Malla Strict Nature Reserve (Mallan luonnonpuisto) is a protected area located in the north of Finland in the Lapland region along the border with Sweden and Norway.
The main features of the reserve are its rich history, the peak of Saana Fell, and its Arctic biodiversity.
There are 3 named mountains in Malla Strict Nature Reserve, the highest of which is Iso-Malla (942 m / 3,091 ft) and the most prominent of which is Pikku-Malla (738 m / 2,421 ft).
— The name of the Malla Strict Nature Reserve comes from the name of one of the three peaks located in its boundary: Iso-Malla Fell. It does not differ much in form from its two neighboring mountains, Pikku-Malla and Mallavuovdi (705 m / 2,313 ft).
But, Iso-Malla is located in the very center of the reserve, so it is considered the main peak in the area. Indeed, it offers the best view of the entire territory. Iso-Malla is also taller and larger than two other fells.
Malla Strict Nature Reserve is the first and oldest nature reserve in Finland. It was founded in 1938, a year after Finland became independent from Russia and Sweden for the first time in history. However, the territory had been originally protected 20 years earlier in 1916 due to its natural importance.
The reserve is also historically associated with the region of Kilpisjärvi. Kilpisjärvi is also the nearest and largest settlement to the reserve, even though it is a small village.
Like all other nature territories in the country, the Malla Strict Nature Reserve is managed by Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland.
Read next in my outdoor guide to Malla Strict Nature Reserve on the website of the PeakVisor app — leading AR (augmented reality) app for mountain peaks identification with tens of other great features for outdoor enthusiasts.
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov
Cover photo: Arctic Guesthouse Igloos / Unsplash