The most special waterfalls I have seen in my life were the ones in the Korouoma Canyon in Finland. Another winter wonder in Lapland. Who would like to hike to frozen waterfalls that can reach up to 50 meters? Are you ready for this amazing day trip from Rovaniemi? It is one of the must-see waterfalls in Europe!
How to get to Korouoma Nature Reserve
The Korouoma canyon is near Posio but can be reached easily from Rovaniemi or Kuusamo as well. It is about 1.5-2 hours away from Rovaniemi by car, and it is the suggested way of approach. Public transport is rather expensive and rare, and most importantly leaves you a couple of kilometers away from the trailhead. So if you don’t drive (in winter), the easiest way is to join an organized tour.
Trails to the frozen waterfalls
The starting point and parking lots
The canyon has three easy access points, Saukkovaara, Koivuköngäs and Lapiosalmi. You need to choose one according to the trail you plan to hike on.
Weather in the canyon
The canyon is cold, covered with snow until late spring (April-May), but due to the thaw and the runoff from the surrounding area, it can have a lot of water too. The parking lots sometimes are not accessible in May-June after sudden melting. If you see a no entrance sign, please, don’t drive on the roads. You can easily be stuck in the mud.
5 km Koronjää circuit hike to the frozen waterfalls
You have several options. If you are a less experienced hiker (or traveling with a family), you will probably favor the 5 km long circuit that connects the 3 most popular waterfalls.
Starting point: Saukkovaara parking lot
I have to warn you, it is still quite demanding as you need to descend 100 meters to the bottom of the canyon, and on your way back you have to climb up back to the parking lot. First, you will have a couple of viewpoints to observe the valley and spot the waterfalls from above and further. Then you slowly descend to the bottom of the canyon with several steeper sections. When the snow covers the landscape, the easiest way is to slide down. When you reach the valley, where you will see the first waterfall toward the west (and you continue your hike that way).
You will see three most visited waterfalls: the Jaska Jokunen (Charlie Brown), the Ruskea Virta (the Brown River) and Mammuttiputous (the Mammoth Fall).
You can go as close as you want, even touch it, but be careful, the path up to it can be slippery. The Mammoth Fall was my personal favorite because it was the largest one.
After taking enough photos you will reach a camping area with shelters (Kanjonilaavu), toilets, and fireplaces. It is a perfect location to have a rest and fry a sausage on fire (as Finns and we do). Soon you have to say goodbye to the canyon. The way up is wide and less steep than the beginning of the circuit.
Note: If you want to skip the stairs and the viewpoints, you can directly head to camping area from the parking lot (easier than the full circuit but still a demanding route).
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Distance: 5 km
Location: Saukkovaara near Posio, Finland
25 km trail in the Korouoma Canyon
If you are fit, have more time (at least 2 days), and walking along the rather cold valley doesn’t scare you, you can trek the whole canyon trail. It is 25 km and leads you to all the 14 waterfalls. You can hike the canyon in any direction.
The endpoints’ locations: Koivuköngäs and Lapiosalmi
Distance: 25 km
Hiking time: 1-2 days (possible overnight in one of the shelters, requires own equipment)
Ice climbing on the waterfalls: an extreme adventure
What’s better than taking pictures of all the icicles? Climbing on them! I am scared of the heights but challenges like this suit Karol.