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ARCTIC POST ROAD
GRAVEL ROUTE

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LOCATED IN SAMI LAND & REINDEER HERDING AREA

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DISTANCE

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347 km

% UNPAVED

34 %
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DAYS

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5-7
days

% SINGLETRACK

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0 %

TOTAL ASCENT

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5165m

DIFFICULTY (1-10)

5
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HIGHEST POINT

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508m

% RIDEABLE

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100 %

The Arctic Post Road Gravel Route is a gravel-rig-friendly version of the Arctic Post Road MTB route, which avoids the challenging single-track sections of its big brother on mostly paved back roads. On the Finnish side, the route follows the line of some of the highest fells in the country in the Pallas-Ylläs National Park, before reaching the northern limit of the boreal forests and entering the treeless tundra of the Pöyrisjärvi Wilderness area. On the Norwegian part, the route follows the old post road, mostly a traffic-free 4x4 road connecting the old mountain lodges, all the way to the Alta valley and reaching the coast on some valley-side recreational gravel paths.

The 347km and 5-7 day gravel version of the Arctic Post Road MTB Route is somewhat a modern take of its big brother as it uses some less used paved and gravel roads, instead of following the remnants of the old Copenhagen-Alta post road deep in the arctic tundra. To be fair, it barely even earns its name as a gravel route, as only 34 percent of the distance is on gravel and dirt roads. However, it still hits some of the best gravel roads, wilderness shelters, and camp spots on the way and in the Finnmark highland, completes the Kautokeino-Hetta postal 4x4 track, still having the spirit and soul of its hardcore, benchmark sibling.

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hiekkatie arctic by cycle reitillä
järvimaisema arctic by cycle reitillä

The route was designed with a gravel rig in mind, making riding the route possible with any bike fitting a minimum of 40mm tires with whatever gear you happen to have strapped on your bike. As riding is relatively easy, the route flattish, and the services along the route are frequent and high quality, it’s also easy to hop service to service, making riding the route very comfy as well as e-bike friendly. The only drawback of the route is an 85km day on the main road of Hetta, Finland, and Kautokeino, Norway, and has traffic of lorries and RVs, but it’s a necessary evil to cross the Finnish-Norwegian border without a mountain bike. Apart from that, the paved roads are mostly low-traffic and relatively safe to ride.

 

Read more about what the route has to offer as well as our take on riding the route in the Trail notes below…

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Photos: Taneli Roininen ja Timo Veijalainen

  • Riding parallel to the line of fells of the Ylläs-Pallastunturi National Park on low-traffic back roads.

  • Historic and scenic wilderness shelters along the route, giving shelter as well great spots to camp.

  • High-quality frequent services, making hopping service to services possible across the route even with an e-bike.

  • Cycling the old post road connecting from Kautokeino to the Alta valley.

  • Arrival at the Arctic Ocean on the back roads and recreational gravel paths on the side of the Alta valley.

  • Northern lights can be seen multiple times a week in autumn, if the sky is clear at night.

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