When you should visit the park
From darkness to light, cold to warmth. The Sami divide the year into eight seasons based on changes in nature and the reindeer life cycle.
Cabins in Muddus/Muttos National Park are open year-round. In the winter you can also ski across the marshes, which are difficult to cross during the time when there is no snow on the ground.
In March and April the sun begins to cast more warmth. Migratory birds come back, and in the Sami mountain villages, people begin to prepare to move westward to summer territory. Ski between the cabins.
In May late winter, early spring begins. This is when the reindeer calves are born, and the reindeer must not be disturbed. It is fine to go on trips. The sun beams, the brooks start to rise and the ice abates.
By June the snow has melted. The last of the ice departs and the spring flood gushes. The reindeer need peace and quiet in order to eat their fill. The Sami villages prepare their fields and fences, and the first common sorrel is picked. If you hike, you will see the midnight sun and small reindeer calves. The first calf branding begins.
It is July and the mosquitoes are here. The ground begins to dry up and the greenery speeds up. There is calf branding, and the cloudberries are ripening. July is the peak season for hiking tourism. The reindeer head out to the marshes to cool off.
August is often an excellent time for hiking. The mosquitoes diminish at the same time as the first yellow leaves appear. It is time to pick berries, fish and gather up “skohö”, a mixture of sedge, grass and straw that is dried and used as insulation in winter shoes. The reindeer begin roaming to find mushrooms and eat their fill before winter. The first cold nights arrive.
Autumn colours and lingonberries to pick. The grouse are heard again and get their first white feathers. There is hunting and reindeer butchering. Everyone prepares for winter. The tarns get their first crust of ice.
The first thin snowfall arrives. Bears go into hibernation, and the Sami villages begin gathering the reindeer together to separate them into winter groups. The reindeer are moved to winter pastures, and those needed for meat are butchered before winter.
This is our longest season. Winter continues from December until late March. Beginning at the end of Christmas, people say that every day becomes longer by a grouse step. It is a time of short, blue days and Northern Lights. The generous snow cover illuminates the landscape and the long nights. In Muddus/Muttos the snow is especially deep. The reindeer roam, looking for hanging lichen.