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To the Lake Heart

Day 1Hamar-daban range
In the morning we will take a drive southwards from Irkutsk to Baikal lake (about 120 km, paved road). During this trip you will see Taiga forest, several small Siberian villages on Transsib rail line and Baikal lake surrounded by Hamar-Daban mountain ridge from altitude of Olkha plateau. Just before Baikal road descending to the lake by steep and curved serpentine to Kultuk village, which is the oldest Russian settlement at the Baikal lake area. Then we will continue driving along cost line of Baikal to Sludjanka city situated on the main Transsib line next to the slopes oh Hamar-Daban mountains. There we’ll spend some time visiting local sights: the building of Train  station made of light-pink marble and privately owned  museum of minerals, which has one of the biggest collections all around Russia.
Trekking route starts just at the border of this small city, we will start hiking along the Sludjanka river up to  the mountains. Lunch will be served for you like picnic at the river side. After lunch we’ll start hiking along river valley up to the river source. The hiking route goes along the old geological road which was built there for the reason of extracting very rare Baikal mineral – Lazurite. The road was build at 1960-s and now it’s possible to drive there only by huQuarry on deposits of Lazurite mineral ge military trucks. The route crosses the river several times, in some places there are specially build bridges but sometimes you’ll need to hike just through the water. We’ll have lunch next to the end of the road and then we’ll explore the old quarry on the deposits of Lazurite stone. This mineral has extremely blue color and is found only in 2 places in the world – Pakistan and Baikal Lake. After that we’ll continue hiking on the trail which will lead us to the source of Sludjanka river. Tonight we will set up tent camp in the picturesque meadow among the evergreen cedar tree forest.

Overnight: Tent camp. Total trek distance for this day is 21 km

Day 2

Today we’ll continue trekking up to the end of the forest zone. SView to Lake Heart from summit of peak Cheskogomall trail runs through Taiga forest with huge and old cedar trees, some of them probably have age over 300 years old. After a while trail will bring us to the mountain rib on which we will continue hiking to the summit of peak Cherkogo (2090 m) – highest mount of this area. From the summit you can observe the southern extremity of Baikal Lake and Lake Heart at the bottom of the Peak. This lake is shaped exactly like heart, and has one stream leaving lake like a cascade. Here we will stay for a while, enjoying marvelous panoramic view to the ranges of Hamar-Daban mountains and Great Siberian lake – Baikal.  On a clear day you can see even  rocky Sayan mountains on the horizontal line.  
After that we’ll pick up our backpacks and hike down to the creek valley where we’ll have lunch. Then we will follow down the stream which will bring us to the Canyon of Podkomarnaya river where you will find amazing cascades of waterfalls. Here we can make a stop for a short rest and enjoy swimming at the bottom of the sparkling waterfalls.
At the one of most picturesque camp sites with a nice view to the waterfall we will set up tent camp for tonight and have dinner sitting next to the evening campfire.

Overnight: Tent camp. Total trek distance for this day is 18 km.

Day 3

Waterfall at the canyon of Podkomarnaja river
Today morning after the breakfast we will pick up all our camping equipment and start hiking down the Podkomarnaja valley. Today you will see lower part of the cascade waterfalls were all waters of the river falling down in the quite narrow rocky canyon. After that we will hike down the river on the small trail surrounded with very deep Taiga forest. Your guide-interpreter will show you old bear traps and explain you the ancient ways of hunting bears in Siberia.
After that we will hike upwards on the steep mountain slope to get to the top of the mountain ridge. Here we will find trodden path which was previously used as a caravan trail for traders and merchants from China. Historically it was one of the main trading routes from China to Moscow. Rich Siberian merchants used to bring on this route Chinese silk material, tea and other goods which were quite popular in Russia 200 years ago.
 We will hike down with backpacks the old serpentine of this trail which will lead us back to Sludjanka river. Here we will set up tent camp at the river side.

Overnight: Tent camp. Total trek distance for this day is 17  km.

Day 4

Siberian Taiga forestThis day we will cover rest of the distance to the Sludjanka city. About 5 km before Sludjnka city we may have stop and explore huge open-cast mine were locals take white marble. Upon arrival to the city we will have excursion to the local open-air market were you may bought some souvenirs from this area. Then we will take a drive back to Irkutsk. At the serpentine next to the shore of Baikal lake we will have lunch at the road cafe, were you can try several dishes of traditional Siberian cuisine. Transfer time is about 2.5 hours with a lunch stop.



Map of the trip

map of the southern Baikal

Tour price:


Group size

1 person

2 persons

3 persons

4 persons

5 persons 

6 persons

Price (Euro) per person









Note: Ask manager about ongoing trips, join the tour and get your group discount!

Tour price includes:

- guide service
- complete meal 3 times a day on hike
- rent of camping equipment
- accomodation at camping bases and guest houses according a program 
- all transfers according a program
- all fees for visiting museums and national park zones

You can book this tour by e-mail

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