You are here
Ruka area's nature
The best known fells are Ruka, Valtavaara and Konttainen. All of them are situated along the famous Karhunkierros hiking trail and Ruka itself is the starting or finishing point of the trail. Ruka area has got a lot of accommodation in both hotels and cottages thus making it a great starting point for all kinds of trips to the surroundings.
We have gathered up more detailed information about the attractions of Ruka area. The locations are presented in alphabetical order:
Konttainen (407 m) - the top of the fell is bare and the western slope drops like a wall down to the foot of the fell. The distance from the Karhunkierros Trail is about half a kilometre. Konttainen is part of a fell ridge formed by the three fells of Ruka, Valtavaara and Konttainen. The easiest way to get to Konttainen is to drive from Kemijärvi road to Vuotunki-Virkkula road and park the car on the small parking area at the base of Konttainen.
Pyhävaara ("pyhä" means holy), with the elevation of 461 m. The fell top is treeless and the southern rocky slope falls steeply down to Lake Pyhäjärvi. The place is said to have been a holy place of the former inhabitants, the Lapps.
Rukatunturi (500 m) is the highest and the best-known fell in Kuusamo. In the summer Rukatunturi is the starting or end point of the Karhunkierros Trail and in winter a ski resort for both downhill and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. In the Juhannuskallio rock wall there is a small cave called Pirunkirkko (devil´s church). The Juhannuskallio area is part of the restriction area of the Forest and Park Service nature protection area (see Pyhävaara above). You can admire the area easily on the parking lot in front of Hotel Royal Ruka along the Rukajärvi road.
Valtavaara (491 m) is situated next to Rukatunturi, to the north of it. On top of the fell there is a hut formerly used by a forest fire guard. Today it is used as a resting place for hikers in the daytime. North of the fell there is the almost 40 m deep Surmankuru gorge. The most popular way to get to Valtavaara is by foot (or by cross-country skis in winter) from Ruka. You can also drive to Konttainen parking area (see above) and walk to Valtavaara and to Ruka. The latter route is shorter, but if you wish to see all the great sceneries on the way from Valtavaara to Ruka, you will have to deal with getting the car back to Ruka!