Kamchatka’s Tolbachik Volcano – Mars on Earth

Trekking adventure in Northern Kamchatka
Explore volcanic landscapes, lava fields and caves, surrounded by the magnificent nature of Klyuchevskoy Nature Park in Kamchatka.

Tolbachik - is a volcanic complex, located in the Klyuchevskoy Nature Park in Northern Kamchatka. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage site – “Volcanoes of Kamchatka“, the park covers an area of 376,000 ha with Eurasia’s most grand and active Klyuchevksaya group of volcanoes in its centre. It consists of 13 volcanoes, including 4 active and 9 extinct ones. With Kamchatka’s largest river running through it, the park is unique for its dense concentration of giant volcanoes over a relatively small area, attracting scientists, photographers, trekkers and nature lovers from all around the globe.


  • Ascending Plosky Tolbachik volcano (2,850m) across frozen lava flows and slag fields. A picturesque panorama of Klyuchevskaya group of volcanos opens from the top. You will be captivated and mesmerized by the lunar landscapes. No wonder, in this area the Soviet lunar vehicles were tested.
  • Explore the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and solid lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. As a result of the enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcanoes foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves.
  • Visit Esso village, nestled in a valley and surrounded by mountain ridges and evergreen forests, it is one of the best places to get acquainted with the lives of Kamchatka’s local people. Esso’s gorgeous scenery has led to it being described as the ‘Switzerland of Kamchatka’. It’s a laidback place, populated by about 2,500 people, with hot thermal pools and a network of hiking trails extending into the neighbouring Bystrinsky Nature Park

Staying in a mix of hotels and campgrounds, and travelling by 4WD transport, we visit as many unique habitats in the park as possible. Feast your eyes and cameras on the volcanic ranges and lava fields of the Pacific Ring of Fire, untouched swathes of old growth forest and mountain hot springs.

Unusual landscapes of the Tolbachik's area are the extraterrestrial scenery which is compared indeed with Mars One. Getting to the park is not so easy, but is really worth it!

You’ll have plenty of time to savour the atmosphere of Kamchatka and follow your own interests - wildlife watching, birding, botany, geology, volcanology, photography or trekking. On this tour, there is a day with optional activities available – a helicopter flight over the Valley of Geysers or to Kuril lake for brown bear watching, as well as a day cruise on Avacha Bay to spot seabirds.

For hiking enthusiasts, volcanology nuts and those seeking a physical, challenging expedition in one of the world's most remote and pristine natural regions, our Kamchatka Volcanoes Trekking tour represents an unparalleled adventure travel experience.

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Trip style



Combination: hotels/tents

Trekking / camping


Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

9 days / 8 nights


up to 10 people

Group tour

Itinerary View map

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Day 1:Arrival to Petropavlovsk

Welcome to Kamchatka! You will be met at the airport before transferring to the hotel in Petropavlovsk. Rest, acclimatization, tour brief. Meet your fella travellers on a group dinner at the city's restaurant or hotel.

Day 2:Transfer to Klyuchevskoy Nature Park

Today begins with a full day’s journey north to Klyuchevskoy Nature Park by 4/6WD transport. Along the way, we pass the old Cossack village of Milkovo where we stop for lunch and a stroll around the village to get a feel for a typical Russian rural life.

From here we head further to the wilderness along the banks of the Kamchatka River. On arrival at Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, we set up our camp on the slope of Tolbachik volcano.

Day 3:Tolbachik volcano: lava fields

Tolbachik volcano is located in the Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, which was registered into the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1999. It covers an area of 376,000 ha with Eurasia’s most grand and active Klyuchevksaya group of volcanoes in its centre. It consists of 13 volcanoes, including 4 active ones (Klyuchevskoy, Plosky Tolbachik, Besymyanny, Ushkovsky) and 9 extinct ones (Kamen, Krestovsky, Ostry Tolbachik, Ovalnaya Zimina, Ostraya Zimina, Bolshaya Udina, Malaya Udina, Sredny, and Gorny Zoub).

Today we explore the solid lava fields of massive 2012-2013 eruptions, where you can see lava formed into various shapes, many moon slag cones, and moon-like sceneries. Return to the camp. Dinner. Night in tents.

Day 4:Plosky Tolbachik volcano ascending

Today we ascend Plosky Tolbachik. Physically tasking and long ascending, about 15 kilometres there and back, 10-12h, 1,200m>3,085m across frozen/solid lava flows and slag fields.

A picturesque panorama of Klyuchevskaya group of volcanos opens from the top. You will be captivated and mesmerized by the lunar landscapes. No wonder, in this area the Soviet lunar vehicles were tested.

Day 5:Tolbachik volcano: "Dead Forest"

Today we visit the "Dead Forest" - an area that was destroyed by ash clouds in 1975. The territory around turned into a burnt desert, lakes and rivers disappeared, and the animals that had survived left the area for the best. Devoid of life, the ancient larch trees here are now eerie skeletons of their former selves, surrounded by a burnt desert landscape and set against the backdrop of the magnificent Tolbachik. Today, you will witness the Nature's awakeness: small greenery started to appear in some places what gives hope that soon the Dead Forest will be alive and become a new home for animals.

In the evening we pack up the camp, jump into the truck and heading to the village of Esso. The drive will take up to seven hours. On arrival, we'll check into the hotel, finally take a hot shower and relax in the thermal pool. Esso is a charming village of about 1,500 residents nestled in the Central Mt. Range and inside of the Bystrinsky Nature Park, the largest of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka’s Nature Parks.

The village is known for spectacular setting and unique population of Russians and Kamchatka aboriginal people. You'll be welcomed by cosy accommodation, complete with a hot pool warmed by natural geothermal waters.

Day 6:Rafting on Bystraya River

After breakfast, we head to the Bystraya River for a slow pace rafting and fishing. The second longest river in Kamchatka, the Bystraya flows along the Ridge and is inhabited with fish such as the Pacific salmon, east Siberian char, grayling and Rainbow trout. We will enjoy our lunch together, made of the freshly caught fish and fish soup. Overnight at the hotel in Esso.

Day 7:Return to the civillization

Having spent a week in the wilderness, it’s time for a brief return to civilization. We embark on a drive back to the city of Petropavlovsk. Along the way, we’ll make another pit stop at Milkovo village.

Day 8:Free day or optional excursions

Day 8 is reserved in case of bad weather. The choice is yours to either enjoy a free day exploring Petropavlovsk at your leisure, or join one of the optional* excursions on offer. The most popular ones: scenic helicopter flight to Kurilskoye (Kuril) Lake for brown bears watching or to the Valley of Geysers and Caldera Uzon.

Download a detailed itinerary for more information about these options.

Day 9:Departure

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport. Hotel check-out at 12pm, so please have it mind when planning your departure.


Group airport arrival and departure transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Hotel and tents accommodation (twin or double occupancy)

Breakfasts in the hotels, all meals during camping days

Local English-speaking guide, chef, experienced drivers

Camping equipment, except sleeping bag (can be rented)

Permits in Kluchevksy Nature Park and Kronotsky Reserve

Russian visa support document (voucher)


Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees.*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for concierge visa service here.

Optional excursions

Individual transfers


Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
Aug 3 - Aug 11, 2019
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $2,450 contact us Reserve
Aug 24 - Sep 1, 2019
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $2,450 contact us Reserve
9 days
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If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816

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