Mighty river and high mountain landscape
Like an axe blade cut the plateau...
Over the course of thousands of years, the Reisa River has cut its way through the mountain plateau and created the long Reisa Valley, which is the central part of Reisa National Park. Narrow valleys, clefts, majestic waterfalls and chasms that erode the plateau landscape are examples of the exciting geology, that also provides a habitat for a rich plant and bird life. This type of scenery is common in large parts of the national park, before it gradually becomes a flatter open, mountain plateau(vidde) area to the south. There are many waterfalls in the valley and Mollisfossen is the most impressive.
The Reisa Valley and the surrounding areas offer varied scenery that provides visitors many recreational opportunities in all seasons. The main tributary, from Saraelv to Nedrefoss, is a popular area in the summer for salmon fishermen and hikers. It is accessible either by riverboat or canoe, or on land by foot. In the winter, the valley has spectacular frozen waterfalls from the many tributaries and steep valley walls. Some of they neighboring valleys are wide, with larger rivers, open birch forests and abundant vegetation. Other valleys are narrow and abruptly meet the main valley. East and west of the main valley, there are rounded, higher mountain areas that lead to the boggy and forested mountain plateau by Ráisjávri and Njallaavzi.
The most common way to enter the national park is by riverboat from Bilto/Saraelv. Nordkalottlede n also starts here and follows the river up the valley. Nordkalottleden("The Arctic Trail") is a marked trail that follows the west side of the Reisa River to Nedrefoss. Here, the trail crosses the river via a suspension bridge and follows the east side of the valley up to Imo. From there, the trail climbs to the mountain plateau and Ráisjávri. Other tour areas are Biedjuvaggi to the south and Guolasjavri to the west.
There are selv-service cabins and huts within the national park. The Norwegian Trekking Association has a cabin by Nedrefoss and Statskog has a cabin by Ráisjávri. Other cabins in the area are open for use.
Salmon, sea trout and even saltwater Arctic char can be fished all the way up to Imofossen. Above Imo, freshwater Arctic char, perch, burbot and pike are present. There is also pike in Ráisijávri. Hunting is also possible in the area. Remember hunting and fishing licenses.
The Reisa River offers great canoe and other boating experiences. It is important to be aware that the river rises fast in periods of heavy rain and with warm weather during the snowmelt.
Landscape and Geology
Over the course of thousands of years, the Reisa River has cut its way through the mountain plateau and created the long Reisa Valley.
Powerful waterfalls adorn the steep valley walls. Mollis, with its 269 m drop, is particulary impressive. Imofossen is composed of two rivers that exit vertical granite walls and meet in a narrow ravine with numerous natural potholes.
North of Imo, the mountain side rises steeply and the valley becomes a large canyon. Further on towards the mountain plateau, the landscape changes to wide, open moors and bogs. The cliffs along the Reisa River show the last two million years of geologic history. The bottom layers are granite and gneis. Over these layers lies 200 meters of shale and sandstone(the Dividal group). Other rock types were pushed into place over the previous layers about 400 million years ago. At Avvekløfta(cleft) you can easily see the dividing line between bedrock, the Dividal group and the covering layer of rock.
From forested floodland to bleak moorland
Variations in bedrock and soil types provide the basis for rich diversity in the Reisa National Park. Nordreisas rich flora has been known since the late 1800s. The plant and bird life, with both easterly and northerly species, is among the most diverse in Northern Norway. Deciduous trees in the flood areas along the river create a rich riperian zone with wild currants and arctic raspberry. In the willow forest up the river valley, there are often beautiful blue Jacobs Ladder. Sibirturt(Siberian lettuce) and Storveronika(a type of gypsyweed) grow also in the area. Fjellsolblom(a type of aster) can be found on the dry and windblown mountain ridges.
Northern Norways varied animal life
Steep cliffs, dense woodland and mountain plateaus provide birds of prey with an excellent habitat and availability to prey. The rough-legged buzzard is the most common, although hikers can still see golden eagles, gyr falcons and kestrels. There are wolverines and lynx in the national park and the surrounding mountainous areas. The Sami name Njállaávzi means "cleft of the arctic fox, which suggests that foxes have always been there. Brown bears, Norways largest predator, can occasionally be seen in the park.
History and culture
Three different cultures meet
Three different cultural groups are found in Reisadalen: reindeer herders and permanent settlers of Sami, Finnish and Norwegian origins have all made use of the area and left their mark in placenames and in the cultural heritage. At least as far back as the 16th century, Sami hunting communities were living here. In the 18th century, migrating Finns came and settled. They were most likely the ones who introduced the characteristic river-boat to the Reisa Valley. The boats were originally pole driven, but are now motorized.
The valley and surrounding mountainous areas have always been important for hunting, trapping and fishing, and grouse is still caught by snares in the old manner. Pinewood was used as building material and for making tar. The sale of tar provided extra income for most of the farms in the valley. Tar production continued into the 20th century and remains of tarpits can still be seen. Reindeer herders use the southern regions in Finnmark near Kautokeino during the winter, while the southern grazing areas are by the coast in the northwest. Reisa National Park and the surrounding areas are spring, summer, and fall grazing areas for domestic reindeer. Use caution when in grazing areas, especially during calving in april and may.
In a national park, you are natures guest
· You are welcome to go where you would like by foot or on skis, but motorized vehicles are prohibited.
· You can camp where you wish, but leave no trace and bring all trash home.
· You may light a fire; however, there is a general fire restriction in forested areas between April 15th and September 15th. Be considerate when gathering wood. Dry pines should not be damaged.
· You may pick berries, edible mushrooms and common plants, but be considerate to cultural heritage, vegetation and animals. Be extra careful in migration and breeding periods.
· Utilize the opportunities for fishing and hunting. Remember fishing and hunting licenses. Do not use living fish as bait. You cannot move living fish from one body of water to another.
· You may bring your dog, but there is a leash requirement from April 1st to August 20th.
Quick info for Reisa National Park
Where: Nordreisa kommune (municipality) in Troms county in Northern Norway.
How to get here: From the national park town Storslett or the E6 - by car or bus 44 km up Rv 856 to Bilto and then 4 km further to Saraelv. Travel from there either by boat/canoe up the river or by foot along the Nordkalottleden trail approximately 9 km to Sieimma where the conservation area starts. River-boat service is available during the summer.
From Kautokeino - approximately 32 km after Rv 896 towards Biedjuvaggi and Raisjavri. The last 3-4 km are along a hiking trail or by car along old access roads to Raisjavri.
From Finland - Follow the Nordkalottleden trail north from Kilpisjarvi.
From Birtavarre or E6 in Kåfjord - up Kåfjorddalen to Ankerlia and then Guolasjavri, and then further by foot.
Information for accommodations and services: Halti National Park Center/Tourist information, tlf. 77 77 05 50, www.reisa-nasjonalpark.no
Cabins: Sieimmahytta, 8 km above Saraelv, open cabin
Vuomadathytta, 22 km above Saraelv, open cabin
Naustneset, about 26 km from Saraelv, open cabin
Arthurgammen by Luvddidjohka, about 36 km from Saraelv, open cabin
Cabin by Ráisjavri, Statskog, www.inatur.no
Tips: Be prepared for abrupt weather changes both in the summer and winter. There can be many mosquitos in July. Mollisfossen(waterfall), and Sieimma and Naustnest cabins, lie on the eastern side of the river, while the trail goes on the western side. There is no cell service in the conservation area.
Maps: "Norge 1:50 000", 1833 III, 1833 IV, 1733 I, 1733 II, 1733 IV, "Nordreisa - jakt, fiske og friluftsliv" 1:100 000.
Established: 1986, Area: 803 km2. Additional conservation areas: Raisduattorhaldi landscape conservation area. National Park Center: Halti National Park Center, Storslett, tlf. 77 77 05 50, www.reisa-nasjonalpark.no
National park village: Storslett, www.nordreisa.kommune.no
Management and supervision: Fylkesmannen(county offices) in Troms, tlf. 77 64 20 00
Statskog, tlf. 07800
Norways national parks - our shared natural heritage
We create national parks to take care of our large wilderness areas - from sea to mountains. For the environment, for us and for coming generations.
The national parks contain amazing scenery with diverse animal and plant life, waterfalls and glaciers, high peaks, endless plateaus, thick forests, beautiful fjords and coastal areas. There are also cultural heritage landmarks that show how the land was used before.
There is a a wide range of opportunities for exciting outdoor experiences in the national parks. Use our great wilderness - in a natural way.
Welcome to Norways national parks!