Offroad Finnmark extends over large parts of western and central Finnmark, as well as occasionally passing through Troms county. On the way, our riders will visit various checkpoints, consisting of mountain lodges, village halls, schools and wilderness checkpoints. Below we tell you more about our most used places. Not all are used every year.
Several of our checkpoints take place in mountain lodges. The mountain lodges in Finnmark were established by the state, mainly because the state’s people such as priests, sheriffs, doctors, officers etc. should have a place to stay in his errands across the fjord. The daily intervals between the mountain lodges were approx. 3 miles due to the time it took to walk on foot or by horse and cart or reindeer as means of transport. Several of the mountain huts are still active today and welcome guests in summer and winter. Today, the guests consist of scooter riders, skiers/hikers, cyclists and tourists.
Suolovuopmi Fjellstue was established in 1843. Has been in operation as a mountain lodge ever since its establishment. In terms of location, Suolovuopmi was the first Fjellstua in Finnmark. The demand for accommodation in inner Finnmark came when the post office and bailiff were going to travel. The Fjellposten, which began in 1799, went from Hammerfest to Haparanda in the winter. There was eventually a need for rest areas. Fjellstuen is located along the old postal route to Kautokeino and is used when the route runs along it.
Šuoššjávri (North Sami) or Suossjavri (Norwegian) is a village in Karasjok municipality. It is located in the western part of the municipality, just inside the border with Kautokeino. The mountain hut we use as a checkpoint is located along Nasjonalvei 92 which connects the places Kautokeino and Karasjok. Caretaker at the mountain lodge, Anne Ragnhild Balto, is loved by the cyclists. She has saved many from breaking through her care, wonderful food and hot sauna. Daughter Alice will eventually take over the mountain hut and is chasing 5* finishes in Offroad Finnmark.
The last in line of the mountain lodge is Jotka, and is also a fixed checkpoint both on DNB OF150, SmartDok OF300 and Ishavskraft OF700. The checkpoint is the one closest to Alta, and is often the last stop before the finish line. Fjellstuen is idyllically located to the southeast of lake Joatkajávrrit. Jotka Fjellstue is one of the state’s three mountain lodges located on the old road between Alta and Karasjok. Fjellstuen is serviced and has over 30 beds and a restaurant. The serving of hot food at this checkpoint is often mentioned as one of the highlights for our riders, as it is often late in the race and one might not expect it in a place that is not accessible by car.
Masi is a village in Kautokeino municipality in Finnmark. The village has a population of around 350, of which around 98% are Sami. The place name is derived from Mázejohkka, which is the name of a river. Checkpoint Masi is one of our most used checkpoints on both the SmartDok OF300 and Ishavskraft OF700, and is a natural hub for many of the paths on Finnmarksvidda. The local school is used as premises, and provides opportunities both for sleep and a long-awaited shower. The clear outdoor area also makes it perfect for private support.
Located in the pedestrian street in Alta Sentrum, just outside Scandic Alta. All our races have both the start and finish here, and all races stop here. The riders have got a taste of the trail after completing the first stage, it has often been high speed and many are very ready to get further on the trail, so there is often a high pulse also inside the checkpoint.
In the village of Kautokeino you will find one permanent stop for Ishavskraft OF700 women, men, mix and solo. Kautokeino is the administrative seat of Kautokeino municipality, which is Norway’s largest municipality in terms of area. There are approximately 1,500 inhabitants in the village, and the village is located on both sides of the Kautokeino River. In Kautokeino you will find both the Sami University and the Sami high school and reindeer herding school. They produce reindeer meat, and large parts of the village’s population are reindeer herders. The traditional Juhls Sølvsmie is also located in the village.
The checkpoint is in Bakteharji Sports Hall, where there are good conditions for food, shower and rest. This year, the riders stop by twice and here there is a mandatory stop of at least two hours the second time. The checkpoint is in Báktehárji Sports Hall, where there are good conditions for food, shower and rest.
Skoganvarre is a village in Porsanger Municipality, about midway between Lakselv and Karasjok. The village has long been an important communication hub in Finnmark and was inhabited by both Sami, Norwegians and Finns. In 1853, the state erected a mountain lodge on the shore of Øvrevann, but this was lost with the Germans’ scorched earth tactics in 1944. Fjellstua was not rebuilt, but a campsite was later opened and Skoganvarre is still important in local tourism. In Offroad Finnmark, this is a welcome place to check in, after riding the wildest stretch of the ride over from Soussjavri. Here you have really forced the expanse, in some areas you are on a track with an unmarked path.
In Skoganvarre, like most other checkpoints, there is hot food and options for both accommodation and clothes drying if necessary.
This checkpoint is located in the hamlet of Váljohka. A hamlet in Karasjok municipality, located at the confluence of the rivers Váljohka and Tana. The hamlet is close to the Finnish border and has its own church. It was built in the years 1931-32 and what is special about this one is that the choice of colors and the decorations inside the church are clearly Sami. This is otherwise unknown in Norwegian churches before construction in completely new times.
Valjok is a small and quiet checkpoint, most riders are very ready to arrive in Karasjok a few miles later and the stay here is often short. But, after tough terrain from Skoganvarre, some cheerful volunteers and good food are welcome here.
Karasjok is the seat of administration in Karasjok municipality and is located by the river Kárásjohka. There are approximately 1,800 inhabitants in the settlement, which is approximately 13 kilometers from the national border with Finland. A number of central Sami institutions are based in the town; The Sami Parliament, NRK Sápmi, the museum De Samiske Samlinger and the Sami Special Library. Karasjok Old Church is the oldest wooden church in Finnmark.
The checkpoint is at Karasjok school, and here there are good conditions for riders who really start to feel how far Ishavskraft OF700 women, men, mix and solo are. Here there is a mandatory stop of at least two hours, and you can find your own classroom for accommodation. Both clothes drying and showers can be carried out. After checking out from here, you are finally on your way back to your destination, although there are still a few kilometers to go before you hit the pedestrian street in Alta.