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Arctic Post Road


Arctic Post Road

Mountain Biking Collection by Henna



39:39 h

235 mi

13,525 ft

The land above the Arctic circle is not the most well-known bikepacking destination, not even for Finns or Norwegians. I was no exception, despite the fact that I've snowboarded on these mountains outside Ylläs for years. When I heard about the 400km Arctic Post Road route from Ylläs, Finland to Alta, Norway, I knew she had to see what was under the snow. I invited Sami Sauri from Spain to join me for this bikepacking adventure in the Arctic.

The Arctic Post Road bikepacking route follows the remnants of the old Copenhagen-Alta post road. It starts from the fells of Pallas-Ylläs National Park in Finnish Lapland and runs through the Finnmark Highlands all the way to Alta on the Arctic Ocean. The wilderness area created by Finnish and Norwegian Lapland is three times the size of Belgium and one of the largest spaces like this in Europe. Our route is a combination of the gravel and MTB routes.

With a reindeer-to-man ratio of 5:4, you will likely encounter more reindeer than people on the trails. However, reindeer are not here to be adorable entertainment for bikers, they are also economically important for many Lappish and Sámi. To respect that, the route is closed during the critical season in late September when herds of thousands of reindeer are gathered together for fall round-ups.

Besides that, it is also recommended to take Räkkä into consideration – that’s the season when there is high population of mosquitos, black flies, biting midges and horse flies in the Arctic, unless you plan on wearing a full body mosquito net while riding. Despite never having been to Lapland before, Sami had heard all about the mosquitoes and duly came prepared with a mosquito head net, bracelets and repellent. Räkkä starts usually by late June and lasts usually till mid-August which makes the end of summer and fall a great time for bikepacking in the Arctic. By September, the Northern lights often light up the night sky as well.

Get to know the other routes of Arctic by Cycle bikepacking route network arcticbycycle.com

You can watch the film about our Arctic Post Road bikepacking trip:

On The Map


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The Arctic Post Road Full Tour

234 mi

10,250 ft

10,850 ft

Last updated: January 17, 2023

Tours & Highlights

  • The Arctic Post Road: Day 1 Ylläs - Hetta

    67.8 mi
    8.4 mph
    3,775 ft
    3,575 ft

    Forest dirt roads and occasional tarmacked roads lead us from Ylläs to Pallas, where we get the first glimpses of the beautiful seven fells of Pallastunturi. We made the decision to go by road and stop off at Restaurant Loimu - a really charming and modest spot, but the gas pumps and interior radiate

    by Henna

  • 11:27
    35.8 mi
    3.1 mph
    3,625 ft
    3,400 ft

    The first two kilometers of the second day gave a taste of what lay ahead on the Arctic Post Road – steep trails, rocky sections and loose sand that forces you off the bikes from time to time. It slowed us down but we were pleased to be away from the road, especially as we were rewarded with amazing

    by Henna

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  • 07:07
    40.8 mi
    5.7 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,725 ft

    The cold and rainy morning meant that the start of the third day was not the most inviting but we hopped on the bike with the goal to reach Kautokeino and sleep somewhere warm and dry for the night. The rocky trails changed into sandy trails but the big puddles from last night’s rain as well as the swamp

    by Henna

  • 07:59
    49.9 mi
    6.2 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,700 ft

    After a hot shower and a good night's sleep, we were refreshed, following the river out of the town. By midday, we get above the treeline and enjoy the vast mountainous views. We made lunch at a reindeer herder’s tipi before riding along some of the longest straights we have ever seen.


    Given the openness

    by Henna

  • 05:01
    40.9 mi
    8.2 mph
    1,775 ft
    2,800 ft

    We had been faster than we expected – there was only 65 km to go to Alta and the gravel road was reportedly in a great shape. We started with a climb up to the fells where crispy northern winds welcomed us. On the horizon, we could see the high snow-covered mountains of Norway while we were cruising

    by Henna

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    235 mi
  • Duration
    39:39 h
  • Elevation
    13,525 ft

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