Ust-Barguzin, Republic of Buryatia (Russia)

By | June 30, 2022

The village of Ust-Barguzin is located 270 km northeast of Ulan-Ude at the mouth of the Barguzin River.

According to, Ust-Barguzin is the starting point for a trip to the Zabaikalsky National Park. You can get here by crossing in Ust-Barguzin to the right bank of the Barguzin River, and driving along the only dirt road. The park was founded in 1986 to protect the natural complex of the Baikal basin. Its territory, which covers an area of more than 269 thousand hectares, includes the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula, the southern part of the Barguzinsky Range, Barguzinsky (the largest bay of Baikal) and Chivyrkuisky bays, as well as the archipelago of the Ushkany Islands. Of the large mammals in the park, sable, ermine, wolverine, elk, red deer, brown bear, squirrel, white hare, muskrat and many others live. In total, there are 44 species of mammals, 241 species of birds, 3 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. The territory of the park is one of the favorite habitats of the famous Baikal seal – the seal, which is the hallmark of Baikal. In the bays of the park there are omul, whitefish, Siberian grayling, burbot, pike, perch, dace,

It must be remembered that the Zabaikalsky National Park is a wildlife park, therefore, rules of conduct have been established for tourists that must be observed. Tourists are charged a fee to enter the park. The park is a great place to relax in both summer and winter. Tourists can be accommodated in hotels in Ust-Barguzin, on the territory of the park – in their own tents or floating hotels. In winter, lovers of ice fishing, mainly Baikal omul, gather in the park. For certain types of fish (perch, pike, roach, ide, catfish) fishing is allowed without licenses, for valuable fish species (grayling, whitefish and omul) fishing is allowed under special licenses. Also in winter you can swim in the thermal springs of the National Park.

In summer, the shallow Barguzinsky and Chivyrkuisky bays warm up well – the water temperature can reach +22 degrees. Along their shores, special sandy beaches are equipped, where you can relax perfectly. It should be noted that the Chivyrkuisky Bay has an average depth of less than 10 m, unlike the Barguzinsky Bay, which is deeper and therefore colder.

Several hiking and water routes are offered in the National Park in summer and autumn – “The path to pure Baikal” (Barguzin valley, Siberian taiga, alpine meadows, mountain tundra, Baikal), “Cognitive” (divided into three types of routes – botanical, geological or ornithological – and covers the Chivyrkui Isthmus with Lake Barmashev and the Arangatui swamp, the Barguzinsky and Chivyrkuisky bays, the Zmeevy hot spring), the Test Trail (hiking along the mountainous plateau of the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula), the Water Cruise around the Holy Nose (Barguzinsky Bay, Ushkany Islands, bays and capes of the Chivyrkuisky Bay), “Bird Kingdom” (ornithological tour, during which you can see a huge number of birds (more than 200 species)), “Reserved Islands” (Ushkany Islands with rookeries of the Baikal seal). Among these routes, hikes along the Svyatoy Nos peninsula are of the greatest interest.

Svyatoy Nos is the largest peninsula of Baikal and the only mountainous one. It is part of the Barguzinsky Range and is connected to the mainland by a 20-kilometer sandy isthmus, on which the best beaches of the park are located from the side of the Chivyrkuisky Bay. The length of the peninsula is 53 km, the maximum width is 20 km. Its highest point reaches 1877 m.

In the northeastern part of the peninsula there are healing thermal springs. The most popular is the Serpent Spring. The temperature of hydrocarbonate-sulfate-sodium waters in it varies from 40 to 60 degrees, depending on the season. The source was named so because of the unique population of grass snake that exists in the vicinity. This is a specially protected natural area where camping and campfires are prohibited. From the Svyatoy Nos peninsula, along Baikal, you can go to Olkhon Island, as well as to any other points of the lake.

In February-March, lovers of extreme skiing (skiers and snowboarders) come to the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula. The relief of the only mountainous peninsula of Baikal is replete with cirques, steep slopes and snow-filled couloirs. The elevation difference here can reach 1300m, and the slopes are 40-50 degrees. Many slopes of the peninsula are avalanche-prone and difficult to descend, so these places are suitable only for trained tourists.

On the Ushkany Islands you can go diving. The depth of immersion in these places reaches 40 m, and underwater visibility ranges from 10 to 40 m. The local bottom is rocky, in some places – marble, covered with sponges, with an abundance of boulders, thin high rocks, going to the depth of walls and tunnels. During diving, Baikal seals are often encountered. It is worth noting that the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula is a protected area, so those who want to go skiing, snowboarding or diving will have to pay a small fee.

Ust-Barguzin, Republic of Buryatia (Russia)