Combined tour (trekking + rafting + auto-touring) in the Northern and Middle Ural
Duration - 12 days
Program of tour:
Arrival to Ekaterinburg. Transfer to a hotel. Accommodation in hotel. Lunch.
Excursion program. Dinner. Spend the night in hotel (twin room).
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to the town Severouralsk (480 km).
Severouralsk is situated on the northeastern slope of the northern Urals - on the bank of the river Vagran. It was founded in the 18th century as Petropavlovskii – a metallurgical factory.
In 1931 a rich deposit of bauxite (ore used to produce aluminum), named "Red Cap", was discovered here - it is possible for us to visit this site. Starting from Severouralsk, we follow the direction of the main Ural ridge and plateau Kvarkush on a road used by timber lorries.
On the way: Neviyansk (86 km from Ekaterinburg) - one of the oldest plants of the Urals. Neviyanskij Plant was built on the edict of Peter the Great in 1710. Tourists famous inclined Neviyansk tower (like the Leaning Tower of Piza) belonging to the mining and metallurgical works of the Demidov’s. Nizhnij Tagil. (150 km from Ekaterinburg) – ancestral land of the Demidov’s - founders of the mining and metallurgical industries in the Urals.
On the way from Severouralsk (100 km): We will make some brief stops at some very interesting places. The first stop will be on the pass where the road crosses a small sub-meridional ridge “the Fur-tree ridge”. From here we can see the ranges of the main Ural ridge in the west and smooth outlines of the mountains Kumba and Zolotaya (“Gold”) in the east. After “the Fur-tree ridge” our bus goes upwards on the main Ural ridge. The following stop is near the obelisk marking the boundary of Europe and Asia and then we will cross the pass through the main Ural ridge.
Accommodation in tent camp near the river “Zhigalan”, where the path, used by tourists and reindeer breeders for climbing the plateau begins. Dinner. Spend the night in double tents.
Breakfast. This day we will climb the plateau Kvarkush and see the 10m high rocks - similar to those on the plateau Man-Pupy-Ner and visit the reindeer herdsman who lives at the foot of the Mt. Vogulskii Kamien – we will climb this mountain. From the plateau we will see unique natural landscapes of the northern Urals - typical mountain - taiga landscapes - scree slopes, the plateau in the upper region, foothills and low taiga.
Return to the base camp. Russain Baths. DInner. Spend the night in the tents.
This day we will go to the waterfalls where we see one of the most beautiful places of the northern Urals. With a fall of approximately 700 metres over the 7 kilometres to its mouth, the Zhigalan is almost a continuous cascade of large and small waterfalls and a “wild” conglomeration of boulders.
Beginning on the east slope of the Kvarkush plateau, the Zhigalan flows in a deep, almost impassable “gloomy” canyon with high abrupt slopes, where snow remains the whole year round.
Only in the early morning sunbeams penetrate into the depths of this gorge. At this time it is unusually silent in the taiga - the only sound being the hollow rumble of a water stream. But when the sun, rising in the east, shines into the valley, the nature changes. Patches of light “play” in water streams, on leaves of willows and mountain ashes, “paint” the stones, covered with lichens, with bright colours – at this time “nature at its most beautiful best”.
Trekking to the river Uls. Spend the night in the tents near where the Zhigalan flows into the river Uls.
The river Uls, rising from the slopes of the main Ural ridge, flows in sub-meridional direction and then, after turning to the west, flows into the river Vishera. The biggest tributaries of the Zhigalan are Lyampa, Kutim, Pelya and Zhigalan.
Preparing of catamarans and beginning of rafting. From the mouth of the Zhigalan our rafting begins – along the rivers Uls and Vishera up to the village Vaya. It is interesting to note, that in this area, many names of rivers, streams and mountains have as their basis the Russian word “Zolotoi” (Gold). There are many rivers “Zolotaya” and “Zolotikha”, mountains “Zolotaya” and settlements “Zolotanka”. These names are modern and are connected with the beginning of the development of numerous gold places in the region.
Russian Baths. Dinner. Spend the night in the tents on the bank of the river Uls.
6 - 7 days
Breakfast. Continuation of rafting on the river Uls. Lunch.
Continuation of rafting. Dinner. Spend the night in the tents on the bank of the river Uls.
Breakfast. Continuation of rafting on the river Uls to the place where it flows into the river Vishera.
In comparison with the river Uls, the Vishera flows slowly. It is considered the most beautiful river of the northern Urals - its length is 415 km and its basin covers an area of more than 31200 sq. km. Earlier it was named "Passer-Ya", which means “Big Water” in Mansi language. The river crosses some of the pre-Ural mountain ranges “Kolchimskii”, (“Pomyanennui Ridge”) and others. On its banks there are limestone rock formations making very picturesque views. On both banks, the rocks “Ostantsy” rise - all having historical names - among them - "Kamien - Fighter", “Pisanui Kamen” (painted rock) and “Govorlivii Kamien” (Talkative) with a height of 100 metres and others.
Lunch. End of rafting near the village Vaya. Dinner. Spend the night in tents.
Breakfast. Transfer to the town Kungur (500 km).
On the way: The tows Krasnovishersk, Cherdyn: Cherdyn is the most northern town in West Ural. Cherdyn was capital of land, stretching to north from Kama river (land of Great Perm). town is located on seven hills, from which there is picturesque view to Ural mountains and boundless forests. in town the look of Russian town of 19th century is saved. You can see splendid temples with belt towers, merchant private residences and trade shops.
Lunch in the town Solikamsk: Solikamsk is the former settlement Sol-Kamskaya. Here was located the first salt-works. During the first centuries, the salt-works and trade with Europe and Asia were the key economic resources of the town, so Babinov’s road (only road linking Europe and Asia) passed through Solikamsk. Solikamsk is a large industrial and cultural centre of the western Urals - you can see unique examples of stone architecture: Saint-Trinity Cathedral, House of Voevode, Epiphny Church, temple of the Transfiguration and the Cathedral Bell Tower.
The city Perm is the capital of Perm district. Accommodation in hotel at the foot of Mt Ledyanaya (“Ice mountain”), in which there is the famous Kungurskaya ice cave. Spend the night in hotel (twin rooms).
Breakfast. Excursion in the town Kungur. Visit the museum of local lore, history and economy and visit the Nikolsk temple. Visit the Kungur Ice Cave, which will reveal to you its 20 fascinating grottos - the “Diamond” and the “Polar”, with their glittering snow crystals, the “Meteor”, reposing in pitch-darkness, the “Ethereal” with its all year round dripping and “organ-pipes” - well-like holes which water droplets formed in the rock mass. You will see magnificent underground lakes, amazing stalactites and stalagmites and so much more. Lunch.
Visit the Belogorskii Saint-Nikolai monastery is the fifth temple in Russia by size. From the 18th century affluent people from factories and Old Believers pursued by the authorities were concealed in cells and small monasteries here. Dinner. Spend the night in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to the city Ekaterinburg (300 km).
On the way: Stop near the obelisk marking the boundary of Europe and Asia. Visit the geographical margin between Europe and Asia, examine the frontier obelisk “Europe – Asia” on the old big Siberian tract, which is a landmark and historical monument. Visit the place “Ganina Pit” (“Ganina Yama”) - Monastery on the Romanov’s secret grave site, dedicated to the Romanov’s Tzar Family, on the place where Bolsheviks tried to hide Romanov’s corpses in a secret grave. Now it is well-known Russian Orthodox pilgrimage site (Holy grave place and seven nice churches made of wood according to Russian Orthodox tradition).
Accommodation in hotel. Farewell dinner. Spend the night in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure of tourists.