Montelli - hidden gem in the middle of the fells
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Montelli is a small hut located in the middle of the Pallas-Ylläs National Park fells but it's surprisingly easy to reach once you find your way to the parking area next to Vuontispirtti. Unfortunately there's no public transportation available, so car is a must.
It takes about 45 mins to drive to Vuontispirtti from Muonio. You can find the map here. You need to leave your car at the parking area opposite to Vuontispirtti. When you're ready to start your hike, start walking towards left from the parking and turn right, map here. Once you reach the National park 'gate' just follow the trail (sometimes just snowmobile tracks, sometimes fully groomed cross-country trail).
You'll pass by the beautiful bridge crossing the curvy river, called Valijoki. Then follow the trail to the right hand side until you'll find the sign 'Montelli' up to the fell, Remember to respect the cross country skiers if you're on snowshoes. Do not walk on the trail.
The entire trip back and forth is approximately 7-8 km long and during the non-snowy months it's almost like a highway to hike up. During Winter months the conditions may vary from steep snow to hard walkable trail but it's recommended to always use either skies or snowshoes to get there.
You'll walk thru the forest first and sometimes the trail might be a bit steep. Be prepared to spend at least 1 hour walking uphill, or even longer depending on your physical condition. And always watch out anyone coming down! Cross-country skiers might come down pretty fast and the trail is curvy.
During the start of the winter season, the trail might be sometime difficult to find but once the season starts from week 8 (mid-February), you might find a real highway, specially once you get higher to the fell.
Once you reach Montelli Hut, take a little break and enjoy the cute little hut and it's views. Remember to take some snacks with you - and matches if you wish to barbecue some sausages at fireplace.
At Montelli, you'll also find toilet but it's recommended to bring your own toilet paper.
There are no cafeteria services around, so please be prepared to bring all your food&drinks - and bring back any trash.
Montelli is a place to spend the entire day. You have at least 3 different options depending on your motivation and equipment: climb further up to Keräskero (continue straight, to West), continue your trip to Nammala (left handside from Montelli, to the South) or return back. If you'd continue to right hand side to the North and walk/ski 30 km, you'll end up to Hetta - but that's already worth of another story.
If you decide to climb up to Keräskero, you'll have great view to Pallastunturi - and if you're on telemark/slalom skies/snowboard you can choose to ski down from the North face of Keräskero. If you get lucky, you might even find some nice powder.
Either way, enjoy the valley and the views!
Pallas-Ylläs National Park Instructions and Rules can be found here.
Always take into account the changing weather conditions, bring enough water and snacks, some extra clothes, and maybe even a map and a compass.
Check the guided snowshoeing tours: Tieva Travels