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I've been walking the Kungsleden in the Sweden Lapland recently and I enjoyed it very much. I'd like to try again a similar trek but this time I'd love to go to either Kamchatka or South Siberia (near Baikal lake).

Is there a trek in one of those places which is similar to the Kungsleden? With similar I mean that the the path is well marked, it's possible to sleep in huts (even tho I'm also considering bring a tent this time) and it can be walked alone, without guides or tour.

  • See also The Great Outdoors. – gerrit Jun 15 at 20:29
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    "Can be walked alone" — how good is your Russian? – gerrit Jun 15 at 20:29
  • I'm studying it, A1 I'd say. – None Jun 15 at 20:31
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    I'm not sure if A1 is good enough if a ranger tells you — for example — that one trail is closed but another is open but harder and longer, or that bear activity is particularly high and you must hang your food properly, or similar things rangers might say. I don't even know if they even have rangers as such in Russia. – gerrit Jun 15 at 22:55
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I am afraid that you won't find a similar infrastructure (well-tended cabins spaced out along the well-marked trek, or at least a well-marked path long enough for multi-day hike) anywhere in Russia. Anywhere that is reasonably picturesque, at least. Casual multi-day hiking is simply not popular enough here; it's generally assumed that people going on long hikes should possess adequate pathfinding skills, set their own tents, find water, etc.

As a foreigner, you'd be better off hiring a guide: there are plenty of companies providing guided tours near Baikal, some of them should have English-speaking guides as well. Not to be too alarmist, but going on your own might be dangerous because Baikal weather may change fast, leaving you stranded behind a flooded creek, mobile coverage may be poor, limiting your ability to call for help, and you can't completely discard a possibility of conflicts with locals, which an experienced guide would mediate.

I've only been personally in Baikal region, but I'd assume that the same applies to Altai (I heard that they offer wonderful horse tours there) and Kamchatka (BEARS!).

  • I agree that a guide would be wise — but I'm personally too stubborn (want to decide my own route, want to be alone in nature), so instead I spend some hours per day learning Russian (still need to figure out how to rent a local satellite phone and how to handle those pesky медведей (I'm told people don't hang their food but maybe they're being reckless...) – gerrit Jun 19 at 7:33
  • @gerrit so you say you want to navigate your own route... but Kungsleden, as you've mentioned, is well-marked and it's hard to get lost. How good are your navigational skills? Can you find your way across a forest on hilly terrain using a compass (because your GPS died)? It's too easy to find yourself on the wrong side of some ridge and have no idea of this until late. – IMil Jun 19 at 12:33
  • My last four big (>10 day) hikes (two in Iceland and two in Sweden/Norway) were mostly without trails, in rarely visited areas (on two of those I met nobody at all). I have extensive experience in navigating without trails, including in foggy weather without consulting GPS, on maps with scales as bad as 1:100k, fording rivers, scrambling along scree, and through swamps. Kungsleden is far too busy for me, I try to to remote places where I can be alone, hence Югыд ва (Of course, if there were a trail as busy and serviced as Kungsleden in Russia, one wouldn't need a guide) – gerrit Jun 19 at 12:44
  • However, I do always bring a satellite phone and give daily updates to the home front, who send daily weather forecasts to me (on four of my last five big hikes, I had to change plans / finish early partly due to bad weather). As I understand, satellite phones must be registered in Russia to be used there, I would have to rent one locally, and that I haven't figured out yet. One nice thing on big hikes in the (far) north: if one does get lost, just build up the tent and take ones time, as water is rarely in short supply; in the Canadian Rockies I once spent 24 hours looking for the trail. – gerrit Jun 19 at 12:47
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This is a partial answer; I hope an expert Russian wilderness explorer can come up with a more comprehensive answer.

English language information about Russian nature is very limited. I am not aware of a trail with as high use and staffed and equipped mountain huts as Kungsleden, but there are wilderness huts in certain regions. The Great Baikal Trail is somewhat famous but I don't know what the infrastructure is like.

I'm currently learning Russian because I'm planning a trip to Europe's largest national park, Югыд ва. The park is right on the border with northwestern Siberia, in the extreme northeast of Europe. I got hold of an overview map for the northern half of the park. The map shows a number of cabins, some named, some unnamed, along the route from Аранец to Желанная. I have not been there and I don't know the situation, but based on blog posts I have deciphered, the trail is so rarely used it is essentially absent, and the cabins are basic wilderness cabins with neither staff nor provision. I have not found any photo or information from the inside.

Some photos I found:

Some posts including photos of the larger area:

If my trip happens I can report back in the second half of September!

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    Why the downvote? – gerrit Jun 15 at 21:25
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    I was on the Great Baikal Trail last year. Infrastructure is essentially nonexistent, it's quite hard to even find the trailheads. The bit from Listvyanka to Bolshie Koty is a doable if tough day trip with accommodation at both ends, but from Bolshie Koty north it's serious trekking territory. – jpatokal Jun 19 at 3:54
  • If you use the three dots on the top left you can create a share link. You might want to try it, I think it might work better. – JJJ Jun 19 at 3:58
  • @JJJ For some reason I thought Stack Exchange banned those URL shorteners but apparently this one works. – gerrit Jun 19 at 7:28
  • I assume it bans referrals and shares via Google to external sites. In this case, it seems like you're just linking directly to something on Google's own site. – JJJ Jun 19 at 10:52
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You can find marked trails good for multi-day trek in Crimean mountains, starting from Angarsky pass. Local trekkers community maintains campsites, springs and marks trails. You are still expected to have a tent on you to make use of those campsites.

I imagine that mountains regions near Dombai and Elbrus may have similar level of infrastructure.

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