Ivalo (river)

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The Ivalo River (Finnish: Ivalojoki, Northern Sami: Avviljohka, Inari Sami: Avveeljuuhâ) is a 180-kilometre-long (110 mi) river that flows through upper Lapland into Lake Inari.

Kutturan silta.jpg
Road bridge spanning Ivalo River at Kuttura
Native name
Physical characteristics
 • locationKorsatunturi
 • elevationappr. 300 m
 • location
Lake Inari
 • elevation
118.7 m (389 ft)
Length180 km (110 mi)
 • average1 ‰

The Ivalo River starts from the Korsatunturi hugging the border between the communities of Inari and Enontekiö, where two side streams are meeting. The first streams branching off of it can be found on the bogs of Peltotunturi on the border between Finland and Norway along the western border of the Lemmenjoki National Park. The river flows into Lake Inari from a 5-kilometre-long (3 mi) delta approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the village of the same name, which is located on both banks of this meandering, shallow run. The Repo, Tolos, Sota and Kylä Rivers, the latter two of which are renowned for the gold found in them, are some of the Ivalo River's tributaries.

For almost its entire length, the Ivalo River flows through wilderness. Near its headwaters, the river meanders as a narrow stream through the southernmost bogs of the Lemmenjoki National Park. Halfway down its length, the national park becomes the Hammastunturi Wilderness Area, through which it flows almost all the way to Ivalo.

River of goldEdit

Gold mining in 1924

The Ivalo River has been nicknamed the "River of gold". During the Lapland gold rush in the 1870ies, the place Kultala was built on the banks of the river some 17 kilometre (11 mi) down of Kuttura as a base for the state agency, distributing prospecting permits and warrants, cashing gold catches, monitoring gold property orders, and preparing claim maps. The movie Lapin kullan kimallus by director Åke Lindman portrays the height of the gold rush. In the late 1880ies, the rush faded out. Even nowadays, hundreds of gold claims, differing greatly in size, are still staked out along the banks of the river and its tributaries.


The Ivalo River gaines in popularity as a tourist attraction, it was named the Destination of the Year at the Retki 2005 fair. A 60-kilometre-long (37 mi) stretch of rapids from Kuttura to Tolonen has been a traditional destination for canoers. Lately, it has become popular with whitewater rafters, as well. Tourists can hike to areas where gold was and is still being mined by following marked trails. A pedestrians suspension bridge spans the Ivalo River at Kultala, which is an outdoor museum about the gold rush nowadays, offering accommodation for hikers.[1]

Fishermen can try to catch trout and graylings. With luck, they might even snag a pike or whitefish. The river's tributaries are teeming with trout that range from 20 to 25 centimetres (8 to 10 in) long.


  1. ^ "Ivalojoki Kultala Open Wilderness Hut". Metsähallitus (Finnish Forest Agency). Retrieved 2022-07-24.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 68°44′30″N 027°39′01″E / 68.74167°N 27.65028°E / 68.74167; 27.65028