Karigasniemi (Northern Sámi: Gáregasnjárga) is a village in Finnish Lapland, in the municipality of Utsjoki. It's located on the eastern (right) bank of the Inarinjoki (Anárjohka) river, which also is the border to Norway. Somewhat downstream Inarijoki meets Karasjoki (Kárášjohka) to form Tenojoki (Deatnu, Tana).
There are Sámi, Finnish and Norwegians in the village. In old times nobody bothered about the borders and families lived on both sides of Teno – as they still do. The three languages are all heard and used side by side (and can be studied in primary school). Many live in one country and work in the other, also others participate in events and go shopping across the border.
The Sámi are the majority in Karigasniemi. Some have traditionally got their livelihood mainly from fishing in the river – but income has always come from many sources – others from large scale reindeer husbandry. Both traditions are strong in the area, although, of course, modern occupations are common and people live modern lives in many respects. Tourism is important.
Tenojoki is the most productive of the salmon rivers in northern Europe, giving 15–20 percent of all salmon caught in European rivers. There are 9,000 fishing tourists annually at the river, catching a yearly average of 40 tonnes of salmon.
The village got connected by road in the 1940s. There is an old postal route through Muotkatunturit Wilderness Area to the south-east.
Karigasniemi is at national road 92 (here called Karigasniementie east, Norjantie west from the centre). It becomes national road 92 of Norway on the other side of the river. The scenic regional road 970 (Ylätenontie) follows Inarinjoki and Tenonjoki 100 km downstream to Utsjoki. Local road 9704 (Inarijoentie) goes upstream (south) to the village Angeli.
Crossing the border is undramatic because of Nordic cooperation and the Schengen agreement. Norway is not part of EU, though, and different legislation apply, so goods may need to be declared, pets need to have their papers in order and fishermen and boaters need a certificate about disinfection. There is a common customs office at the Finnish side.
The village itself is small enough to be seen by foot. Bike or car is nearly necessary for getting anywhere else (unless the coach happens to pass suitably). In wintertime there are snowmobile tracks (check fees and regulations when renting a snowmobile: driving outside official routes, possibly also along some marked tracks, requires landowner permission). If driving on the river, mind ice safety.
Most services are very close together near the road crossing. The old village is 3 km along the road upstream.
- Taxi service Tomme Rasmus, ☏ .
- Sáivu, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10–17. The house of the village association, with tourist information (summertime), café, Internet connection, summertime "reality TV" from underwater cameras showing salmon in real time. Riverside sauna.
- Northern lights. The area has some 70 % probability of northern lights any night with clear skies, with best chance about 10PM to midnight. It should be easy to get out of the light pollution area. Try to get a clear view to the north. Local businesses should be able to arrange overnight tours with equipment to withstand the cold (in summer nights are too light). Even if you do not see the aurorae, such a tour is bound to be a worthwhile experience.
- Fishing. 1.6–20.8 except Sun 19:00 to Mon 19:00. Tenojoki is rich in salmon. Several businesses offer fishing trips (see Sleep below). Going on your own is possible, given you pay the fishing fees and respect regulations, which vary by area. More information from local tourist businesses or Ylä-Teno fishing surveyors Niilo A. Rasmus +358 40 843 9094 and Jorma Harlin +358 40 843 9093. The tributaries and lakes are not included in the Teno permits and fishing is restricted in many waters; separate permits are available for some areas, either from landowners or the "Utsjoki 1574" permit for fishing in still waters in much of the wilderness areas. Fishing equipment, including boat and boots, have to be disinfected (e.g. by sufficient drying or at a disinfection point; get a certificate) when coming from other waters, because of the Gyrodactylus salaris parasite in many other Nordic waters. Teno and Inarinjoki downstream from Matinköngäs €40/day/person (including rower; the "day" begins at 19:00) from bank or boat, €25/day/person when only fishing from the bank, spouse €5/day, juniors €5/week (+ national fishing fee, also to Norway unless keeping to the Finnish side); Inarinjoki at Matinköngäs (some 40 km upstream) and upstream including Skietshamjoki €10/day.
- 1 Mustakoski (Čáhppesguoika): day huts, campfire site; 6.2 km upstream. Shooting range 150 m from the campfire site.
- 2 Kuivaniva (Goikenjavvi): lean-to; 9.8 km upstream.
- 3 Kuoppaniva (Guohppenjavvi): parking lot, signed trail to fishing site; 13.7 km upstream.
- Doarrovasbákti: day hut; 15 km upstream.
- Nature and hiking trails
- 4 Láŋká trail. 7-km path (one way) from Karigasniemi to the Láŋká fell by Áilegas. 1 Rest spot halfway. The path should be easy to follow with map and compass. Wet terrain at places. Nice views from 1 Láŋká. 3-km shortcut to the Kaamanen road partly along the Láŋká radio mast maintenance road.
- 5 Sulaoja nature trail (11 km east along road 92, starting point the same as for the Kevo route, at a roadside rest spot). 2 km nature trail in hilly terrain at the holy source of Sulaoja (Suttesjohka; "non-freezing stream"), telling also about the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata), which in 1965–1966 destroyed vast expanses of fell birch forest. Free.
- 6 Kevo route (start at Sulaoja 10km east of Karigasniemi). 15.6–31.3. Hiking trail (63 or 78 km) through the Kevo canyon in Kevo Strict Nature Reserve. Demanding: rough terrain, steep sections, fords. The canyon and its surroundings are a strict nature reserve; trails have to be followed (except in winter), no entrance to the canyon 1.4–14.6, camping only at dedicated places, no berry picking. There are huts and shelters for breaks and overnight stays, camping is allowed at those sites. The trail ends at Lake Kenesjärvi, 26 km south of Utsjoki by E75. The first wilderness hut, 2 Ruktajärvi wilderness hut, is 10 km from the trailhead, the canyon itself starts 12 km farther. There are shelters near the start of the canyon, at Fiellu, and farther along the route. Free.
- Hunting. Some accommodation businesses have hunting grounds of their own and permits can be bought for some state owned areas. Guides and dogs can be had. To hunt yourself you need an arms permit and a general hunting permit. Willow grouse is the most common game. Hunting on state land without a guide is possible, but in addition to having general and local permits and the relevant knowledge, you need to contact the reindeer husbandry coordinator, not to mess up their work.
- 7 Ahkojävri biking route (Akujärven pyöräilyreitti) (start between Akukoski and Outakoski some 25 km downstream, first 100 m back along the road, then up in the fells). 11-km biking route into Paistunturit Wilderness Area, to the lake 2 Áhkojávri (Akujärvi). You can continue 5 km by foot to 3 Ahkojotgoahti (Aku-kammi) camp fire site at the Kevo route. Suomen Latu (a skiers' and hikers' association) has built a turf hut (goahti, kammi) here.
- Luomusjärvi biking route. 12-km biking route to Luomusjärvet (Luopmošjávrrit), around the fell Niilasašvárri, by a reindeer round-up site and back to the road. Start at Sulaoja (see above), back to the road some 2 km towards Karigasniemi.
- 1 K-market Härkönen, Ylätenontie 24, ☏ . M-F 9:00–20:00, Sat 9:00–19:00, Sun 11:00–18:00. Grocery store. Also some pharmacy services.
- 2 Ailigas-market, ☏ , fax: . Grocery store (Tarmo). Also petrol. Kotipizza pizza meals.
- 3 K-Extra Pohjanrinne, Ylätenontie 30, ☏ . M-F 9:00–20:00, Sat 9:00–18:00, Sun closed. Grocery store with outdoor gear and car equipment. Also postal, Matkahuolto and filling station services.
- 4 Giehtta Dáidu (Marjo Liikala), Reistintie 31 (at Outakoski), ☏ . Handicraft from reindeer.
Most accommodation businesses also serve meals. See Sleep below. Pizza (Kotipizzza) at Ailigas-market, café at Sáivu
Ordered by distance from the village.
- 4 Kalastajan majatalo ("Fisherman’s Inn"), Ylätenontie 32, ☏ , email@example.com. Accommodation, restaurant, fishing permits, boat rental, hunting trips. double room €70/night; cabin (no amenities; 1.6–31.7) €50/night; apartments from €85/night.
- Lomakeskus Napakettu (2 km downstream), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Cottages; tours and equipment rental (canoe, riverboat, cross-country skis etc.) for guests. 1–2 persons: €80/night, linen +€8/person, no breakfast.
- 5 Tenon eräkievari, Rovisuvannontie 59 (8 km downstream), ☏ , email@example.com. Accommodation, food, boat, rower; fishing, hunting and hiking tours. double room including linen and breakfast €90; boat and motor €50/day+petrol; equipment €15/day; rowing €35/hour.
- 6 [dead link] Ylä-Tenon takkatuvat, Kuoppaniva (13 km upstream), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Cottages, camping, tours and fishing permits.
- 7 Seitala, Tenontie 7140 (at Outakoski,). At a good fishing location. Accommodation (rooms, cottages, camping); fishing permits; boats, motors and equipment for rent; rowing service; willow grouse hunting. double room €60/day; caravan (2 adults, with electricity) €33/day; tent (2 adults) €23/day; rowing boat €30/day; rowing €35/hour; sauna €5/person/hour or €20/hour; moving your car €0.50/km, min €20.
Postal code 99950 Karigasniemi.
Mobile phone coverage is good along road 92, but weak in the river valleys. In the wilderness, climb peaks to get connected.