Caucasus Mountains: Extinct volcanoes, palms with magnolias and waterfalls

Caucasus Mountains: Extinct volcanoes, palms with magnolias and waterfalls

Despite its considerable age - about 23-28 million years, the Caucasus Mountains are considered the youngest in Russia. For comparison - the Ural Mountains and the Khibiny were formed 600 and 350 million years ago and are included in the list of the most ancient on the planet. Geologists joke: the youth of the ridges, like people, has its pros and cons. For example, the very peaks in Sochi and Dombai, covered with glaciers, and the steep slopes along which snowboarders love to chase, are a feature of the old massifs. Their more respectable "relatives" have gentle peaks resembling hills.

However, this breathtaking beauty has a dark side. The Caucasus Mountains were formed due to volcanic activity, each year the plates are shifted by several centimeters. The result is devastating earthquakes. 30 years ago, a similar catastrophe claimed the lives of 25 thousand people in Armenia. Scientists say the array will continue to grow and change.

Today this mountain system is one of the most populated in the world. It stretches for 1,100 kilometers and passes through five countries: Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Abkhazia. Nine regions can boast of their own Caucasus in our country at once: Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan.

It is here, in the south, that the two highest mountainous cities of Russia stand: Tyrnyauz, which is not far from Elbrus, and Teberda, near the Dombay resort. Both are above the 1000-meter mark. Kislovodsk, Karachaevsk, Vladikavkaz, Essentuki and Zheleznovodsk are located a little lower. Almost everything is related to tourism: travelers come there to admire the views, and at the same time improve their health in sanatoriums.

Historians are still arguing about the origin of the word "Caucasus". According to some sources, it means "sparkling with snow", according to others - "supporting the sky", according to the third - "rocky land".

Highest point: Elbrus, 5642 meters

Average annual temperature: -5.4 degrees

Age: 23 to 28 million years

Caucasus Mountains on the map of Russia

Mountain height

The dizzying height and proximity of the Black Sea give the Caucasus mountains a consistently low temperature and frequent snowfalls. In warm Sochi, near Rosa Peak, snowdrifts lie from November to May, and in places with a more severe climate, a hat will come in handy even in summer. Due to humidity and earthquakes, avalanches often come down here, so the guides do not get tired of reminding: warn the Ministry of Emergencies about all sorties, do not meddle in forbidden places.

Highest mountain in the Caucasus

Elbrus is a two-peaked saddle-shaped cone of an extinct volcano located on the border of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. It is the highest not only in the Caucasus and Russia, but also in Europe - 5642 meters. Mont Blanc, for example, which European experts still strive to do the best, dividing Eurasia along the northern border of the Caucasus, stretched only 4810 meters.

Caucasus Mountains: Extinct volcanoes, palms with magnolias and waterfalls

Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of its territory. And it is not surprising that it is very diverse in its natural conditions, including its relief. The mountains of Russia, the list of which we will briefly consider, are the object of attention of tourists, cavers and climbers.

Mountains of the European part of Russia

The European territory of Russia is mainly occupied by the Russian (East European) Plain. In the east, its border is the Ural Mountains, which in the old days were called "the stone belt of the Russian land." Most of these medium-altitude mountains are known from the tales of Bazhov and from mineral deposits. The famous Ilmensky Reserve is the only one in the world, created to protect the mineralogical resources of the Urals.

The Ural is a popular tourist destination. Travelers strive to conquer the peaks, visit the famous caves - Kapova and Kungurskie, ski resorts are located here.

On the Kola Peninsula, there are ancient destroyed mountains of the Khibiny, where the "stone of fertility" - apatite, a raw material for obtaining phosphorus fertilizers is mined.


Of the mountains of the Eurasian part, the Caucasus with the highest point in Russia, the two-headed Mount Elbrus, is the most famous. With a height of 5462 m, it tops the list of the highest mountains in Russia. Recall that the border between the two parts of the world - Europe and Asia - is drawn by the majority of geographers much north of the Caucasus and Elbrus, namely along the Kumo-Manych lowland.

The Caucasus is an area of ​​mountain tourism, skiing and mountaineering. And the coast of the warm Black Sea is famous for its excellent conditions for the development of the resort business, because the mountain ranges protect it from the cold northern air masses. The city of Sochi is known as the site of the Winter Olympic Games.

Mountains of Siberia

The Siberian mountains - Altai, Sayan, the Baikal and Transbaikal mountains, the Stanovoy and Verkhoyansk ranges, the Chersky ridge - are interesting in their own way.

Altai with its beautiful and unique landscapes has long been an object of tourist pilgrimage. The most interesting objects are Lake Teletskoye, Mount Belukha, canyon-like valleys of the Katun, Chulyshman and others. The serpentines of the roads, twisting along the slopes of the mountains, tickle the nerves.

Despite their considerable age - about 23-28 million years, the Caucasus Mountains are considered the youngest in Russia. This mountain system is one of the most populated in the world. It is here that the highest mountain in Europe is located - Elbrus.

Hiking in the mountains of Russia

Since 2014, Crimea has been declared the territory of the Russian Federation. Yes, not everyone agrees with this, and we respect the point of view of each individual. However, it should be understood that now many people, typing the query "hiking in the mountains of Russia" into the search engine line, will also search for hiking in the Crimea. In this article, we will tell you what is remarkable about hiking in Crimea for Russians and why you should pay attention to the mountains of this peninsula.

First of all, Crimea is remarkable for the fact that hiking in the mountains on this peninsula is incredibly easy. Most of Crimea's mountains are actually just foothills. Only some of the highest peaks of the peninsula reach 1000 meters in height. Moreover, even conquering them will not be difficult if you use the well-trodden paths. It is impossible to get lost in the mountains of Crimea, because after half an hour of walking through the forest, you come across a hiking trail or a dirt road. Even in the most secluded corners of the mountains, you will not get lost for more than half a day, and the maximum that threatens you is not to find the necessary camp for the night or a spring with drinking water.

In the mountains of Crimea, accidents are very rare, only occasionally they occur due to the fault of the eternal Russian "Look how I can!" Do not think that hiking here is just walking. Yes, in Crimea there are no heights at which you will be dizzy, but you can make a route so that every day you will overcome 15-20 km over rough terrain. Such trekking can wear down even an athlete in a week, let alone housewives and office workers who are not familiar with active tourism. Experienced tourists who went hiking in Turkey and the Caucasus call Crimea a "sandbox of hiking", but it all depends on what you like best. If you want to conquer Elbrus, then Crimea will be only an intermediate stage for you, and if you just like to enjoy active rest and communication with nature, a vacation in the Crimea mountains will always be the best option.

Today, the Russian authorities are doing everything to make Crimea accessible to most Russians. New flights appear, and the prices for those that already exist; road and railroad bridges were built; buses run from many cities of Russia. Many Russians are not as enthusiastic about Crimea as a seaside resort. However, hiking in Crimea was and remains in demand, and in this regard, the availability of Crimea from Russia pleases many tourists.

Crimea has a lot to offer to fans of outdoor activities. Trekking tours, yoga tours, canyoning, caving tours, rope jumping, horseback riding, diving tours, hot air ballooning and many other types of active tourism that can color life in bright colors, drive away boredom and leave pleasant memories for the whole a life.

Often, tourists who go hiking in the Crimea in the summer perceive their stay in the mountains of the peninsula as a prelude to a seaside vacation. "How many days at sea?" - this question is asked by potential tourists to the administrator. But walking along the mountains along the sea is not an easy task, because of the difficult terrain and high temperatures on the coast. Going on a hike for a vacation at the sea is not a good idea; it is better to initially aim at staying in a boarding house or a tent camp. A hike is a completely different form of recreation, which is also called "rest for the soul." It is not in vain that tourists carry their backpacks up the mountain, because there are beautiful views from there, and most importantly, there are few people there. Nature heals the soul with sensations, lulls anxieties and experiences. Sitting on the observation deck and seeing off the sunset, a person realizes how petty and insignificant his worries are. And what a beautiful sky in the mountains! Just for the sake of this sky, it is worth going on a hike in the mountains of Russia.

For Russians who have visited Turkey and Thailand, Cyprus and Crete, as well as other places of our vast Earth, it seems that Crimea cannot be of particular interest. “We saw everything,” they say. But what exactly? Have they seen cave cities that are actually open-air museums? Have you seen Tyshlar - a unique natural wonder, better known as the Temple of the Sun? Have you seen canyons and mountain peaks, from which endless expanses open, have you seen wild vertical caves? Hardly. Simply, due to snobbery, such tourists believe that there can be nothing interesting on the peninsula. And yet, this is far from the case. For a true connoisseur of nature, Crimea is a treasure trove of secrets!

Another bias is poor service. Yes, in the seaside towns of Crimea you can find inadequate prices and inadequate service. However, in the mountains all this is not. Hiking instructors love and value their hikers, knowing that outdoor enthusiasts are few in today's society. We find an individual approach to everyone, we are able to work with a team and make the trip not only not boring, but also interesting! We guarantee that after hiking in the mountains of Russia with the "Unknown World" you will love Crimea as much as we love it!

The territory of Russia is huge, so it is not surprising that you can find various forms of reliefs here. Mountains, valleys, lowlands, elevations - there is everything. The reason for this phenomenon is in the tectonic structure, four plates during movement joined together, forming mountain ranges. There are such legendary places as, for example, the Kamchatka volcanoes, the highest point in Europe - Elbrus, reserved slopes, uncharted rocks and peaks forever frozen in ice. The mountain systems of Russia are an exciting world of flora and fauna, deposits of precious stones, metals and other minerals, they are highly valued all over the world.

General information

About a quarter of the territory of Russia is occupied by mountain ranges that were formed even before the appearance of people on the planet. It is impossible to accurately predict their age, the first records appeared a million years before our era, but they were in the form of rock paintings. Geologists make conjectural theories by evaluating the structure, the presence of ancient animals and plants. Now the mountain ranges of the Russian Federation are important not only because of the beautiful unusual relief. Many elevations have a slightly changed climate, which gave impetus to the development of rare animals, which are now under the protection of the Red Book.

It's no secret that the mountain systems and ranges of Russia also have economic value. Due to the peculiarities of their formation, tons of minerals used in various types of industry lie in their thickness.

The main mountain systems and ranges of Russia:

These are the largest mountain systems that are located on the territory of Russia, there are also plateaus, folds and hills, but their height is not so great.

Starting acquaintance with the mountain systems of Russia, it is impossible to ignore one of the most famous - the Ural. They seem to have divided the mainland into two parts, European and Asian, this is the longest mountain range in Russia. The mountains stretch for 2500 thousand kilometers, from the ice of the Arctic Ocean to the Kazakhstan desert. Despite the fact that the mountains were formed 350 million years ago, seismic activity is still inherent in this region. Tremors periodically occur, their magnitude does not reach 5-6 points.

Given the vast territory, they were divided into 5 parts of the Ural mountain system:

  • South ;
  • Medium ;
  • North ;
  • Pripolar ;
  • Polar ...

The highest point of the Ural Mountains is considered to be the polar region, Mount Narodnaya reaches a height of 1895 meters. It attracts a lot of fans of extreme recreation, because its nature is breathtaking and unique in its own way. The territory is rich in minerals, almost every piece of the mountains is sung in legends. One of the most famous is the legend about Bazhov's malachite box. Huge deposits of this mineral, which is valued all over the world, were found here. The stones found in these parts are of high quality, and their patterns and colors are striking in their diversity.

The production of crystal is also highly developed, which is also of high quality. Most of all in the Ural mountain system, ferrous and non-ferrous metal ores are mined. The favorable shape of the relief, wide massifs make it possible to facilitate the process of their extraction and transportation, which makes the location of the mines the most profitable for the mining industry in Russia.

The Ural Mountains are called the treasury of the Russian Federation, since more than half of all minerals are mined in this area.

The slopes are rich not only in stones and ores, but also in amazing flora and fauna. There are 16 reserves and 13 national parks on the territory. Rare species of bats, rodents and insects live here. The Jade Valley is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Rare species of plants and animals can be seen with your own eyes. It is recommended to visit this area in the spring, when it wakes up from a winter sleep, filled with flowering and a riot of colors. It got its name because of the large accumulation of jade and other gems that even tourists found. Now the development of deposits has acquired an industrial scale.

Most of the peaks were named in honor of famous people, heroes of tales and legends, or those who were one of the first to conquer the next peak. The highest mountains located in Russia belong to the Greater Caucasus.

This ridge is spread over a great distance, you can admire it from the water of the Black or Caspian Seas. It is the Caucasus that boasts a huge list of the highest peaks that only exist in Russia.

Top-highest mountains in Russia

The table below lists the highest peaks:

Each peak has its own history and peculiarities. Many people who dreamed of conquering the peaks died on these slopes.


The highest mountains in Russia are the Caucasus. The list is headed by Elbrus, which just divides Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. He has his two peaks. And they are separated by a saddle, its height is inferior to the peaks by only 3 hundred meters.

Almost the entire area of ​​the mountain, which is about 140 km², is covered by glaciers, and there are more than 8 dozen of them, but the largest are Terskol, Irik and Bolshoi Azau. They gave rise to the mountain rivers Kuban, Malka, Baksan.

The slopes are gentle up to an altitude of 4000 meters, and already a little higher they become steeper, reaching 40 degrees in some places. Sometimes you can see steep sections with a height of about 750 m. Closer to the foot, there are alpine meadows, and even lower are coniferous forests. But on the north side, there are mainly stones.

The summit was formed more than 1 million years ago. Previously, it was an actively active volcano, and even today many historians argue whether it is asleep or is already completely extinguished.

The version that the volcano simply fell asleep, perhaps, because deep inside the mountain there are hot masses that heat the water of thermal springs to + 60 ° C. It is from its depths that all the famous springs of the Caucasus are saturated with nutrients and heated.

The climate in the area of ​​the mountain is mild, the humidity level is moderate, so even severe frost is easily tolerated. The climate is very similar to that of the arctic. In winter, at the foot, the temperature is within -10 ° C, at an altitude of 3000 m. -25, and closer to the top -40. Precipitation, and most of all snow, almost always falls here.

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