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TRAIL SECTION - Listvyanka - Bolshie Koty

The Listvyanka — Bolshie Koty section of the Great Baikal Trail offers a very scenic hike through Siberian forests and along the shores of Lake Baikal. This moderate 22km (14 mile) hike is easily accessible from Irkutsk and gives tourists an opportunity to truly experience Lake Baikal, without venturing far from the city. On average, it takes 5-8 hours to hike. The following trail guide provides information to help ensure that your hike is both safe and enjoyable.

Download the special interpretive booklet (with map) for this section of trail.

Trail Description

Starting at the trailhead the trail goes uphill for about 4.5km. This ascent can be physically challenging, but it’s also the most strenuous section of the trail. Before you reach the top, the trail divides — take the trail on the right. You will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the lake from the crest here (some 860m above the sea level, and 404m above the lake level), before beginning your descent back to the lake.

After a series of switchbacks, the trail will then follow the shoreline for a while. You will cross many rivers and streams with the help of GBT-built footbridges. Please keep to the trail and shoreline. Camping is allowed in designated sites, which are easy to find along the trail. There are several stretches where the trail traverses rather steep cliffs; please be attentive and cautious.

Pribaikalsky National Park

This section of trail is located within Pribaikalsky National Park, which was established in 1986. The park is quite large, covering over 1 million acres. To learn more about the park, please visit its official website. A permit from the park is required for hiking or camping along this trail, Permits are available in the main park office in Irkutsk, or at the ranger station in Listvyanka:

291 Б, Baikalskaya str., Irkutsk
2 Gorkogo St., Listvyanka
pribpark@inbox.ru, www.pribaikalsky.ru

Park Rules and Regulations

• Follow the itinerary set forth in your permit
• No detergents allowed
• Use established fire rings, make sure the fire is out when you leave
• Pack out all trash
• No drawing or writing on trees or rocks
• Don’t damage trees or other vegetation, don’t peel bark from trees
• Don’t remove anything from the forest including any archeological/botanical resources
• No firearms, no trapping, no hunting
• No motorized vehicles except on designated roads

Getting There…

To Listvyanka from Irkutsk:
• By bus (year round, every day, from the main bus station in Irkutsk)
• By hydrofoil (June to mid September, see the timetable at www.vsrp.ru)

How to Get to the Trailhead Itself:

From the last bus stop or hydrofoil dock, across from the tall hotel, walk towards the central market. Turn left on Gudina Street. Follow this street until you reach the very end (approximately 2km), and find the trailhead there.

Things that Bite

When hiking, travelers should be prepared for encounters with ticks and snakes.

Ticks

Ticks are most active from April until June, and can sometimes transmit Lyme disease or encephalitis. While hiking during this time period, do a thorough body check every half hour. If bitten, safely remove tick as soon as possible and keep it in a wet cloth. Bring the tick to the Tick Center – located at 3 Karl Marx St., Irkutsk.

Please be sure to carefully read the Information Concerning Ticks.

Snakes

There are two types of moderately venomous snakes that live in this region: vipers and moccasins

Emergency Information

  • To seek help you need to call 112 from any phone
  • Do not rely on your cell phone during the hike, there is no coverage here!
  • The closest hospital is in Listvyanka village

Note: English is not widely spoken along the shores of Baikal.