Muttos is the land of vast mires and deep old-growth forests. It is known for its waterfalls, deep ravines, low mountains and forests where the trees have seen many generations of people pass by.
In the Sámi language the word for large mire is “áhpe”. It also translates into ocean. Here you will meet many of them, mires that feel like oceans. When they are frozen during the winter they are perfect migration routes for both people and animals. But Muttos is perhaps best known for its ancient forests. You will find both age-old trees and young pines due to logging and forest fires.
In the southern parts the whole area slopes down towards the Stuor Julevädno River, and ten deep ravines cut through the great forests. The ancient paths follow ridges, which at times are the only places which one can travel. Discreet traces such as hearths and trapping pits show us that many have walked here before us.
Nobody knows where the name comes from, but it could derive from the Sámi word “muttát”, meaning “suitable” or “adequate”. Everything necessary to live a good life is to be found here. Muttos became a part of the Laponia World Heritage in 1996.
It is forbidden to bring your dog to Muttos national park during summer and autumn, with exceptions made only on Rallarstigen – a trail in northern parts of the park.
During the period january 1st – april 30th however you are allowed to bring your dog if you keep it on your leash at all times.
Without permission from the County Administrative Board, it is absolutely forbidden to fly drones within the entire Laponia World Heritage Site.
It is only allowed to light fires in exhibited fireplaces within the world heritage Laponia.
All rules and regulations can be found here.
In the Muddus/Muttos national park there is a summer trail system approximately 50 km long. In wintertime there are no marked trails, but the iced-over wetlands and snowclad forests attract many skiers who ski between the cabins that are open in winter. In summertime, stretches of the Muttosbálges trails cross dry forest ridges and marshes, and follow plankways. For example, you hike along the dramatic river Muttosädno, past waterfalls and ravines and through old-growth forest. In wintertime you can also enter Muttos from the north and ski over the wetland areas which in summer are passable only for those who know their way. For you who bring a tent there are good tent pitches all over the area. Not far from Muddusagahtjaldak, the waterfall cabin, there is a prepared tent site with toilet and woodshed. There are also several picnic sites along the trail with a supply of firewood, toilet and fireplaces.
Ever since the last great ice melt, people have lived and moved about here. However, there are few and sparse traces of them. There are hearths and systems of trapping pits, and the ancient pines bear signs of being barked. Those who lived here were hunter gatherers. The most important game was wild reindeer. In Muddus/Muttos there are two systems of trapping pits. They lie strategically placed at sites where herds passed on their migration. When winter had the land in its grip, camps were built near the places where the wild reindeer foraged.Today’s reindeer migrate along the same routes as the wild reindeer once did.
The land in Muttos is used by Gällivare Forest Sámi Community, and Sirges and Unna Tjerusj Sámi communities. For thousands of years, people have lived here without leaving traces. A short way upstream on Muddusagahtjaldak (the Muddus Waterfall) a trail passes that is used by Sirges Sámi Community when moving the herds between the winter area in east Muttos and the summer area in west Laponia.
From the waterfall you can continue your hike to the north, east, or south to the entrance at Skájdde.
Muttosluoppal – The cabin by the lakes.
There are nine beds in the attractive Muttosluoppal cabin. There is also a goahte with open fireplace and four beds. The cabin, which lies a few stone’s throws from the Muttosluoppal lakes, is a good starting point for day tours, or for overnight stays for those touring through the national park.
A few hundred metres from the cabin stands Muttos birdwatching tower, overlooking the bird sanctuary and the national park.
The trail which runs eastwards from Muttosluoppal takes you to the large forests around Manson. The trail follows a ridge which cuts straight through the wetlands. If you keep a lookout you will see signs of bark stripping, and fire scars in the wise old trees.
The trail leading south first crosses large wetlands, then Muttosädno stream, and then follows the river down to Muddusagahtjaldak Falls and on to Skájdde.
Manson is a good starting point for day tours in the forestland of Muddus/Muttos. Hike up on one of the nearby small fells, or study the old-growth forest. The red timber cabin with its three beds is not large, but there are good tent sites nearby if your group is larger. From the eastern entrance, Suolávrre, the cabin is only 4 km away, a distance well suited for children.
About 80 metres north of the Manson cabin there is an old goahte settlement where a log cabin once stood. Now it can be identified by the rectangular shaped change in vegetation with a large hearth in the middle.
It is said that Manson was the nickname of a man called Paulus Mattiasson Bergman. He lived in the 19th century in a village called Sjokksjokk or Vuollesijdda, and he kept his reindeer here.
The Nammavárre cabin is named after the nearby low fell Nammavárre. On old maps and sign boards it is incorrectly called “Nammates”. Some people also know the cabin as the Rámsojávrre cabin, since it is scenically situated on the shore of Lake Rámsojávrre.
Here the trail passes Muttosbálges on the way north to the forests around Manson or southwards towards Måskosgårsså, Sárggavárre, or to Muddusagahtjaldak Waterfall and the falls cabin, which is nearby.
Like the Manson cabin, the cabin at Nammavárre is a picturesque little red timber cottage which has stood here since its construction in the 1950s. Photo: Johan Oja
The Arvidsson cabin
Charming little two-bed cabin taking its name from the former park warden in Muttos, Lennart Arvidsson. The cabin lies off the trails at the north end of Lake Muttosjávrre. Much looks exactly as it did in Arvidsson’s day. But know there is a gas stove. A visit to the cabin is a sample of time travel, to a fairytale landscape.
Since the cabin is not on the Muttosbálges/Muttos Trail, there are no markings to follow. The Arvidsson cabin is for travellers who prefer to make their own way.