|Tallest Drop||4 m|
|Volume (avg.)||24 m3/s|
|Volume (max.)||261 m3/s|
Kiutaköngäs, in the Oulanka National Park, is described in its info sign as Finland's most spectacular waterfall. And whether that promise is true or not, the sight is so impressive that it can at least be put on the list of the country's most magnificent waterfalls – already at first glance. The name of Kiutaköngäs alone says a lot, as the word "giuuhta" in the Sámi language refers to a deep gorge. Keävngis (köngäs) in turn refers to a large waterfall.
In fact, Kiutaköngäs is not a uniform waterfall, but a series of drops in which the water of the Oulankajoki River falls down a total of 14 metres within a distance of 325 metres. The first drop of Kiutaköngäs is the largest one, as the water drops at least four meters within a short distance. This drop is followed by a second, lower drop, after which the roaring water winds its way to the pool at the end of rapid.
The water flows in a gorge-like stream bed, where the northern rock wall "glows" red. The red color is due to dolomite mineral, which is related to limestone. The rock in the foreground is a quartzite mineral, and the river has created its stream bed into the joint of the two different kind of rocks. This makes the waterfall an exceptional sight maybe even on Nordic scale.
Under the first drop you can see a kettle-shaped formation, which is a pothole. It was formed 9500 years ago when the meltwater of the ice sheet after glacial period deformed the area. On the south of the main stream of Kiutaköngäs, there is also a parallel, artificial stream bed. It was mined in the early 1900s for log floating purposes, to bypass the waterfall. Normally the water doesn't flow in that artificial stream bed, except when the water level is exceptionally high, like during spring floods.
Since Kiutaköngäs is a well-known sight nationwide and also part of Oulanka National Park, it is easy to reach on foot along a guided trail from the Oulanka Visitor Centre. The length of the trip is about 1 km, and the trail is a part of the Karhunkierros Trail, which is one of the country's most popular hiking trails. Due to the good sign posting and well-maintained paths, the sight is accessible practically all year. Near the waterfall there is also a campfire place for hikers. Kiutaköngäs is at its best during spring floods in April–May, but even after that, it's an impressive sight because of the large flow rate of the Oulankajoki River. You can admire or photograph Kiutaköngäs from almost any view – even from the beach of the river, if you can climb on rocks even a little.
Although Kiutaköngäs is not a single "waterfall", its appearance and great amount of water make it one of the most impressive waterfall-sights in Finland. For anyone visiting the Oulanka National Park it's an absolute must-to-go sight!
Note: Kiutaköngäs belongs the class V–VI in the International Scale of River Difficulty system (Source: www.joet.info). Rafting of the rapid can be life-threatening. Reportedly just a few individuals ever have kayaked the waterfall.
Liikasenvaarantie 132, Kuusamo
GPS: 66.36819 (N), 29.31288 (E)
Open the location in Google Maps
The hiking trip from the Oulanka Visitor Centre to the waterfall is about 1 km.
Waterfall on mapOpen the fall on the official terrain map of NLS
Video of the waterfall
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Other nearby waterfalls (up to 30 km):
Waterfall added to the site 27.12.2015, last updated 26.05.2019