Available From June 15
Group size: 16-22
Activity level 1 2 3 4 5
||Helicopter flight seeing, interpretive tour, group join in box lunch
Russia’s largest federal reserve, “zapovednik” in Russian, is Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve. Located north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 180 km (112 miles), it is accessible usually only by helicopters, as there are no roads to this vast wilderness. The Kronotsky Reserve, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Volcanoes of Kamchatka,” is home to the Valley of Geysers, one of the world’s 33 geyser areas. Just 18 km from the famous Valley, is the Uzon Caldera, a huge 8 x 12 km geothermal basin, the remains of volcanic activity over 10,000 years ago.
In April 1941, a geologist, Tatyana I. Ustinova discovered a geyser near the Shumnaya River. Since this discovery, Ustinova and other Russian scientists have monitored and carefully discovered every aspect of the Valley, which is only 8 km long, tucked into the volcanic relief of the Reserve.
After visiting the Valley of Geysers, reboard the helicopter and fly just 10 minutes to the Uzon Caldera. Here you will spend just under an hour, walking with your guide along the board walk, built to protect the fragile geyserite substrate. Uzon offers boiling mud pots, boiling hot springs, landscapes painted a barrage of colors from the thousands of years of geothermal activity, which contrast with the flowers and vegetation.
The Kronotsky Reserve carefully controls visitation to the Valley, and helicopters bring in visitors for day tours. Visitors follow a guide, who takes them on a board walk tour of part of the Valley, acquainting them with the history of the formation of the Valley and allowing visitors a great opportunity to experience active geyser activity from the safety of the boardwalks.
Arriving at the Valley is nearly as exciting as being there, as the helicopter’s route takes visitors over the gorgeous acid-blue Maly Semyachik Crater Lake. As well the stunningly beautiful and very actively puffing Karymsky Volcano often astounds visitors by belching forth with ash and smoke as the helicopter makes a slow circuitous flight around one of Kamchatka’s most active volcanoes.
This trip with round trip helicopter flights is typically 6 hours in length. It is a memorable experience and one that tops off a visit to the Kamchatka Peninsula.
At the Valley is a small Visitor Center where one can purchase books, postcards, and other memorabilia of Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve.
Note: Helicopter flights are very weather dependent and it is possible for flights on a given day to be cancelled or delayed due to poor visibility, high winds, or precipitation somewhere along the route. Its possible that even if skies are sunny at the helicopter port, fog in the Valley can prevent landing. Safety is the utmost concern. Weather and other unforeseen circumstances can necessitate changes in the schedule and we make every effort to adhere to this program.
Confirm the trip has the minimum needed to operate before buying your airline tickets to Kamchatka.
Price includes: Professional guiding, all permit fees.
This trip is rated EASY or 1 for people who are ready to walk on sloping board walks, with and without hand rails. Plan to walk approximately 2 km.
Food & hydration
A box lunch is served on this trip.
Daytime temperatures in Yelizovo usually range between 11 to 20. We will provide a required clothing list for you when you book this trip.