Top 5 Outdoor Adventures in Siberia

Husky race in Siberian winter
Husky race in Siberian winter

If you’re looking for the outdoor adventure of a lifetime look no further than Siberia and the Russian Far East, with their vast forests, endless lakes and rivers, remote mountains and eclectic wildlife. Forget about being off-the-beaten track, you’ll feel truly off-the-map in Siberia.


The ranges of the Altai and Sayany mountains offer some truly spectacular trails. The Altai’s Katunski Range is the highest in Siberia, a land of tranquil high valleys and snowcapped peaks, with Mt Belukha towering at 4,506 metres (14,783 ft). Serious mountaineers will revel in the challenging climbs up the glacier-shrouded high Altai. The Stolby Nature Reserve, an area of weird-and-wonderful rock formations on the outskirts of Krasnoyarsk is another easily accessible hiking area. Olkhon Island is another great place to pull on hiking boots. For the more adventurous, a trip to the Khamar-Daban Mountains south of Lake Baikal offers the chance to explore taiga, alpine tundra and glacial lakes.


If it’s water thrills you’re after then Siberia’s wild rivers will get your adrenalin pumping. Flowing with snow and glacial meltwater from the mountains in the south, rivers like the Katun, Argut, Bashkaus, Chulyshman, Chuya and Chulcha are white-water rafting heaven. Lake Baikal is also a great location for kayaking, diving and sailing.


Kamchatka – just the word makes the hearts of outdoor adventurers everywhere beat a little faster. This spearhead-shaped peninsula in the Russian Far East is dotted with active volcanoes, spouting geysers, giant plants and fields of boiling mud. 


The dreamy taiga forests and the open northern steppe shelter bears, deer, wolves, lynx, elk, beaver and caribou. Kamchatka is abundant with bears and there are Stellar’s Sea eagles, foxes, killer whales and deer to spot also. Wildlife watching is a growing aspect of adventure tourism in Russia, and to see a rare Siberian tiger in the Amur forests is a nature lover’s holy grail. Plenty of wildlife means hunting and fishing are also on the agenda. For anglers, Siberia’s lakes and rivers are a paradise in summer. The Angara, which drains Lake Baikal, offers one of the best locations.

Winter sports

Outdoor adventure doesn’t stop with the first snowflakes. There’s a growing number of downhill resorts most notably in Krasnoyarsk and Baikalsk. Between November and April, cross-country skiing can be enjoyed just about everywhere. Lake Baikal offers dog sled rides, skiing and skating when it freezes over between January and March.

How to get there?

Travel around Siberia is fairly straightforward these days, though train journeys can eat into your visa time. Even off-the-beaten track places have a daily bus to the nearest big city and there are even some flights between Siberia’s cities. Irkutsk has become a major tourist hub, and hydrofoils and ferries make regular journeys to Lake Baikal settlements in summer. It has also seen many new hotels and even backpacker hostels opening up. 

For more information on Siberia and the Russian Far East, click here