Ecological Tour “Rifei”
Duration: 6-7 days
Extent: 76 km
Route: The town Zlatoust (Pushkinsky settlement) - White Klyuch (White stream), an excursion on Mt. Two-headed Hill – the tourist shelter “Taganai”, an excursion on Mt. Kruglitsa, the ridge “Otkliknoi” and the Valley of Fairy Tales – tourist shelter “Kialim”, an excursion on the ridge Dalnii Taganai, the rocks “Three Brothers”, the ridge Itsyl – the watershed - the Big Stone river – the town Zlatoust.
During our tour you will learn a lot of interesting information about the geological structure of theTaganai massif, history of its origin and rocks and minerals.
The tour starts from the town Zlatoust, situated on the boundary of Europe and Asia.
First we go down to the river Bolshaya Tesma, and after crossing the river, go up the ridge Big Taganai. Here we make our first stop near the White klyuch (White stream) and climb via the path to Mt. Two-headed Hill (1034 m in the south and 1041m – in the north), from whence there is beautiful view in all directions. From White Klyuch we go via a path along the east slope, crossing numerous conglomerations of large boulders – “stone rivers” (local name – “kurumnik”) and the forest windbreak on the saddle of the ridge “Otkliknoi” (1155 m), which is the most impressive ridge in this area.
At the foot of the ridge is the tourist shelter “Taganai”, where we will spend the night.
From the shelter we will climb on the highest peak on the ridge “Big Taganai” – Mt.Kruglitsa (1178 m) - firstly through a forest and then along the “stone river”.
After climbing we will descend along the southern slope to the Valley of Fairy Tales (local name – “sand mountains”) – saddle between Mt.Kruglitsa and the ridge “Otkliknoi”. It is unique and beautiful place in the Taganai Park. The valley is covered with small coniferous forest (fur-trees and fir) with glades of mountain grasses, juniper shrubbery and different types of berries (cowberries and blueberries). In the saddle are numerous quartzite rocks with amazing shapes and original “sand paths” between them.
After the Valley of Fairy Tales we will return to the tourist shelter “Taganai” and then continue the way up to the tourist shelter “Kialim”, where we will spend the night.
“Kialim” is situated near the river Big Kialim with numerous fords and deep backwaters, where you can catch river trout. Among sights of this area it is necessary to notice – the ridge Dalnii Taganai, where the old and high-mountainous meteorological station “Mt. Taganai” is located. The mountain tundra of the Dalnii Taganai ridge is a natural monument and is protected by the State with the aim of preserving the rare tundra flora.
Having gone down from the ridge, it is possible to return to the shelter or to continue an excursion to the rocks “Three Brothers’. Dense high forest protects the granite giants and you can feel that only the stone, the sky and silence dominates here. After visiting the rocks we return to the shelter “Kialim”.
Next morning we will climb to the eastern peak of Itsyl ridge (1068 m), firstly crossing the river Big Kialim. During our climb it is possible to pick up samples of different minerals, such as garnet, staurolite and tourmaline. It is the wildest area of the park and it is possible to see bear, elk and wolves.
On return to Zlatoust we can see the upper reaches of the 6 km Big Stone River (width - 100-200 m), flowing down from the saddle between Two-headed Hill and Middle Taganai. Here is located the largest deposit in Russia of the beautiful stone “Taganaiskoe” - aventurine (local name - taganait).
After the tour you can go sightseeing in Zlatoust.
Zlatoust –“The city of the winged steed” is how they often refer to the third city (by size and industrial power) in the Chelyabinsk region – there is a winged steed on the city’s emblem. At the beginning of the last century the legendary Ivan-Krilatko from Bazgov’s (Who was he – we don’t know) tale (what tale) worked here, as well as the talented steel-cutter I.N.Bushuev. The winged steed, which has stepped onto the city’s emblem was made from Bushuev’s sword – a mark of respect to the master’s whose labour glorified the city with Russian damask steel and decorated weapons – a symbol of our contemporary Ural’s creative work.