Trekking volcanoes of Kamchatka from North to South

Camp in the rugged Kamchatkan wilderness and hike to the summits of four active volcanoes
Hike up some of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes for thrilling views of steaming vents and breathtaking panoramas of snow-capped mountain peaks.

This 17-day volcanoes trekking expedition in wildest Kamchatka, Russian Far East is geared towards the active and adventurous traveller. We’ll climb several volcanoes during the trip, although all are easy to moderately strenuous hikes, with no special climbing gear involved. We’ll travel by 4WD truck to the remote sights of Kamchatka, passing the most active volcanic zone of the peninsula. There should be several encounters with marmots, ground squirrels, foxes, and bird life, and if you are lucky enough, you will see the Brown Bears.

This guided Kamchatka volcano trekking tour involves a mix of mostly camping, some hotel nights, lots of off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.

Kamchatka Volcanoes Trekking Tour Highlights:

  • Spend a night camped out in log cabins in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, a World Heritage-listed natural preserve which contains 13 of Eurasia’s most spectacular and active volcanoes at its centre. Enjoy a real Siberian sauna (banya) in the wilderness beneath a stunning, starry night sky.
  • Visit the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and solid lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976
  • Travel cross-country to the summer camps of the semi-nomadic Even and Koryak tribes, the “people of the reindeer”. We’ll visit the village of Esso, whose population is mostly made up of native Evens and is home to the Museum of Local Lore
  • Embark on full day trek from base camp to the summit of Mutnovsky (2,322m), one of the world’s most scenically breathtaking volcanic hikes. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles
  • Trek to the top of Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Russia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a rock ledge just below the crater, with magnificent views of the volcanic lake and steaming fumaroles below
  • Ascend Avachisnky volcano (2,751m), located in the neighbourhood of other family volcanoes Koryaksky and Kozelsky, and be amazed by views from the summit

Millions of years of volcanic activity have carved Kamchatka into a place of strangely prehistoric, undulating landscapes. Seen from the air,  gaping craters and mountainous tundra contrast with lush forests and shimmering lakes and rivers and the endless blue depths of the Pacific Ocean. Located at the northernmost edge of the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, the Kamchatka Peninsula juts out dramatically from the northeastern tip of Russia. Thirty active volcanoes in total are scattered across the peninsula.

At the beginning of the expedition, an optional Mi-8 helicopter flight to Kurilskoye Lake is offered to see the famous fishing brown bears of Kamchatka, who gather in large numbers to gorge on salmon during the summer spawning season.

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 Russian adventure travel experience.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Mixed (hotels, tents)

Trekking / camping

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

17 days / 16 nights

     

up to 18 people

Guaranteed Departures

Itinerary View map

Day 1:Welcome to Kamchatka

Meet and greet at the Petropavlovsk airport before a transfer to your hotel in the city. Rest in a hotel, and meet your team members on a group dinner in a restaurant.

Day 2:City tour of Petropavlovsk

This day can be spent at your choice, either on a city tour of the Kamchatka's capital or opt-in* for one from the optional day excursions (download a detailed itinerary for more information).

Discover Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the administrative, cultural and industrial centre of Kamchatka and home to around 180,000 people. A remote poor city with limited infrastructure, in a dramatic and beautiful setting; built on a series of high hills on the Pacific harbour of Avachinskaya Bay, surrounded by a chain of five towering volcanoes, two of which are still active. We will also visit the Ethnographic Museum, fish market, and enjoy a walk along the shore of the Avacha Bay, second-biggest natural harbour in the world.

Day 3:Transfer to Klyuchevskoy Nature Park

Today begins with a full day journey to a typical Russian village of Kozyrevsk. 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 typical Russian rural life. From here we head further to the wilderness along the banks of the Kamchatka River, Kamchatka's largest river, which runs northward through the central valley of the peninsula.

On arrival at Kozyrevsk, we will stay for overnight in very basic wooden cabins (twin share only). Enjoy real Siberian sauna (banya) and a stunning night starry sky.

Day 4:Tolbachik volcano

Travelling further (60km) from where we stayed overnight, we arrive at our first base camp located on a slope of the Tolbachik volcano plateau, where we will stay for the next 4 nights.

Klyuchevskoy Nature Park 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 and 9 extinct ones.

Day 5:Tolbachik volcano: lava fields and Dead Forest

Today, we enjoy walking along solid lava flows from the 2012-2013 eruption and visiting some of the new craters. We also explore the "Dead Forest" – an area that was destroyed by an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976.

Day 6-7:Ascending Plosky Tolbachik volcano

Today we ascend Plosky Tolbachik (2,850m). Physically tasking and long ascending, about 15 kilometres there and back, 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.

Day 7 is reserved in case of bad weather. As an alternative program, we may hike along solid lave fields to new lava caves and slag cones on this day.

Day 8:Esso village

Be ready to jump to our 4/6wd truck as we are heading to Esso settlement in Central Kamchatka, home to the Evens, one of the four indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. Here we will 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.

This village’s spectacular setting and unique population of Russians and Kamchatka aboriginal people welcome visitors to a cozy accommodation, warmed by natural geothermal waters. Take a stroll around the village and visit the local museum to immerse in the local culture.

In the evening, you will be welcomed by locals and enjoy the traditional dance show.

Day 9:Transfer to South of Kamchatka

Embark on a full day’s drive to the Southern group of volcanoes. Along the way, we’ll make another pit stop at Milkovo village. Today we overnight in the "Karymshinsky" hotel, where we will enjoy bathing in the hot springs pool.

Day 10:Travelling to Mutnovsky volcano

Today, we travel to another volcano - Mutnovsky (2,939m). We drive for 180km with a stop at the Vilyuchinsky waterfall. After a short rest, we continue our drive. Once we reach our destination we set up a base camp and enjoy a short excursion in the vicinity of the camp.

Day 11:Mutnovsky volcano trekking

Near Mutnovsky’s summit is a nest of merged craters, among the most beautiful volcanic phenomenon in Kamchatka. We hike to the rim of the craters via a crack in the volcano’s side. With a bit of courage, you can climb to the crest of the craters. Standing at the top, at the edge of a deep cavity, gazing down upon glittering glaciers, the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles far below and the columns of vapour rising from the active funnel crater.

Day 12:Gorely volcano trekking

After breakfast, we’ll embark on another adventure. Today’s destination is Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Kamchatka. From our campsite, the 4/6WD truck heads north around the edge of a large lake that lies in the unfilled eastern crescent of the Gorely caldera. From the lake flats, the walk up the huge shield volcano, we’ll cross a mix of grassy tundra with dwarf willows and bare strips of basaltic lava and lava flow formations.

Our picnic lunch will be laid out on the shelf just below the top. The magnificent panoramic view in front of us looks out over a sudden, vertical descent into the active crater. Over 100m down, a hot acidic lake has active fumaroles around its margin and beneath the surface, thanks to Gorely’s recent steam eruptions. Afterwards, we’ll return to the campsite via the outward route. Dinner will be enjoyed back at the camp.

Day 13-14:On the way to Avachinsky volcano

Today we jump into our truck again for another drive back to Verkhne-Paratunskiye thermal springs area, to Karymshinky hotel. On day 14 we continue our drive further, along the Sukhaya River to the Avacha Volcano plateau (80km). Here we set up a base camp between Avachinsky and Koryaksky Volcanoes (860m) or stay in cabins.

Day 15:Avachinsky volcano ascending

Today we ascend Avachinsky Volcano. To reach the summit involves a climb of nearly 1,800 m. An easier option is to aim to reach the shoulder on the old crater rim, which offers a lovely stretch of scenic walking, and requires a climb of about 1,100 m. We have a bite on the edge of the crater of the volcano (filled to the brim with hardened black lava after an eruption in 1991) of the volcano while enjoying the magnificent panorama of the Pacific Ocean, Petropavlovsk, Zhupanovsky and Koryaksky Volcanoes, and Nalychyova Valley.

Day 16:On the way back to Petropavlovsk

Today, we’ll return to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, where we enjoy our last dinner with traditional Russian food and toasting with the local vodka to celebrate our final day in Kamchatka.

* This day is reserve day, the itinerary may be slightly different.

Day 17:Departure

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

Inclusions

Group airport arrival and departure transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Hotels and tents accommodation (twin/double sharing)

All camping equipment, except sleeping bag (can be rented)

All meals during the tour

Local English-speaking guide, helper, chef, experienced drivers

Permits in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park

Russian visa support document (voucher)

Flights

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

Alcohol

Dates & Prices

Dates Availability Price Single sup.  
Jul 10 - Jul 26, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $3,140 US $520 Reserve
Jul 27 - Aug 12, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $3,140 US $520 Reserve

Testimonials

Merja EurolaFinland

We enjoyed the trip very much and part of our heart is in Kamchatka now.

Everything was very interesting and exciting! Of course, the volcanoes and nature were the highlights, not forgetting the hot waters. A big disappointment was that we did not see any bears, not a single one ;-) Our guide Artyom was excellent professional, so much knowledge, always good humour, seemingly never tired... I am ready to recommend Kamchatka to others!

Anthony GestierAustralia

As a country to visit Kamchatka lived up to all expectations – scenery, volcanos, bears, vastness, isolation – it has it all.

Translators – Anna and Christina – both spoke excellent English and were quite good translators. This was Anna’s first tour and she was very enthusiastic and helpful – could not have done more for us. Christina was a little more experienced but the toll of touring did tell at times. Vitally – the main guide was a mine of knowledge about volcanos and incredibly helpful – although he spoke very little English he used the translators very well. Again you could not have found a better person to lead the group.

Larissa – the cook – did a really good job of providing food 3 times a day for 20 people in some very ordinary facilities. Giveny – the driver – excellent driver under difficult conditions – the roads are appalling!

The group was made up of Germans and Swiss people – I was the only native English speaking traveller. Most of the group did speak English but obviously drifted into German most of the time. All translations were into English so that was never an issue.

Itinerary – Kamchatka is quite a large place so obviously travel is involved – we did spend a lot of time in the truck (a 6 wheel drive tour truck with 19 seats on the back). Not overly comfortable but very suited to the conditions we travelled over – those appalling roads/tracks/snow and lava dust. To see the main attractions (Tolbachik volcano and then the southern volcanos) meant we had one period of about 3 days where we were in the truck every day.

As a country to visit Kamchatka lived up to all expectations – scenery, volcanos, bears, vastness, isolation – it has it all. The tourism industry is developing in Kamchatka so the standard of facilities varied greatly. Petropavlosk Hotel very basic but the staff helpful – about what you would expect. Tolbachik Park – we had tents here – had a very basic eating hut and dreadful long drop (that weren’t so long) toilets. But it was in the middle of no-where. The offset was the magnificence of the site – truly amazing and well worth and discomfort.

The only gripe would be the amount of time spent waiting for food resupply – obviously, a group this size consumes a large amount of food. We had two occasions where we waited for several hours as the cook restocked.

Would I recommend the trip to others – to see Kamchatka absolutely, on the proviso that you are prepared.

Rebecca McGrathAustrlalia

I had an incredible time in Russia!

I loved every part and was very happy with the tour! The variety of activities and locations were seen in 2 weeks, small tour group and being the only group at many amazing places! The trekking and swimming in natural hot springs were the highlights. Seeing the bears and orca whales were also very special!

Peter NicholsUSA

I had a blast and thought the wait I had for doing this trip was worth it.

Anna, a really big thanks for putting all this together and helping me with things! I had a blast and thought the wait I had for doing this trip was worth it. I can't think of anything that was a negative (except the mosquitos which we were told were the worst they've been in 40 years).

Really liked the Russians working with us and felt they did all they could to make anything/everything great. In particular, we had an interpreter, Katia, who was fantastic. She was not a typical Russian and made everyone feel good and made sure they were happy. People in the group were a good mix. A guy from Mexico was brave as he spoke only Spanish! If you can get me to Kuril Lake for 2-3 nights, lets take about another trip! Thanks so much and again, for keeping my deposit on file and applying it 2 years later. Really nice!

Peter MeggyesyAustralia

There is still a lot of misinformation about Russia, which is so unjustified.

Dear Anna, Michael and 56th Parallel team, The Baikal itinerary was spot on and the guide from Irkutsk, Dasha, was the best. Her English was superb and she had a genuine passion for Baikal which made the trip really special. The Kamchatka trip ground crew were excellent and well organised. The facilities were excellent, great food and the tour guide Vitaly was strong, organised and extremely efficient.

Russia is a beautiful country, lots to see. Your suggestion to see Kazan was excellent as it was really beautiful. I had a superb trip in Kamchatka. The 16 of us on tour were all impressed by the four super-efficient tour staff. The food and facilities were first rate and the mercurial tour leader, Vitaly did a remarkable job. If there was any downside it was that I somehow thought that I would see lots of bears on the Kamchatka trip. Had I have known I would have probably booked a few days at Kurile Lake as well to take advantage of seeing the bears. I tried the day trip option during the trip but the weather was not kind. That is not meant as a criticism but rather feedback that when others book for Kamchatka it is worth pointing out that if they also want to see bears they need to organise the side trip.

Once again, thanks to Anna and Michael and once again all the best for the future. As I said it is a difficult industry that you guys are in and, interestingly, Russia still would be a "hard sell" for you guys. I am a doctor down here and I was amazed at the level of ignorance among my patients about travelling in Russia. Before I went on holidays they would ask where I was going and when I replied "Russia" most were worried for my safety. There is still a lot of misinformation about the place which is so unjustified.

17 days
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
from
$
3,140
USD
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary Personalise this tour

Day 1: Welcome to Kamchatka

Meet and greet at the Petropavlovsk airport before a transfer to your hotel in the city. Rest in a hotel, and meet your team members on a group dinner in a restaurant.

Day 2: City tour of Petropavlovsk

This day can be spent at your choice, either on a city tour of the Kamchatka's capital or opt-in* for one from the optional day excursions (download a detailed itinerary for more information).

Discover Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the administrative, cultural and industrial centre of Kamchatka and home to around 180,000 people. A remote poor city with limited infrastructure, in a dramatic and beautiful setting; built on a series of high hills on the Pacific harbour of Avachinskaya Bay, surrounded by a chain of five towering volcanoes, two of which are still active. We will also visit the Ethnographic Museum, fish market, and enjoy a walk along the shore of the Avacha Bay, second-biggest natural harbour in the world.

Day 3: Transfer to Klyuchevskoy Nature Park

Today begins with a full day journey to a typical Russian village of Kozyrevsk. 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 typical Russian rural life. From here we head further to the wilderness along the banks of the Kamchatka River, Kamchatka's largest river, which runs northward through the central valley of the peninsula.

On arrival at Kozyrevsk, we will stay for overnight in very basic wooden cabins (twin share only). Enjoy real Siberian sauna (banya) and a stunning night starry sky.

Day 4: Tolbachik volcano

Travelling further (60km) from where we stayed overnight, we arrive at our first base camp located on a slope of the Tolbachik volcano plateau, where we will stay for the next 4 nights.

Klyuchevskoy Nature Park 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 and 9 extinct ones.

Day 5: Tolbachik volcano: lava fields and Dead Forest

Today, we enjoy walking along solid lava flows from the 2012-2013 eruption and visiting some of the new craters. We also explore the "Dead Forest" – an area that was destroyed by an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976.

Day 6-7: Ascending Plosky Tolbachik volcano

Today we ascend Plosky Tolbachik (2,850m). Physically tasking and long ascending, about 15 kilometres there and back, 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.

Day 7 is reserved in case of bad weather. As an alternative program, we may hike along solid lave fields to new lava caves and slag cones on this day.

Day 8: Esso village

Be ready to jump to our 4/6wd truck as we are heading to Esso settlement in Central Kamchatka, home to the Evens, one of the four indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. Here we will 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.

This village’s spectacular setting and unique population of Russians and Kamchatka aboriginal people welcome visitors to a cozy accommodation, warmed by natural geothermal waters. Take a stroll around the village and visit the local museum to immerse in the local culture.

In the evening, you will be welcomed by locals and enjoy the traditional dance show.

Day 9: Transfer to South of Kamchatka

Embark on a full day’s drive to the Southern group of volcanoes. Along the way, we’ll make another pit stop at Milkovo village. Today we overnight in the "Karymshinsky" hotel, where we will enjoy bathing in the hot springs pool.

Day 10: Travelling to Mutnovsky volcano

Today, we travel to another volcano - Mutnovsky (2,939m). We drive for 180km with a stop at the Vilyuchinsky waterfall. After a short rest, we continue our drive. Once we reach our destination we set up a base camp and enjoy a short excursion in the vicinity of the camp.

Day 11: Mutnovsky volcano trekking

Near Mutnovsky’s summit is a nest of merged craters, among the most beautiful volcanic phenomenon in Kamchatka. We hike to the rim of the craters via a crack in the volcano’s side. With a bit of courage, you can climb to the crest of the craters. Standing at the top, at the edge of a deep cavity, gazing down upon glittering glaciers, the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles far below and the columns of vapour rising from the active funnel crater.

Day 12: Gorely volcano trekking

After breakfast, we’ll embark on another adventure. Today’s destination is Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Kamchatka. From our campsite, the 4/6WD truck heads north around the edge of a large lake that lies in the unfilled eastern crescent of the Gorely caldera. From the lake flats, the walk up the huge shield volcano, we’ll cross a mix of grassy tundra with dwarf willows and bare strips of basaltic lava and lava flow formations.

Our picnic lunch will be laid out on the shelf just below the top. The magnificent panoramic view in front of us looks out over a sudden, vertical descent into the active crater. Over 100m down, a hot acidic lake has active fumaroles around its margin and beneath the surface, thanks to Gorely’s recent steam eruptions. Afterwards, we’ll return to the campsite via the outward route. Dinner will be enjoyed back at the camp.

Day 13-14: On the way to Avachinsky volcano

Today we jump into our truck again for another drive back to Verkhne-Paratunskiye thermal springs area, to Karymshinky hotel. On day 14 we continue our drive further, along the Sukhaya River to the Avacha Volcano plateau (80km). Here we set up a base camp between Avachinsky and Koryaksky Volcanoes (860m) or stay in cabins.

Day 15: Avachinsky volcano ascending

Today we ascend Avachinsky Volcano. To reach the summit involves a climb of nearly 1,800 m. An easier option is to aim to reach the shoulder on the old crater rim, which offers a lovely stretch of scenic walking, and requires a climb of about 1,100 m. We have a bite on the edge of the crater of the volcano (filled to the brim with hardened black lava after an eruption in 1991) of the volcano while enjoying the magnificent panorama of the Pacific Ocean, Petropavlovsk, Zhupanovsky and Koryaksky Volcanoes, and Nalychyova Valley.

Day 16: On the way back to Petropavlovsk

Today, we’ll return to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, where we enjoy our last dinner with traditional Russian food and toasting with the local vodka to celebrate our final day in Kamchatka.

* This day is reserve day, the itinerary may be slightly different.

Day 17: Departure

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

Included

Group airport arrival and departure transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Hotels and tents accommodation (twin/double sharing)

All camping equipment, except sleeping bag (can be rented)

All meals during the tour

Local English-speaking guide, helper, chef, experienced drivers

Permits in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park

Russian visa support document (voucher)

Not included

Flights

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

Alcohol

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816