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Extreme Hiking in Kamchatka’s Nalychevo Nature Park

With its complex geological terrain and history of hydrothermal and volcanic activity, Nalychevo Nature Park in Kamchatka is one of Russia's protected areas perfect for nature-loving trekkers to explore. Located within easy reach of Kamchatka’s main cities, Yelizovo and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Nalychevo has become a popular ecotourism destination, and its biodiversity is well worth experiencing on an extended trek.

Taking place in the months from June through to September, a fourteen-day excursion takes experienced trekkers to some of the most spectacular spots in the park. Graded as "extreme", this hike starts with an acclimatization period in Petropavlovsk before setting off to overnight at the Three Volcanoes shelter. The first day of serious hiking follows a trail up the Avachinsky volcano to a height of 2741 meters. From here trekkers can view the active mud siphons, acid lakes and fumarolas – a mixture of gasses and vapors seeping from the cracks of the volcano. From this vantage point, trekkers will have a breathtaking view of Petropavlovsk, the Avacha Bay and Avacha river valley, as well as a number of the other volcanoes the area is known for, including the massive Koryaksky volcano to the west.

The following day is spent trekking across the Avacha pass to the valley of the Pravaya Sedlovinskaya river and then camping out in tents for the night. The trail continues to the valley of the Shumnaya river, across the pass of the Koryaksky volcano, and descends into the valley of Levaya Nalychevo river. After spending the night in tents, the group continues across the Aag Narzans cold mineral springs, before arriving at the Nalychevo hot springs where everyone can ease their aching muscles in the therapeutic mineral waters. It is here that the group rests for a day, with hikers having the option of bathing in the hot springs, sightseeing in the vicinity and picking the berries which are plentiful during these months.

The remainder of the route takes hikers to the Talovsky thermal springs, through the valley of the Shaibnaya river, to the hot mud of the Talovaya hot springs, through birch forests, and across the Pinachevsky pass from which trekkers can view the Koryakski, Arik and Aag volcanoes. Fresh air, picture perfect scenery, and the satisfaction of enjoying nature at its unspoiled best, are among the many rewards of trekking in Nalychevo Natural Park.


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