And the wheels go round and round...

The question of “wheels” on the peninsula is a major one, because in order to get to these amazing places, you need some kind of way to do so, other than your feet. Our friends from the agency Helipro, who organise the best trips in Kamchatka, have told us everything there is to know about the roads of their homeland, and when you should be gripping that wheel or greasing up those vanes.

Tourists from all over the world are drawn to Kamchatka’s primordial nature. But how can one possibly have enough time to see all of the most beautiful sights here? Kamchatka is such a wild land that it is almost impossible to organise the trip by yourself. Yes, you can rent a jeep and drive all the way to the ocean and back to the Opala river, or even drive to the frozen lava of the Tolbachik volcano. But trust us when we say that you will spend most of your time and strength driving around; the roads here have little in common with actual roads. The tourists are usually driven around in special jeeps or Ural trucks.

Photo: Murad Osmann (@muradosmann)

Of course, the choice of your vehicle mostly depends on the season and the weather. Quite often, these factors force you to change your plans, take a different route, or just plain stay at home. We at the Helipro company have created the Snow Valley base camp to ease your journey through our unpredictable lands.

Photo: Murad Osmann (@muradosmann)

You will find that it is quite easy to get from the base of the mount, to the breathing Mutnovsky volcano on a snowmobile or on a helicopter. A helicopter is organised beforehand, usually for heliski. Anyone, even those who can’t drive, or aren’t that into sports, can use a snowmobile; you can be driven by professional drivers. And if you do prefer to drive it yourself you can be fully instructed on how to do so, but in any case you will have to strictly follow the lead of your tour guide. During the summer this same route is suitable for an ATV.

Photo: Maksim Balakhovskii (@maxbaloo)

The road to Khodutka is longer and much more complicated. It requires a completely different level of skill. If you want to take a walk through the volcano region, you should first get to either the Kozirevsk village or the Kluchi. From there you can make your way to the Kluchevsky sopka or the Tolbachik volcano on foot. We recommend you fly there by helicopter and then switch to ATVs, that will be delivered to you by the Snow Valley. The Dead Forest does sound much more appealing when there are wheels involved. There isn’t a single road to the Hot Springs Valley, the Uzon volcano, the Kurilskoe lake, Khangar or to the Tumrokov. Helicopter is the only way.

Photo: Murad Osmann (@muradosmann)

There isn’t a road to the Zhupanovskaya river, either. But rafting down its waters is an incomparable adventure. You and all the necessary equipment (tents, sleeping bags, fishing tackle, etc) will be flown out here. Spending at least one night out here, camping under the stars and treating yourself to a hot pot of soup, prepared on the open fire, with the freshest fish you caught yourself is an experience everyone should have.

Heliski, in the coastal regions of the peninsula requires a separate mention. You won’t find any roads to the picturesque bays (surprise, surprise), and swimming is not a viable option as it would take too long. However, live once, take a risk. But again, you'll be left with no other choice other than a helicopter. A one way trip will take about four hours.

Photo: Maksim Balakhovskii (@maxbaloo)

As you can see, everything is possible here in Kamchatka, you just have to know where to go and who to ask for help. The Helipro company even offers dog sledding - which is another great kind of transportation, and a fun one at that!

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