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Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka

The greater part of Russia is still, in many respects, unknown and unexplored. The territory is vast and was virtually inaccessible for hundreds of years. In recent years, the creation of vast national parks in the area have helped us to become aware of just how special the natural treasures found in this part of Russia are. The Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka is one of those precious natural treasures.

In 1939, officials saw fit to create the Kronotsky National Park in Kamchatka as part of efforts to preserve dwindling sable populations. This led to a thorough exploration of an area that little was known about previously. In 1941, research assistant and geologist Tatiana Ustinova and guide Anisifor Kurpenin started to explore what is now known as the Valley of Geysers. Up until then very little was known about this 6 kilometer stretch of territory as locals seldom ventured into it, fearing that it was a haunt of demons and monsters. What was discovered is now known to be second largest concentration of geysers in the world. It is also the only known geyser field in Eurasia.

Part of what makes this natural attraction so special is the varied plant-life that can be found here. A striking variety of plants grow near or, in some instances, right on top of the thermal springs. There is even a species of algae that is capable of growing on boiling water, and an unusual variety of blue-green algae. Despite the severe winters that this area shares with the rest of the country, it is always the first place to enjoy green grass and flowering valleys. The geysers themselves are fascinating to behold: the Sugar geyser, for instance, resembles a massive lily; while the Triple has an unusual grey-brown coloring. Each of the more than twenty large and small geysers seems to be unique in some way and exploring these unusual marvels of nature is a truly unique way to spend your time in Kamchatka. None of the other geysers across the globe quite compare to the number and variety that can be found in the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka. However – be warned! Many of the geysers are completely hidden from view by blankets of lush grass and shrubbery. It is all too easy to get caught off guard and get scalded by the hot steam, making the services of a trained guide essential in any trip to the Valley of Geysers.


User Comments & Reviews: 1 Comment(s)

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John G Wotzka - 2009-09-25 21:33:11

This area of the Earth is the most interesting place I have ever seen. There is a book in the San Diego Library that that has some great pictures and text on the area. Thanks for the information,John

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