Kamchatka eco tours, bear viewing, fishing, skiing, hiking and more

Kuril Lake Bear Viewing and Hiking
in South Kamchatka Nature Park

Kuril Lake Bear Viewing

Trips available: 
July 20-Sept. 10

Total Days: 7 (3 full days of bear viewing)
Group size:  2-8
Activity level 1 2 3 4 5
Activities:  Bear viewing, marine tour, treks

Every August, as the 2nd largest sockeye salmon spawning run in the world comes to Kuril Lake in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary, brown bears  feasts.  By MI-8 helicopter fly to the spectacular Kuril Lake and camp at the comfortable Istok Base Camp.  Each day view bears just being bears in an environment they’ve come to trust.  After Kuril Lake, take a one-day marine tour to Starichkov Island out of Avacha Bay and see many seabirds and possibly nesting Steller Sea Eagles.  Return and tour Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, visiting the museum, and public market, and other sites in Kamchatka’s capital city.  Drive to the South Kamchatka Nature Park and camp, hiking up Mutnovsky Volcano to the crater, and also to Goryeliy Volcano, 2 active volcanoes.


Day 1  Arrival in Kamchatka, transfer 15 minutes drive to guest house at  Bolshakova Street in Yelizovo.  Shared twin room. 

Day 2 Breakfast, transfer to heli port and fly 1 hr. 15 minutes to Kuril Lake in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary, part of Kronotsky State Reserve.  Camp at Itsok Base Camp inside of an electric fenced compound.  Go for a bear viewing walk with your inspector.  Inspectors are armed, but most importantly well-trained to understand bear behavior, to give you a safe experience that is non-intrusive to the bears.  BLD.

Day 3-4 Each day spend out with the Inspector viewing bears.  Your choice of locations will depend on weather and the presence of bears.  Camp at Istok. BLD.  

Day 5  Await the helicopter and then fly back to Yelizovo.  Check into your guest house.  Dinner on own at local restaurant.

Day 6 Marine tour to Starichkov Island.  This is a 5-hour trip featuring the opportunity to view seabirds including common murres, gulls, puffins, and kittiwakes.  You may also see Steller sea eagles, which usually nest on a rock pinnacle near Starichkov Is. After the tour, take a 3-hour city tour including the regional museum, public market, and souvenir shops.  Dinner on own at local restaurant. B, L. Guest house accommodations.

Day 7 Breakfast, 900 load the big passenger truck or jeep and drive south to the plateau at Mutnovsky Volcano in South Kamchatka Nature Park. Camp.  Hike in area.

Day 8 Ascend Mutnovsky Volcano (2322 m).  This hike is usually 12 km one way, but it depends on weather and the presence of old snow fields.  Hike up Opasniy Canyon, to the crater.  Return to camp.

Day 9 Take down camp and drive to the base of Goryeliy Volcano (1829 m).  Ascend the volcano to the crater edge.  Usually a 4-5 hour round trip hike.  Drive back to Yelizovo and your guest house.

Day 10 Departure day.  Airport transfer. 

Note:  Weather and other unforeseen circumstances can necessitate changes in the schedule and we make every effort to adhere to this program.  Everyone must be prepared to carry their own personal camping gear, clothes, and a portion of the food and their own water.  Prior to your trip a food drop of staples will be taken to the park for you to pick up when you reach the park center.
B= breakfast, L= lunch, D=dinner

Confirm the trip has the minimum needed to operate before buying your airline tickets to Kamchatka.

Price includes:  Professional guiding, meals as noted; accommodations; all permits, excursions, fees, documents for visa support and registrations, and emergency insurance. 

Not included:  Transportation to Kamchatka; trip insurance; some meals; snacks or energy foods; alcoholic beverages; guide gratuities and personal items.

This trip is rated moderately strenuous or 4th category, for people in reasonable physical condition who can carry 15-20 kg on rough terrain.  Upon booking we will send you a suggested clothing and equipment list.

Food & hydration
Bring your own quick snacks to be eaten throughout the day.  Be sure to bring a water bottle.
Daytime temperatures in Yelizovo can range between 9 to 20 Celsius at this time of year. 


Explore Kamchatka
41 Bolshakova Street
Yelizovo, Kamchatka, Russia 684007
Box 2378, Homer, Alaska 99603
Alaska Business License Number 284949
From within Russia
Mobile 8 984 163 9868
Mobile +7 984 163 9868 from abroad
Email: explorekam@gmail.com

Thanks to Igor Shpilenok Nature Photography for photos on this site