Cradle of nations

The Altay Mountains is a real discovery for the lovers of active holidays. The time that you have spent here turns into a real chase of impressions! The number of itineraries for holidays here is unlimited. We would like to present a unique and difficult route – Cradle of Nations. This itinerary is designed for well-trained pilots and is estimated as 4-5th category of difficulty. Plenty of broken mountain and field roads, heights, overcoming of deep stony wades, long day stages of track. All of these demands special requirements from the tourists: ability to cope with stress, durability, high standard of driving skills on the off-road. . It is worth seeing once and those memories will stay with you forever! The itinerary begins from the capital of Altay region – Barnaul city. A short acquaintance with the city and we head south-west – to Kazakhstan border, Kolyvanskoye Lake, that was formed several million years ago. The itinerary begins from the capital of Altay region – Barnaul city. A short acquaintance with the city and we head south-west – to Kazakhstan border, Kolyvanskoye Lake, that was formed several million years ago. Eroded and very picturesque grey stone rocks remember us about the Ice Age.
In the town of miners – Zmeinogorsk – one can visit the oremining museum, have a look at hydraulic constructions of the 18th century that are still running.
Over the Glyaden heights, following the old abandoned road, the group stalks to the Kolyvan village where they visit the stonecutting museum. A stonecutting plant that was established in 1802 continues its work up to the present moment. “The queen of vases” was produced here and from the end of 19th century it has been exhibiting in Hermitage museum, St. Petersburg.
Next day of the track brings us a deep wade over the River Belaya and a difficult up climbing the Osinoviy Heights. Over the river you’ll find no traces of civilization. After the heights the road winds through the Tigiretskiy range spurs – along the border of the national reserve. Several tens of off0road and we arrive to an almost abandoned Tigirek village where the remnants of old ground fortress can still be found. It protected the Russian inhabitants from Mongol nomads’ rides in the 18th century.
Next checkpoint is the Sentelek village that has a unique kurgan of Scythian times in its suburbs. It has quite a big diameter – about 46 metres and it’s 2 metres high. This is a chief’s grave dating back to the 5th century B.C. The uniqueness of this kurgan is that it has 19 stone plates in the east direction, with each next plate taller than the previous one..
In the Sentelek’s centre you can find a small pantohospital, the first one in Altay region. Velvet antlers are supplied from marals’ nursery in Pokrovka village. The special technology of antlers preparation lets the hospital to work all year round. It’s worth to note, that visiting of this nursery made a great impression on Russian president V.V.Putin, that spent three of his holidays in these places.
The rest of the itinerary through the Baschelakskiy range and the heights of the same name will lead us to the valley of Anuy River. You are free whether to believe or not many different legends about these places. But there is one fact that you have to know. A famous artist and sophist, India and eastern religion expert, Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerikh, entered the Denisov cave on his way back from the sacred mountain Belukha in 1926. In his notes of the famous Altay-Himalaya journey he wrote about this cave as of a special place that connects different worlds.
Three waterfalls can be found in 15 kilometres from the mouth. They are really huge! The biggest has 70 metres of the height. The waterfalls valley in Shinok river canon are an amazing sight! A national reserve was established here.
By riding along the Chuya highway - the main arterial road of the Altay Mountains, connecting Russia with Mongolia and China, we get to a famous place – “Manzherok” camping..
On the next day, on our way to the town resort Belokurikha, the group will visit Tavdinskiye caves, Aya and Manzherok lakes.
Leaving 2 000 km of Altay roads behind and having gone through a difficult but beautiful route, you’ll come back home changed (at least we hope so): serene, calm and inspired.

Our itinerary

(mileage 1810 km)

Arrival to Barnaul airport. Transfer from the airport to Barnaul.
Barnaul – Aleysk – v. Kurya – Kolyvansoye Lake – 350 km
Arrival with the morning flight. Choosing the motor cycle. Riding across the Aleyskaya steppe. Visiting the museum of legendary light weapons constructor M.T. Kalashnikov in village Kuriya. Welcome dinner and overnight in summer houses of “Lazurniy” camping on the shore of a picturesque Kolyvanskoye Lake, “dry” steam bath.
Kolyvanskoye Lake – Zmeinogorsk – Glyaden heights – v. Kolyvan – Beloye Lake – 130 km
Visiting the oldest Siberian mining museum. Riding on the abandoned Demidov Road across the Kolyvanskiy heights. If the weather is good – visiting the Dead Lake. A guided tour to the stonecutting art museum and Kolyvanskiy stonecutting plant. Overnight at bungalows of “Skala” camping and the traditional steam bath.
Beloye Lake – v. Bugryshikha – Belaya River – v. Tigirek – v. Chineta – “Eldorado” camping – 140 km
Deep wade across the Belaya River, dirty up climbing to the Osinovyi heights, moving along the country roads. Visiting the ruins of 18th century-fortress in village Tigirek. Overnight at “Eldorado” camping, steam bath on the bank of the Charysh River.
v. Chineta – v. Tulata – v. Charyshskoye – v. Sentelek – 150 km
Country road through the Tigiretskiy range spurs. Visiting the Tzar kurgan, panthohospital in Sentelek. Dinner, steam bath at the “Zazubra” camping on the Charush riverbank.
“Zazubra” camping – v. Charyshskoye – v. Bolshoy Baschelak – v. Soloneshnoye – v. Iskra – 200 km
A picturesque gravel road over the Baschelakskiy range and the heights of the same name. Overnight in the comfortable rooms of “Iskra” camping. Staem bath, panto-bathing.
Spare day.
Visiting the oldest Denisov cave. A guided tour to marals’ nursery. Combined walk to the highest and the most beautiful waterfall Shinok (70 m high).
“Iskra” camping – v. Chernyi Anuy – Mariinskiy heights – v. Il’inka – v.Baragash – Yaboganskiy heights – v. Onugday (Ursul River) – 250 km
Mariinskiy heights with its deep washouts and steep downhills, coming out to the Peschanaya River. Due to the complexity of the route, no escort vehicle will accompany us. Over the Yaboganskiy heights we roll out to the Chuya highway. Overnight at the roaring and beautiful Ursul River. Fishing, burning fire and getting pleasure from the virgin nature.
Ursul River – v. Kurata – Oroktoy heights – along the Katun River – v. Chemal – “Manzherok” camping – 260 km
Several tens of kilometres along the Chuya highway and we leave the asphalt again. Over the abandoned Oroktoy heights we find ourselves in the Katun River valley. No escort vehicle will accompany us on this section of the road. We visit the first of GOELRO plan in Altay – Chemalskaya HPP in village Chemal – established in 1935, and then we go to Patmos Island. Overnight at “Manzherok” camping. Traditional steam bath, optional phitobarrels.
“Manzherok” camping – Biysk – Barnaul
Visiting the memorial museum of V.M.Shukshin in Srostki, the unique road museum in Russia – museum of Chuya highway – in Biysk. Also, we’ll attend the German Titiov’s museum, he was called astronaut number 2 in the USSR. Arrival to Barnaul, accommodation in hotel, farewell dinner in Bike bar, certificate ceremony with all the participants.
Transfer Barnaul – airport.
Flight to Moscow.
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