All you need to know – Waterfalls of Finland

Auttiköngäs

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Rovaniemi

 Waterfall data
Access
Easy
Height 16 m
Tallest Drop 16 m
Length 50 m
Volume (avg.) 5.2 m3/s
Volume (max.) 45 m3/s
Primary form Scree
Watercourse Auttijoki
Latitude 66.28819 (N)
Longitude 27.20296 (E)
Location Rovaniemi

Auttiköngäs is a magnificent waterfall with a high flow-rate. The fall is known as a national attraction and is one of the main nature sights of Southern Lapland. It is located in the River Auttijoki about 70 kilometres east of the city of Rovaniemi. The fall is a 16-metre-high scree waterfall (or cascade), flowing in a steep, rocky canyon. The name “Autti” originates in the Sámi language word ávzi, which means gorge or valley. The word "köngäs", which is often part of the waterfalls’ names in Northern Finland, comes from the word keävngis, meaning a steep rapid.

The water begins its fall under a small bridge, after flowing calmly a couple of kilometres. The first drop of the fall is an even slope, going into a rocky stream bed. Then the water continues its way down to the bottom of the canyon in several different streams, roaring loudly between boulders.

The canyon where Auttiköngäs foams was formed several million years ago. The powerful earthquakes that shook the area formed the fracture line in which the river now flows. The nearby Korouoma canyon is also part of the same fracture zone. Since the melting of continental glaciers (around 8000–9000 BC) the area has essentially kept its current form. The forest around the waterfall is also very old, and can actually be called virgin forest, as there has never been organized logging in the area. Today the forest is part of the Northern Finland old-growth forest protection program (area protected 1929).

The only aesthetic defects in the Auttiköngäs waterfall are the man-made constructs which dilute the rugged canyon landscape a little. Since the end of the 1800s to the 1970s the river was used in log floating. As it was impossible to float logs down the waterfall because of its steepness, a log flume was built to the fall. To regulate the water volume in the flume, a log dam was also built. The first official reference of the flume is from 1889. Today the flume and the other log floating constructs are preserved as a cultural heritage sight.

Auttiköngäs 1936
Auttiköngäs in 1936 when the log flume was still in its original usage. (Photo by: Aarne Pietinen, Historical Picture Collection of Finnish Heritage Agency)

The River Auttijoki has also been an important trade route from White Karelia in Russia through Kuusamo and Posio to the mouth of River Kemijoki. The trade men were then stopped at Autti Inn, and the supplies were carried from a row boat to another, bypassing the waterfall. During the 25 -Year War between Finland and Russia (1570–1595) and the Great Northern War (1713–1721) the route was used by attacking armies. After those years, several people have drowned in Auttiköngäs, according to word of mouth. Regarding to the height and power of the waterfall, there is no reason to suspect these stories.

The Auttiköngäs waterfall can be easily accessed by car. You need to take a turn to the Auttikönkääntie road from Rovaniementie road, and drive to the end of the road (about one kilometre). There you can find a parking area and cafe, as well as Auttiköngäs Log Floaters' Hut, which today functions a day trip hut. In the hut there is a photograph exhibit about the log floating culture of Auttiköngäs. You can also hike a 3.5-km-long marked nature trail and admire the fall from both the sides of the canyon, if you like.

As a summary, Auttiköngäs is really an impressive waterfall that, without the human-made constructions, would deserve a total of 5 stars. Nevertheless, the fall is at present one of the most magnificent in Finland.

Driving address

Auttikönkääntie 120, Rovaniemi
GPS: 66.28796 (N), 27.20142 (E)
Open the location in Google Maps

The waterfall is adjacent to the parking place.

Video of the waterfall

Other nearby waterfalls (up to 30 km):


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Last update

Waterfall added to the site 25.10.2015, last updated 27.07.2019

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