Shumak Springs - A Hidden Gem Far From Civilisation
Written by 56th Parallel
Experience the raw beauty of the Baikal region’s forests, rivers and mountains on a breathtakingly scenic trek to the isolated Shumak springs.
Shumak Springs Folklore
According to a popular folk legend about Shumak Springs, a hunter was tracking a wounded reindeer and followed it a great distance until he found it lying, close to death, in a pool of mud. As the man went on to retrieve the animal, the reindeer suddenly jumped out and escaped his grasps. Seemingly healthy and energetic the reindeer hopped away and escaped from the hunter and this is how the healing power of the Shumak Springs was discovered.
Where is Shumak Springs
The famous Shumak Springs are located more than 1500 meters above sea level on the banks of the Shumak River in Eastern Siberia, Russia. The Shumak springs pour from the foot of the Sayan Mountains into the scenic Shumak River valley. Over 100 mineral springs and thermal lakes are found throughout the valley. Each with different water temperatures and a variety of unique healing properties attributed to them.
Getting to Shumak Springs
Far from any roads, the remote Shumak Springs is only accessible by foot, horseback or helicopter. This has allowed the local area to preserve much of its own natural beauty from human development. Keen travellers hiking towards the isolated Shumak Springs during summer will experience beautiful scenic mountain and lake views. A perfect environment for people with interests in landscape photography.
Getting to the Shumak Springs is a worthy adventure for any hiker. The 100-kilometres journey through the Shumak pass treks across a picturesque valley flanked by mountains, lush forests and alpine meadows. At a height of 2,768m above sea level, travellers are rewarded for reaching the top of Shumak pass to witness dazzling panoramic views of the Shumak River Valley and the summits of the rugged Tunkinskiye Range. Hikers will benefit from the clear mountain air and from the therapeutic effects of the mineral springs as they soak in relaxation at the end of their hike.
The Healing Properties Of Shumak Springs
Shumak is called the ‘valley of 100 springs’ and it offers over one hundred natural mineral springs to cure and purify people’s health. Coming from underground, the spring water is generally warm and even hot. The water properties are different from region to region. When water crosses the underground layers of rocks, it dissolves them and comes to the surface as mineral water. The water found at Shumak Springs are highly mineralized with excess salt. They are found in small dimples in the ground filled with water with differences in taste and temperature (10 – 35°C).
Bathing in thermal spring water can facilitate healing in a number of ways:
increases the temperature of the body, killing harmful germs and viruses.
cleanses the skin and increases blood circulation and cell oxygenation.
increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
increases the body’s metabolism, stimulating the secretions of the intestinal tract and the liver.
Small amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, and lithium are absorbed by the body and provide healing effects to various body organs and system.
The direct application of mineralized thermal waters (especially those containing sulphur at Shumak Springs) can have a therapeutic effect on diseases of the skin.
Apart from the numerous health benefits, there is just nothing better than to take a dip, relax and enjoy yourself at Shumak Springs after a long hike through Shumak Pass.
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