Lake Inari is the largest lake in Sápmi and the third-largest lake in Finland. It is located in the northern part of Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. The lake is 117–119 metres (384–390 ft) above sea level and it is regulated at the Kaitakoski power plant in Russia. The freezing period normally extends from November to early June.
The best-known islands of the lake are Hautuumaasaari (“Graveyard Island”), which served as a cemetery for ancient Sami people and Ukonkivi (“Ukko’s Stone”), a historical sacrifice place of the ancient inhabitants of the area. There are over 3,000 islands in total. Trout, lake salmon, Arctic char, white fish, grayling, perch and pike are found in Lake Inari.
The lake covers 1,040 square kilometres (400 sq mi). It empties northwards through the Paatsjoki at the mouth of the Varangerfjord, which is a bay of Barents Sea.
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials book series, chose this lake to be the home of the witch Serafina Pekkala.
The lake depression is a graben bounded by faults active in the Cenozoic.