Boat Hike from Hetta through Ounasjoki to Käkkälöjoki – and Back

With a friend we took an old river boat to travel down Ounasjoki until the Käkkälöjoki estuary. After going up a few Kilometers Käkkälöjoki, where we visited a friend, we took the same route back: Down Käkkälöjoki and up Ounasjoki, back to Hetta.


Summer Has Arrived

The first week of June was quite warm, with temperatures above +20°C. Thus the water levels of the lakes and rivers are going down rapidly, so we had to make a move in order to visit a friend a few Kilometers up Käkkälöjoki.

Ounasjoki

Our water vehicle during a break in Ounasjoki

We packed our gear into the the boat, and headed toward east, where Perilläkoski was the first challenge. It is certainly doable, also with an old wooden river boat, however, it being the first rapid along the way leaves one challenged as the feeling for the boat is still somewhat expandable. All went well, though, and we continued our trip eastward. We made our first stop at the Yrjö Kokko bird tower. From under the roof of the bird tower we witnessed some rain going over the Ounastunturi and Pallasunturi national park, before we continued our journey down to Harrakoski, where Käkkälöjoki runs into Ounasjoki.

Käkkälöjoki

Käkkälöjoki

Moving up Käkkälöjoki turned out easier than expected, as the shore is well used from fishermen, making it easy to pull the boat by rope up the rapids. After reaching and resting at our destination, we made the whole trip back. That is, having fun down the rapids of Käkkälöjoki, before having fun pulling the boat up the rapids of Ounasjoki. Both ways were doable in a (long) day trip. Moving the river boat down the rapids went smooth and easy, making the boat hike an enjoyable trip, during some quite hot days (where one can fully enjoy walking up the rapids in the rivers).

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