Section “In Jungles of Khamar-Daban”
Information about the trail
Length: 12 km to the one direction
Elevation: 0 – 1000 meters above Baikal’s level
Level of difficulty: middle
GBT annually leads 2 trail-building projects along the Osinovka river valley. Great trekking trail to Alpine meadows is a result of volunteers work. Baikalsky Nature Reserve uses this rout for excursions and hiking. This is one of the best examples of the development of ecological tourism on Lake Baikal.
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Things that bite
Rules within the Reserve
To visit the reserve you must apply for a permit, and you also must be accompanied by a member of the reserve staf.
Camping and camp fies are allowed only at designated sites.
• By minibus (Irkutsk – Ulan-Ude): numerous departures from Irkutsk or Ulan-Ude railway stations.
• By local train or natinal train: for schedules and tikets you can visit Russian Railways at www.eng.rzd.ru
To the start of the trail
From the train statin, go up the road towards the Moscow Highway, unti you reach the “Baikalsky Nature Reserve” (Байкальский заповедник) sign. Then contiue up the road to the headquarters of the reserve . The trailhead is on the right side. At the headquarters, you can visit the Museum of Nature, as well as a model ethno-settement & gif shop. There’s also a banya (or Russian sauna) here
This hiking trail (12 kilometers in length) starts from the headquarters of the reserve (in Tankhoy). The fist kilometer of the trail passes through the restricted area called “Kedrovaia Alleia” (this is a cedar forest stretching from Tankhov to the Khamar-Daban Mountain Range). It then goes up to the Osinovka River Valley, crosses the river, and flnks the right river bank, while gradually gaining elevatin.
After another ½ kilometer the trail crosses the reserve border and passes further into the mountains. The trail runs along steep slopes of the river valley. Approximately a kilometer from the reserve border, the trail comes to the fist winter cabin, which is a nice place where one can take a rest. A kilometer up the trail from the hut, following along the river, there is one of the trail’s main attactins – the locally famous Osinovsky Waterfall.
By crossing lots of streams, the trail leads to a main bridge over the Osinovka. The meadow here is so wet here that the trail has a wooden boardwalk. On the upper reaches of the Osinovka River, the valley opens up into alpine meadows. There are spectacular views of the peaks of the Khamar-Daban here. Further on, the trail leads to a gorgeous alpine area with a number of small lakes. The trail comes to an end at “Medveziy Ugol” (the Bear’s Corner Cabin), which was built in 2012.
What you will see on the trail:
- Tankhoy: Small village with a population around 1000, a stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The administration of Baikalsky Nature Reserve is located in Tankhoy.
- In the central area of the nature reserve you can visit an exhibit called “Baikal Before Your Eyes,” the Natural History Museum, a cultural village, and a souvenir shop. There is also a Visitor Information Center and a banya (Russian bathhouse). The nature reserve offers excursions, overnight facilities, and transport.
- From the nature reserve you can go on an excursion on the Cedar Alley loop trail, which is made with wooden boards and wheelchair accessible.
- The Osinovsky Falls is undoubtedly one of the most attractive destinations on the route.
- Khamar Daban: this ancient mountain massif was pulled from west to east more than 350 kilometers. Its highest point, Khan-Ula peak, reaches a height of 2371 meters. The northern part of Khamar-Daban is the wettest place in the Pribaikal region, receiving about 1200 mm of annual rainfall. Warm, humid summers and very snowy winters promote favorable conditions for plant life. A great many relic species and endemics grow here.
- You can overnight in Tankhoy in the Visitor Information Center of Baikalsky Nature Reserve. There are shops in the village.
- During the trek you can expect signal sounds – they interrupt soon after you cross the border of the nature reserve.
- Tankhoy has an emergency medical center run by the rescue agency MЧC.
Informational booklets for tourists are provided free. Use of the information (text, maps, etc.) in this booklet is by permission of Great Baikal Trail. Sale of booklets or use of information for profit is strictly prohibited.