The best trekking routes in Altai in 2021

The best trekking routes in Altai in 2021

The author of the article: Sergey Zavoda Mountain guide, climber, rescuer of the Ministry of Emergencies


Gorny Altai, located in the south of Western Siberia, is considered the most beautiful and unique place on earth. The territory bordering the Siberian taiga, Kazakh steppes, Mongolian semi-deserts and the Sayan mountain system is famous for natural contrasts, a variety of climatic zones and an Asian flavor that attracts curious tourists. There are dry semi-deserts and steppes, impenetrable forests and flowering alpine meadows, steep cliffs and inaccessible snow-capped peaks resting against the clouds.

There are about 20 thousand rivers and tributaries in Altai, fast and noisy in the mountains, calm and unhurried on the plains, and 7 thousand lakes, the largest of which is Lake Teletskoye with emerald-blue water. The Altai climate is called sharply continental - it is very hot in summer, cold in winter, and the average temperature in the mountains is minus 6 degrees. In the valleys of Katun and Chulyshman, warm weather reigns, in the winter months there is no frost, and the snow falls and soon melts. The reason for this unusual phenomenon is the warm gusty foeong wind blowing from the mountains.

If you look at the map of Gorny Altai, you will notice that the highest ridges are located right here. They seem to have carved river valleys and deep intermontane basins, and if you see these beautiful places from a height, your heart sinks with joy and delight. The maximum height is at the Katunsky ridge, which resembles the Alps with sharp peaks and picturesque glaciers. The highest mountain of the Belukha ridge, rising to 4506 m, is called the heart of Altai by the locals.

Development History

Civilization came to the Altai expanses at the end of the 17th century, when Russia needed a lot of weapons and money for the war with Sweden. Peter I equipped expeditions to different parts of the country - and so rich copper, silver and gold deposits were discovered on the Altai land. However, the history of the development of this area began much earlier, since the sites of primitive people appeared here about 2 million years ago. From the VI century BC. ... cattle-breeding tribes began to settle on the banks of the Altai mountain rivers, and over time a Scythian culture was formed here, with which many unique historical monuments and sights are associated. The constant movement of nomadic tribes who settled in Altai caused ethnic diversity, and now about 80 different peoples live here!

In the 18th century Altai became the property of the royal court, and in the 19th century it became the second largest industrial region in Russia after the Urals. Thanks to the Stolypin reform, new settlers went to these places, agriculture began to develop actively, and in 1937 the Altai Territory appeared with the administrative center in the city of Barnaul. A little later, the Oirat Autonomous Region, which is a mountainous part of the territory of the Territory, was separated, in 1948 it was renamed into the Gorno-Altai Region, which in 1991 turned into the Altai Republic. By the way, when they talk about rest in Altai, they mean exactly mountainous Altai, which many travelers consider the most beautiful place on earth.

Mountain Altai nature

Altai virgin nature attracts travelers from all over the world, and they are ready to overcome any distance to swim in the mountain lake Akkem, which feeds on melt water of glaciers, to see the cascading waterfalls of mountain rivers, mysterious caves with stalactites and underground galleries ... On Katun alone there are about seven thousand waterfalls, and among the 430 caves, the Ecological mine is considered the most beautiful, with a depth of more than 340 meters.

The unique natural phenomena of Altai are five ribbon pine forests stretching in beautiful parallel stripes across the entire territory from the Ob to the Irtysh, and the impenetrable black taiga, where cedars and pines coexist with birches. And what a beautiful Altai in summer - even the best photos will not convey this! The mountain slopes are covered with berry bushes, and beautiful flowers and herbs grow on the plains, while 144 plant species out of 2000 are listed in the Red Book. Perhaps that is why Altai honey is so tasty and aromatic, and Altai balsams and herbal teas from medicinal herbs that strengthen health are among the most useful gifts of Altai.

Eagles live high in the mountains, and 67 species of birds are under state protection, including the flamingo, pink starling, black crane and pink pelican. The forests and mountains are home to brown bears, foxes, wolves, sables, ermines, reindeer, moose, deer, hares, snow leopards and mountain goats - about 90 species of animals consider Altai their home. Local rivers and lakes are rich in fish, so fishing is always successful here - pikes and perches live in the lakes, and in the rivers you can catch pike perch, bream and sterlet.

Nature is the main force of Altai, and there is no more beautiful place on earth!

Active tourism in Gorny Altai

Trekking is a completely new concept in modern tourism, but this type of pastime has existed for a very long time, it is simply known under a different name - hiking.

The newfangled word "trekking" comes from the English "trekking" and originally meant travel, but burdened with hackneyed tourist features. A sort of study of the new world from the inside, through the eyes of a free traveler.

Now, the word tracking means something more extensive. These are both easy hiking trips, which are available to everyone, and difficult routes that require special sports skills and special training (they also belong to the category of sports tourism).

Tracking can be combined with auto-tracking, hiking and other types of sports tourism.

In Russia, tracking is overwhelmingly represented by one of its varieties - tourist all-around. This type of sports tourism is suitable for almost everyone: from three-year-olds to cheerful 75-year-olds.

We're going to talk about tourist trekking, which does not belong to the category of sports tourism (although some travel agencies say so). In Russia, Altai has been and remains the most popular destination for this kind of rest today.

Trekking in Altai

Altai has been known as a place for sports tourism for a very long time. Today, travelers from the farthest corners of the planet come here in the hope of reuniting with nature, restoring peace of mind, taking a break from noise and improving physical health.

Fascinating routes, an abundance of natural attractions, amazingly beautiful landscapes and hundreds of rivers with the purest fresh water have made this place incredibly popular among tourists and anglers.

How to get there?

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