|Tallest Drop||17 m|
|Volume (avg.)||1.7 m3/s|
|Volume (max.)||12 m3/s|
Pihtsusköngäs – that is Bihcosgorži in Sámi language – is one of the largest and most famous waterfalls in Finland. The fall is located in the crystal clear Pihtsusjoki River, in the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area in Enontekiö municipality, about two kilometres south of Pihtsusjärvi Lake. The water falls from a hard, shale rock edge, into a deep canyon, with 17 metres of free fall.
Due to its great height and steepness, Pihtsusköngäs is one of the most important sights along the Nordkalottleden hiking Trail. The easiest way to get to the fall is to follow the trail on the east side of the river, even though it probably looks better from the west side. On a sunny day you are likely to see a rainbow at the fall.
According to the nature photographer and author Risto Lounema, Pihtsusköngäs is the largest so called Niagara -type waterfall in Finland. As the Niagara Falls in North America, Pihtsusköngäs has also moved upstream over thousands of years. Lounema writes that the water gushing down from almost twenty metres has broken the rock under the fall and formed a cavern. As time has passed, the roof of the cavern has collapsed and the fall has moved some metres upstream. This is how the canyon that Pihtsusköngäs flows into, has been formed. (From the book "Suomen Luonnon ihmeitä", 2001)
Since the fall is located in the middle of the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, reaching the fall demands at least 40 kilometres of hiking along the Nordkalottleden Trail from Kilpisjärvi. You can leave your car at the Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre. It is best to go see the fall when you are planning to hike on the Nordkalottleden Trail in any case. You can get to the fall in three days.
When you plan to go hiking, it is important to remember to prepare for sudden changes in weather (such as pouring rain, fog, hard winds etc.), and difficult terrain which are typical in the area. It is very common to have to cross rocky terrain and small rivers as well as climb steep hills. Close to the fall, however, there is the Pihtsusjärvi wilderness hut, where you can spend the night. To get to the fall you need to be in good shape and have basic hiking skills – if you don’t, you shouldn’t go on the trail.
Although Pihtsusköngäs isn’t the highest waterfall in Finland, it is the highest plunge fall. This combined with the magnificent scenery, and a somewhat great amount of water, makes it, in my opinion, perhaps the most gorgeous waterfall in Finland. This is why you can call Pihtsusköngäs, not only the Niagara of Finland, but also the king of our waterfalls.
Käsivarrentie 14145, Kilpisjärvi (Enontekiö)
GPS: 69.01184 (N), 20.89057 (E)
Along the Nordkalottleden Trail, the hiking trip from Kilpisjärvi to the fall is about 40 km.
Waterfall on mapOpen the fall on the official terrain map of NLS
Video of the waterfall
Other nearby waterfalls (up to 30 km):
Waterfall added to the site 03.02.2016, last updated 10.04.2018