemi area is in the arctic zone; the climate is mild, subarctic, and characterised by extreme seasonal changes between darkness and light, cold and warmth.
You can walk to the top of the hill all year round, as long you are well protected against the cold during wintertime.
• Mean temperature: +0.2°C
• Annual rainfall: 535 mm
• Snow stays on the ground 183 days / year.
• Coldest recorded temperature: -45.3°C.
• Highest recorded temperature: +30.6°C.
LOWEST AND HIGHEST TEMPERATURES OF THE MONTH C°
Month Average highest temperature / Average lowest temperature
January - 9.9 / - 20.0
February -8.6 / - 18.4
March -2.7 / - 14.2
April 3.3 / - 6.7
May 10.7 / 0.4
June 17.5 / 6.9
July 19.7 / 9.4
August 16.7 / 7.3
September 10.6 / 2.9
October 3.3 / - 2.4
November - 3.3 / - 10.2
December - 7.7 / - 17.3
There is a camping site in Rovaniemi on the bank of the River Kemijoki (Open: 24.5. - 31.8):
Jäämerentie 1, 96200 Rovaniemi
Tel. +358-(0)16 345 304
You can't camp in the wild.
You can also stay on top of the hill in the rather expensive (but everything is expensive in Finland) Sky Hotel Ounasvaara.
For mountain conditions you can call to the Ounasvaara Ski Centre
in Rovaniemi: +358- (0)16-369 040