Remote Russian national parks you haven’t seen before

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Astrakhan Division, Bogdo-Baskunchak Nature Preserve

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

Mount Big Bogdo is glorified by local Kalmyks as a sacred mountain: A Buddhist ovoo altar in no time at all crowned its top. Pilgrims come here to meditate. The legend says that the mountain was straight away located by the Ural River, but two Kalmykian saints decided to transfer it to the banks of the Volga. After extensive prayers, they lifted the mountain on their shoulders and headed off. On their way, one of the monastics began having doubts, and strength abandoned him; the mountain buried both of them underneath its bulk and turned red. Scientists explain the red color of its rocks by the exposure of Permian clays. The clays are frangible, so it’s prohibited to walk on them.

Kamchatka Territory, South Kamchatka Federal Shelter, Kurile Lake

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The Kurile Lake is a biggest sockeye salmon breeding area. And where there is salmon – there are shows. Bears roam in large numbers around Kurile Lake. Troubles made by a team of biologists and ecologists have made it possible to approximate bears here from distances as little as a dozen meters without offer as collateral yourself in danger. Although you may think that the bears in this photo are have an altercation, that’s not what’s going on: These are mating games.

The Republic of Dagestan, Dagestan Disposition Preserve, Agrakhan Bay

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The Agrakhan Bay is a cultivation ground for a wide variety of birds: Herons, pelicans and cormorants. This inexperienced female sea eagle was confiscated from poachers by the guardians of the preserve and caused to Agrakhan for rehabilitation.

The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Alania National Reservation, Wallagkom Gorge

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

Mount Waza-Khokh is the superior peak of the Digori Gorge. This fang of a mountain with near-vertical tips is always looming somewhere on the horizon. To approach this peak, you strength need to pre re a small expeditionary crew: The journey there will cart you two days on horseback and on foot along narrow ths between the mountain downgrade and the abyss.

Irkutsk Region, Lake Baikal

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

Baikal in winter is a one-meter-thick layer of ice, bums of crevices, giant icicles on rocks by the shore and ice caves. The most spectacular and the least searched caves can be found north of Olkhon Island near the settlement of Uruzy. It is there that I produced my signature sweat Explorer.

Kamchatka Territory, Klyuchevskaya Natural rk, eruption of Plosky Tolbachik volcano

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto acclaim: Anton Agarkov

Volcano eruptions are common on Kamchatka, but the 2012-2013 spouting of Plosky Tolbachik was a real sensation. It could be seen from a excessive distance and helicopters flew directly above the caldera and landed good one kilometer away from the funnel. I went even further and used up a night by the erupting volcano. It was in January, when the eruption activity reached its extreme and temperatures in the vicinity dropped to -30 C.

The Republic of Dagestan, Dagestan Nature Save, Samur liana forest

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The Samur is conjectured to be the northernmost liana forest in the world. Without leaving Russia, you can put ones finger on yourself amidst a subtropical forest with thorny scourges of lianas design your way. In some places these vines have enmeshed unalloyed trees, turning them into green monsters. To take this motivation, I had to pose for my own camera, standing on an unsteady net of lianas. It sagged beneath my influence, but I never reached the ground.

The Republic of Dagestan, the Sulak River

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto trustworthiness: Anton Agarkov

The Sulak winds through a highland gorge. To make room this shot, I had to hire a motorboat, find a loop on the map, disembark there, climb 200 meters up the mountain and signal to the row-boat to have it intersect with the water and liven up the photo.

Irkutsk Locality, Lake Baikal, Maloye More strait

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The rigorous of Maloye More on Lake Baikal has the strongest winds, which also means the most transpicuous ice. Islands of rocks burst through it in places. Ogoy is the largest one. Its top is crowned by a Buddhist stu . But it is not the stu that attracts photographers’ notice; the island’s signature landscape is its southern end, where a narrow, pointed cloak emerges from the water. On Lake Baikal, a rock like this is a accent point, so the “Ogoy icebreaker” is always surrounded by deep crevices.

Kamchatka Quarter, Klyuchevskaya Natural rk, eruption of Plosky Tolbachik volcano

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto belief: Anton Agarkov

A volcanic eruption in the dark is a spectacular sight. The turn on of the underworld ints the scenery red and gives the soaring tail of volcanic ash a surrealistic air.

Irkutsk Precinct, Lake Baikal

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

Shamanka Set someone back on his is the symbol of Baikal. In winter, huge slabs of ice – ice ridges – accumulate at its foot.

The Republic of Dagestan, Dagestan Personality Preserve, Sary-Kum Barchan Dune

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

Sary-Kum is not not picturesque but also has its dangers. A rt from harmless lizards, Russian tortoises and fennec foxes, the dune is live in by scorpions, poisonous black widow spiders and solifuges, as well as the Lebentine viper. All these beings begin their hunt during dusk, preferring to stay away from the ssion of the sun in shelters. According to a legend, the Sary-Kum Barchan Dune emerged after the establish of a beautiful girl required that a warrior who was in love with her run a pile of sand so high that the roof of his love’s house pleasure be visible from its top. The warrior brought enough sand, but while he was occupy carrying out the task, both he and his beloved one grew old.

The Republic of Buryatia, Barguzin Description Preserve

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The Sosnovka Bay is the southern cordon of the Barguzin Countryside Preserve, Russia’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, which gave blood to the national system of natural rks. This cordon is guarded by a genre; they lead a solitary life here. They see more endures and sables than people and don’t mind this at all. Their house is fixed at the convergence of im ssible taiga, Lake Baikal and the mountains; the shore is cut across by lost rivers with backwaters.

The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Alania Governmental rk

Photo credit: Anton AgarkovPhoto credit: Anton Agarkov

The Urukh River is one of the wildest and most headstrong rivers of North Ossetia. Be destroying from a glacier, it flows down a wide mountain valley, break the ice into dozens of branches. I took photographs of the relict Chifandzar swamp that evolved 5,000 years ago. In summer, this humid peatland turns into a blossoming Valhalla with a striking variety of flowers. But this multicolored motley can not be appreciated by border trols, shepherds and the rare tourists who have the fearlessness to take a horseback ride to Chifandzar.

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