The landscape around Kilpisjärvi is dominated by “Fjells” (mountains or high plateaus above the tree line) extending into the Scandinavian mountain range, e.g. Fjell Saana (1029 m a.s.l.) and Pikku-Malla (738 m a.s.l.). The research station lies 100 km north of continuous coniferous forest and belongs to the sub-alpine birch forest zone, with mountain birch being the dominant plant species. The area is dominated by a wide range of ecosystems from mountain birch forest at low altitude (480-600 m) to alpine tundra (above 600 m).
There is still over a metre of snow but it's beginning to melt and the effect of the weight of the heavy snowfall is clearly visible.