Trekking in Altai, Russia

Trekking in Altai, Russia

If you want to return to the solitary, primary beauty of the nature and are searching for a place which is not congested with mass tourism, Altai is your place! 

Far East among the boundless Asian space, in the middle of this widest continent, from the infinite Siberian wilderness - raises one of the most captivating mountains in on the Earth – Altai. Vast forests, turbulent rivers, mirror surfaced lakes, snow-capped peaks and amongst them the highest one – Belukha, sparkling masses of ice, vertical rocky walls charm the travelers. The peak itself is severe and hardly approachable but surroundings are perfect for tourism – picturesque pathways, views and…the silence and purity of one of the last virgin places on the planet, inspiration that have given the beginning of Nikolay Rerikh’s spiritual teaching.


♦ The ancient rock paintings by Kyulu river
♦ The milky-turquoise waters of Kucherla river
Lakes Kucherla (1780 m.a.s.l) and Ak-kem (2000 m.a.s.l)
♦ The spectacular view over Belukha Mountain from Kara-Tyurek pass (3060m.a.s.l)
Verhniy Uymon village - founded by religious group more than 300 years ago


Day 1. Transfer Novosibirsk – Ust-Koksa.
Departure from Novosibirsk at 8.00 pm / from Barnaul at 11:50 pm. The road goes along the famous Chuysky Tract, once a main route of Russia - China trade. The road goes along Kanskaya steppe and finishes its run in Uymoskaya valley. The change of different landscapes and natural zones provides the traveler with general impression of this unique region of Asia.

Day 2. Ust-Koksa
Arrival in Ust-Koksa. Dinner. Getting the equipment. Instructing.                                                                           

Day 3. Ust-Koksa – Tyungur - Kucherla river
Early awakening. Breakfast. Transfer to Tyungur at 08.00 a.m. The Kucherla river (in Altai - Kudzhur-ly, "with saline soils") has a wonderful milky-turquoise water. The total length of the river is about 50 kilometers.                               

Day 4. Up the valley of Kucherla river
On the way in a rock cave next to the Kyulu river the ancient people created more than 100 rock paintings. Since the ancient times people have settled down under the shadow of Mysterious Belukha Mountain. More ten paintings are situated on the surrounding rocks not far away from the cave.                                                                                            

Day 5. Radial excursion to Kucherla lake
The lake is at 1780m.a.s.l, 5220 meters long, 900 meters wide and 55 meters deep. There is fish, which leave the running circles on the lake surface, sometimes disturbs its blue-green waters.                                                            

Day 6. Kucherla lake - Kara-Tyurek pass – Ak-Kem lake
Climbing up the mountain pass of Kara-Tyurek (3060 meters). From the top of the pass the spectacular panoramic view on Belukha Mountain and endless snow peaks of Katun ridge unfolds in front of the traveler. It is a good opportunity to make pictures from the bird’s eye view where the presence of eternal outer space is clear and tangible. Overnight at Ak-Kem lake.                                                                                                                                                 

Day 7. Ak-Kem lake – the foot of Belukha
Radial excursion to the bottom of Belukha to the realm of scalding ice and icy caves at the feet of the incredibly high vertical wall of the Ak-Kem glacier.  

Day 8. Ak-Kem lake – the Yarlu gorge
Time for rest next to Ak-Kem lake at the altitude of 2000 meters. In a distance the huge icy masses of Ak-Kem glacier is visible. In still weather the Belukha Mountain is reflected in the green-white waters of the lake. After the lunch there is an excursion to the Yarlu gorge where the entire town is built from stones by the followers of mystical teachings of the famous Russian researcher and painter Nikolay Rerikh.

Day 9. The valley of Ak-Kem river
Going up the speedy Ak-Kem river with milky-white water. The word Ak-Kem means White Water in Turkish language and corresponds with the reality. The river starts in Ak-Kem glacier and carries in its steams the tiny pieces of white limestones from the slopes of Belukha.

Day 10. Ak-Kem river - Kuzuyak pass - Ust-Koksa
Climbing up the Kuzuyak mountain pass (1513 meters). Coming back to Ust- Koksa settlement. Relaxation. Dinner.

Day 11. Ust-Koksa - Verhniy Uymon village - Novosibirsk
Time for rest. After the lunch transfer to Verhniy Uymon village. The village is one of the oldest settlements in the area and was founded by religious group of old-believers more than 300 years ago. There are two museums in Verhniy Uymon village: The Ethnographical museum named after famous artist Rerih and The Museum of old-believers’ religious traditions and culture. After the excursion departure to Barnaul/Novosibirsk at 05.00 p.m.

Day 12. Novosibirsk
Arrival in Barnaul at 06:00 am / Novosibirsk at 11.00 a.m.

Luggage transportation: From day 3 to day 6 of the trekking the luggage is taken by horses, after two days camping descending back to the valley - then you will have to carry your luggage!

Good to know: The tour can start and end in Barnaul instead of Novosibirsk at no extra charge. Starting time from Barnaul: 11:50 pm., arrival in Barnaul on last day: 07:00 am

How to get there: Please, contact us if you would like us to help you find suitable flights at the best price. When helping you to find flights we always try to find the best price for you according to the departure and arrival times. Prices vary depending on the airline and current availability. However, remember that the cheap airfares are often difficult or impossible to reschedule or cancel. Payment of the ticket is with your own credit card directly to the airline or travel agent airline, which also sends out confirmation of booking. A service charge (non-refundable) will be added if you want us to help you find the appropriate plane ticket.

Visa: ►All nationals need visa to enter Russia. Please, check at the Russian embassy in your country about visa regulations ►we provide visa support while you have to take care of applying for your Russian visa

Necessary equipment: warm jacket, rain gear, trekking boots, trainers and slippers, track-suit and warm hat, 2-3 T-shirts, shorts, 4 pairs of simple socks and 2 pairs of warm ones, cap and sun-glasses, bathing suit, flashlight, knife, matches, electric batteries, personal tableware, personal hygiene utensils;

Price Includes:
full board (except the meal during the transfer)
excursions per program with entrance fees (11-th day)
transfer from Novosibirsk to the starting point of the route and back to Novosibirsk
English-speaking local mountain guides
special equipment (tent; sleeping bag; mat; backpack; equipment for camp-fire)
invitation letter for Russian visa
pack-horses for carrying of food and public equipment (from 3-d till 6-th day)

Not Included:
flight tickets
consular fees for visa
services of interpreters (French; Spanish; Portuguese or German)
other extra services

Additional Services:
airport transfers
accommodation in hotels in Novosibirsk or Barnaul
pack horse for personal baggage Day 3-6 (4 days total) = 346 EUR including a horseman; up to 40 kg per each horse. Using pack horse in the other days is either not needed (radial trekkings from the base camping) or not technically possible for the horses.


Trekking in Altai, Russia (Rated 4.87 / 5 Based on 274 Reviews.)

These tours include trekking which is a little harder, normally on a challenging terrain. We take it for granted that you are in good condition and fit. You should be physically prepared at home to get the maximum of the tour. Most of the trekking is done at a greater height (max 3000m).

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