Real Altai. Towards Aktru glacier.


This tour is specially prepared for travelers, travelers, inquisitives, and persons knowing the value of every instant of their lives. The high dynamics of the journey will help to feel all the delights of Altai nature, and you will have a rest after the intense rhythm of the conference. Maybe you will make the most magnificent and spectacular souvenir photos you have never made before. The tour will not demand specialized athletic training or skills, for those wishing to participate in trekking you will need some physical endurance and comfortable shoes.

Brief description: Travel along one of the most picturesque roads in the world – Chuisky Highway, Seminsky and Chike-Taman passes, rock drawings of Kalbak-Tash (petroglyphs), confluences of the Katun and Chemal rivers, Katun and Chua, Katun terraces, Trekking to the Big Aktru glacier and Blue Lake, mountains of Altai Mars and Lake of Mountain Spirits (or the incredibly beautiful Katu-Yaryk pass and one of the Altai wonders “Stone Mushrooms”). 

Tour start and end: Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk.
Terms: July 9 to 13, five days and four  nights
Transportation: combined, bus, off-road car, on foot.
Meal: three times daily.

Tour program

Day 1, July 9

Departure early in the morning from Novosibirsk, trip to the Altai Republic, Chemal village (about 530 km.). On the way, breakfast and the guide’s stories about the history and legends of Altai: the difference between the Altai Krai and the Republic of Altai is, what Peter the Great had to do with Altai, and many other things.

The first stop is Chemal. Lunch and accommodation at the tourist camping.

The beginning of the excursion program is a walk along the «Goat Path», where water of black Chemal and turquoise water of Katun mingle, a trip through a suspension bridge to John the Evangelist’s hermitage on the Island of Patmos, an inspection of the old Chemal hydroelectric station of 1935. Dinner and rest.

Day 2, July 10

Ahead is an amazing journey along the Chuisky Highway (about 350 km). . It is not for nothing that the journal National Geographic ranks the highway among one of the five most beautiful roads in the world. We are waiting for:

  • Seminsky pass and a fascinating panorama after the serpentine on the Chike-Taman pass;
  • Shirlak Waterfall translated from Altai “Maiden Tears” on the Aigulak ridge.
  • Petroglyphs Kalbak-Tash – one of the most amazing and ancient monuments of Mountain Altai. The cliffs are covered with thousands of drawings, with scenes of hunting and everyday life, historical signs of the religion of previous millennia incomprehensible to us. The place is saturated with the ancient energy of the mountains and peoples who left their enigmatic mark here.
  • Confluences of the Chuya and Katun rivers. Also one of the most revered Altai sacred places, saturated with ancient energy. Katun terraces are clearly visible from this place.
  • On the way we will see stone sculptures standing in a field near the ancient mound and a monument to the heroic drivers of the Chuisky Highway, as well as the first cable-stayed bridge, built in 1936 and an unusual monument to V.I. Lenin.

Accommodation near the village of Aktash for the next three nights in a tourist campsite in wooden two, three and four-seater houses. Shower and toilet in a separate room. block on the campsite. A Russian bath will be organized for those who wish. The modesty of accommodation is outweighed by the location. All that can be seen two kilometers apart and farther is virgin nature, Altai Mountains, and bright low stars.

Day 3, July 11

The main day of the journe! Early rise and on the way, by bus to Kurai (40 km.) And by high-cross-country car to the Aktru climber. From thence. From thence, an experienced instructor will lead us in our trekking, 7 km there and 7 km back. The valley is located at an altitude of 2150 m above sea level, is hiding behind high mountains. The road through the forest with cedars 300-700 years old. Rises and minor descents will alternate between small halts with photo stops to capture and forever remember the greatness of Siberian nature and mountains. The destination point of the trip is Blue Lake, which resembles a gem mounted in mountains. It is 100 m apart from the start of the Big Aktru glacier. There will be a picnic and rest and then a return road to the alpine camp, dinner on the way and the road to our campsite. On return – the Siberian bath.


Day 4, July 12

Day of different possibilities with two routes. You can choose one of them. Both options contain a rich interesting program.

Group “A” is waiting for the colored mountains of Kyzyl-China – Altai Mars 1 and 2, different shades of red, yellow and green. More than 300 million years ago, these mountains formed. This is a wonderful place for photographers, for lovers of geology and for lovers of beauty. It also reminds film sets for westerns, in which mountains alternate with canyons. Further, a shot walk through the “kurumnik” (“stone river”) to Mountain Ghost Lake , which will reenergize the group after the yesterday’s march to Aktru. Deny Der’ is the Altaian name of a small moraine lake of fantastic beauty. The lake provides water for the glacier, that is why it is extraordinarily clear. The combination of black rocks, turquoise water, and blue sky creates a phenomenal illusion: everything is reflected in everything. High mountains protect the lake from strong wind blasts. Unbelievably deep silence dominates there, producing the feeling that you are on another world.

Group “B” will have a one-day auto-trip to the Chulyshman river valley: the ancient mounds of the Pazyryk culture (two halls are dedicated to finds from these mounds in the famous St.-Petersburg “Hermitage”) – Lake Kidel – Dead Lake – picturesque Red Gate – Katu-Yaryk Pass – Stone mushrooms in the valley of the Chulyshman river.

The brightest impression is the Katu-Yaryk pass (height above sea level 1200 meters, rise/descent 3.5 km.), One of the most exciting places of the real Mountain Altai.

From the viewing platform of the pass to the right and to the left, mesmerizing views of the Chulyshman River valley open, and a waterfall falls right on the opposite mountain from many hundreds of meters! An unrealistic magical place! Many tourists only for the sake of this spectacle travel thousands of kilometers, sparing neither themselves nor their car.

The group will descend the serpentine into the valley, get its center, and cross the Chulyshman River by motorboat.

Ahead is a small walk-climb (suitable for everyone) to the unique natural monument “Stone Mushrooms.” The size of the “stone mushrooms” is surprising – height up to 7 m, diameter of the “hat” up to 2 m. The return of hundreds of decades to hundreds of years. From the height of “Stone Mushrooms” there is an amazing beauty view of the Chulyshman River valley. After the descent, the group returns to the campsite in Aktash


Day 5, July 13

Today we are waiting for the return journey to Novosibirsk (about 780 km). Lunch and dinner on the way. A halt in Srostki Village, where you can buy herbal tea, honey, and Altai souvenirs. Arrival at Novosibirsk in the evening, roughly at 20:00 – 22:00.

The program is subject to minor changes to be agreed with the tour sponsor. The order of scheduled days may be changed because of weather conditions and safety regulations.

The cost includes

  • Accommodation in Chemal Village for one night in two- or three-bed rooms,
  • Accommodation in two-, three-, or four-bed rooms with outdoor plumbing in the camping site near Aktash Village.
  • Three meals every day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Basket luncheons on days 3 and 4.
  • All transfers from Novosibirsk and back by bus with a trailer for luggage.
  • Excursion in Chemal: Patmos Island, John the Evangelist’s hermitage, Goat Path, hydroelectric station, confluence of the Katun and Chemal Rivers.
  • Trekking to the Blue Lake and Big Aktru glacier.
    • for group A – Altai Mars 1 and 2, Lake of Mountain Spirits
    • for group B – an excursion to the Chulyshman River valley: Katu-Yaryk Pass and Stone Mushrooms.
  • Road sightseeing along the Chuya Highway: Kalbak Tash petroglyphs, cairns, Katun and Chuya confluence, Katun terraces, etc.
  • Sauna in the Aktash camping site, one time.
  • Guide (English-speaking or with an interpreter).
  • Medical insurance covers, among all, casualties.

Personal expenses, souvenirs, tea, honey, etc. are  paid extra.

Tour cost 34 000 – 39 000 руб.

The maximum group size is 25 persons.

If you are interested in the tour, please e-mail to the Organizational Committee address ( + copy to, subject “Altai, intent upon participation”, and you will be sent a reservation form.

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