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Best Hiking Trails in Russia

Overview

The largest country in the world, Russia spans two continents (Europe and Asia), and its vast landscape is littered with breathtaking mountain scenery.  Some of the main hiking areas include the Caucasus Mountains (containing highest peak Mount Elbrus), the Altai Mountains, the Ural Mountains (divided into southern, middle and northern), around Lake Baikal and the wild Kamchatka Peninsula. The best months to hike in Russia are June to September.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Russia. 

Capital: Moscow

When To Hike in Russia?

June – September: For some regions, July – August are ideal months
May; October
November – April: Cold, snow

Climate: A large country like Russia will have various climates but the majority of it is continental (cold winters, hot summers). Western part of Caucasus is not as rainy as eastern part. 

 

Russia Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – Hard: There are some areas that have established trails but for the most part, unless you’re a very intrepid and adventurous traveler, you should go with guides and all the proper equipment.

Transportation required: Car; 4WD & 6WD vehicles in many places

Where to stay in Russia for hiking:

  • Esso – Kamchatka
  • Baykalsk – Lake Baikal
  • Perm – Middle Urals
  • Yekaterinburg – Middle Urals
  • Zlatoust – Southern Urals
  • Satka – Southern Urals
  • Ekaterinburg – Southern Urals
  • Dombai (Dombay) – Caucasus
  • Arkhyz – Caucasus
  • Sochi – Causus

Top Places to Hike in Russia

The main areas for hiking in this huge country are: Caucasus mountains in the very southwestern part of Russia; Ural mountains in western Russia creating a natural border between Europe and Asia; Altai mountains & Lake Baikal region in Siberia; Kamchatka in the Far East. There are many other mountain ranges, particularly in the east, but no details on hiking in these. Highest Mountain: Mt Elbrus (5642 m) in the Caucasus mountains.

Filter out hiking places of Russia by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Kamchatka

  • Mountainous peninsula that is very close to Japan, rugged, wild and remote;
  • Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the capital; Esso is village to base yourself 
  • Valley of the Geysers
  • Mt Avachinskaya – near capital
  • Mt Koryakskaya – near capital
  • Nalychevo Nature Park

Lake Baikal

Altai Mountains

  • Altai region in southern Siberia is popular with Russians but can be difficult for tourists
  • Altai National Park
  • Mt Aktru 

Northern Urals

  • Higher mountains and less tourist infrastructure, but popular
  • Yugd-va National Park
  • Pechora-Ilych National Park

Middle Urals

  • Perm & Yekaterinburg are good bases, lower mountains in the Middle Urals
  • Konzhakovskiy Kamen – popular trail
  • Kolchimskiy Kamen – another popular trail

Southern Urals

  • More tourist infrastructure here compared with other parts of Ural Mountains
  • Many different towns to base yourself such as Zlatoust, Satka and Ekaterinburg
  • Zyuratkul National Park – a bit remote
  • Taganay National Park

Caucasus Mountains

  • Mountain range separates the Russia from Georgia and Azerbaijan, runs from Black Sea to Caspian Sea
  • Prielbrusye National Park – contains Mt Elbrus (highest peak) and other mountains
  • Teberdinsky State Natural Biosphere Reserve
  • Dombai (Dombay) and Arkhyz are good bases and in stunning locations
  • Alaniya National Park

Russia's Long Distance Trails

  • Multi-day treks in Yugyd-va National Park and the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve
  • Konzhakovskiy Kamen – multi-day trek in Middle Urals
  • Kruglitsa – 3 day hike in Taganay National Park
  • Multi-day treks in the Caucasus Mountains

Russia's Walking & Hiking Resources

Russia Hiking Books: No hiking specific guidebooks

  • Lonely Planet Russia, by Simon Richmond and Mark Baker, 2018, Lonely Planet Publications – good source of information (ie. Tour operators) 
  • Insight Guides Russia (Travel Guide eBook), by Insight Guides, 2022, APA Publications

 

Russia Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Russia:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Mount Elbrus – Caucasus Mountains
  • Klyuchevskaya Sopka – Kamchatka
  • Avachinskaya – Kamchatka
  • Mount Sarlyk – Altai
  • Blue Lake – Altai
  • Konzhakovskiy Kamen – Middle Urals
  • Kolchimskiy Kamen – Middle Urals
  • Two Headed Hills – Taganay National Park
  • Kruglitsa – Taganay National Park
  • Alpine Meadows and Medvezhiy Waterfall – Caucasus Mountains
  • Chersky Peak – Lake Baikal

Easy Hiking Trails in Russia:

  • Mount Beshtau – lone mountain close to Pyatigorsk near Caucasus Mountains

 

Russia Hiking Websites:

 

Russia Official Tourism Site:  

 

Russia Hiking Apps: 

 

Russia Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Trans-Siberian railway
  • Kungur ice cave (in the Urals)

Other Important Points

  • As of February 2022, at war with Ukraine
  • Areas in SE Caucasus that are unstable security wise (ie. Dagestan, Chechnya etc) – seems to be great hiking potential in these regions, but must go with a guide and learn about security situation
  • Lots of things written in Russian