Hiking trails in Gorny Altai

Table of contents:

Hiking trails in Gorny Altai
Hiking trails in Gorny Altai
photo: Hiking trails in Altai Mountains
photo: Hiking trails in Altai Mountains
  • Eco-paths of Altai
  • Multi-day routes
  • On a note

Most of the Altai Republic lies in the high mountainous regions. The republic lives on tourism: here is ecologically clean and diverse nature (Gorno-Altaysk is officially recognized as the cleanest city in Russia), and excellent opportunities for recreation. It is here that the highest mountain in Siberia, Belukha, is located.

Eco-paths of Altai


In winter they go to Altai to go downhill skiing, and in summer they go horseback riding and, of course, go for trekking. Most of the tourist routes pass through protected areas. The "Golden Mountains of Altai" are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List: two reserves - around Lake Teletskoye and on the Ukok plateau, and the Belukha peak.

  • Not so long ago, a funny sight appeared in Altai, which gained immense popularity, it is so well located. This is the "Pyramid of the Golden Section" in the Chemal region. The pyramid is made of greenish polycarbonate and is placed here as a place for mediation: many believe that pyramids of such proportions have a special health-improving effect on the surrounding space. A staircase of 440 steps leads to the pyramid with several seating areas. But be careful - the staircase ends long before the end of the ascent, at the end you just have to climb the slope. But from the observation deck, magnificent views open, and inside the pyramid itself a place for meditation is prepared, and even instructions are hanging. The route is about 250 m long, but it's a steep climb.
  • "Tevenek" - a trail along the shore of Lake Teletskoye near the village of Artybash. The lake is located in the north-east of Altai, here it is called "Altynkul" - Golden. It is somewhat reminiscent of Baikal in miniature - narrow, long and very deep. This is the most popular vacation spot in the whole Altai - from here long-distance travel routes begin, along the shores of the lake there are many shelters, tourist centers and hotels. The eco-trail takes you to the waterfalls of the Tevenek mountain river, which flows into Lake Teletskoye. This is the very first full-fledged ecological trail that appeared in Altai. There are two viewing platforms over a low but rugged and picturesque cascade of waterfalls. The length of the route is 6 km.
  • Bear Trail - it takes 3 days to complete and it has a rating of 14+ because it is quite difficult. The road passes through the Chinetinsky reserve in the foothills of the Western Altai, begins and ends in its administrative center, the village of Generalka. The route is always accompanied by armed huntsmen, because on the way you can meet both marals and wild boars. Bears can also meet, although, most likely, the huntsmen will simply show you how to recognize the traces of the presence of this beast. The route will pass not only through the forest, but also along a high-mountain plateau, from where beautiful views of the Altai Mountains open. The length of the route is 17 km.
  • "Stone mushrooms" is another popular natural attraction in the vicinity of Lake Teletskoye. These are "kurums" - rocky outcrops, similar to mushrooms, in the Akkurum tract. The highest of them reaches 7 meters. These rocks also "move", constantly change their appearance, so the place is really amazing. You can get to them from the village of Balyktuyul, across the Chulyshman River (here you will need to negotiate with the locals about the crossing). The length of the route is 10 km.

Multi-day routes

Routes for multi-day trips in Gorny Altai developed back in Soviet times, there are many of them. and they are well-trodden and landscaped. A new service offered by many organizers of such routes is a hike accompanied by horses carrying backpacks and other equipment. There are many horses in Altai, and equestrian tourism is very widespread.

  • The Katunsky Nature Reserve, which lies in the southern part of Altai, has its own variants of multi-day routes. The road "To the Land of Lakes and Waterfalls" begins at Lake Srednemultinskoye and leads along the valley of a mountain river to the Poperechnoe and Verkhnee Multinskoye lakes. If you go only to Lake Poperechnoye, then you can keep within the day, but it is best to spend the night there and go further to the next lake - Upper. On the shores of the lakes, plants listed in the Red Book grow, all lakes have waterfalls (the height of such a high one is 47 m.) The length of the route is 20-30 km.
  • "77 all-Union" is the most popular multi-day route, which can take 9-12 days depending on the pace. It starts from the village of Edigan in the Chekmal region and ends with Lake Teletskoye. First, there is a long, non-steep ascent through alpine meadows to the high-mountain tundra of the Tamanel pass, then through the valleys of the Chemal and Toguskol rivers, the Soigonosh pass, to the sources of the Malaya Sumulta river, through the picturesque lakes Goluboe and Uymen. The highest pass on this route is Tripod, its height is 2400 m above sea level. The path here is pretty steep. On the slopes of this pass, there is only one full-fledged place to spend the night, where you can't spend the night here, you will have to complete the day's mileage. Then there will be three more passes: Synyrlu, Kyzyltash and Tanys, from which the vastness of Lake Teletskoye is already visible. The final point of the route is the Kyrsay camp site or any other on the shore of the lake. The length of the route is 200 km.
  • “To the foot of Belukha”. There are routes for climbers leading up to the mountain, but its foothills are a popular place for hikers. There are many options for such routes, they start mainly from tourist centers around Tungur. The most famous path will lead through the Kuzyak pass, the Ak-Kem river, along a mountain serpentine with an ascent of almost a kilometer, to Lake Kulduair. There is an opportunity to swim, and for overnight stays there is a well-groomed parking in a cedar forest on the shore of the lake. Further along the road there will be the Skynchak cliff, on which mountain goats usually graze - they do not care about any steepness of the rocks, and the Ak-Kem Shelter, where you can get a rest not in tents, but more or less civilized. Then there will be two lakes, "dead" and "alive": Ak-Kem and Kucherlinskoe. It is believed that these places have a special energy, so that lovers of esotericism will have something to do here. The circular route ends again in the vicinity of Tungur with a survey of the cave with rock carvings of deer left by primitive man about 12 thousand years ago. The length of the route is 155 km.

On a note

If your route passes through the territory of the reserve, you will need permission from its administration and payment of an environmental fee. The Altai Republic borders on Kazakhstan and Mongolia, while traveling through the territories of the Katunsky Reserve, you need to keep this in mind - there are border areas.

It should also be remembered that the nature of Altai is really completely untouched. Here, however, you can meet wild animals - bears or large deer. There has never been a single case of an attack in Altai - animals are usually cautious, but it is worth knowing the basic rules of behavior. In the habitats of bears, it is better to have a full break and walk noisily, and pack odorous food supplies as tightly as possible and keep them not in tents, but at a distance from the camp.

Remember also that Altai is a tick-infested area, so anti-tick drugs are a must!

With cellular communication and the Internet in the mountainous regions of Altai, more likely than anything, but in the villages the network catches (differently with different operators, so it is better to have several SIM cards), and in the most advanced camp sites sometimes there is wi- fi.