People travel from all over the world to experience hiking the mountains in Russia. Mountain climbers compare the four great mountain chains in Russia to the best Alpine mountains for climbing and hiking. The mountains in Russia are the Caucasus, Altai, Urals, Siberia, and Kamchatka mountain ranges.
Even though mountains only make up about 40% of the landscape in Russia they are a huge draw for tourists and locals who love to hike and climb mountains. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about the stunning mountains in Russia and what the most spectacular mountains in Russia are, these 10 mountains are ones that you should know about.
1. Mount Elbrus
Located in: Southern Russia
Height: 18,510 feet
Nearby City: Nalchik
Known For: Mount Elbrus is one of the 10 tallest peaks in the entire world. It’s the highest point in Russia. This mountain is actually a dormant volcano. There are two summits at the top of the mountain: one is on the eastern side of the mountain and the other is on the western side.
Because Mount Elbrus is a glacial mountain, most climbing excursion companies will require that anyone who wants to try and climb this mountain has glacial climbing experience. For United States that means having experience climbing Mount Rainier in Washington or some of the Alaskan glacial mountains.
The snow, high altitude, and severe weather can make it difficult to climb Mount Elbrus but any hikers or mountain climbers who have climbed peaks in Alaska or in the Alps should be able to handle a Mount Elbrus climb. It’s advised that you travel with an excursion guide company though for safety and for ease of access to the mountain.
2. Mount Dykh-Tau
Located in: Kabardino-Balkaria
Height: 17,077 feet
Nearby City: Bezingi
Known For: Mount Dykh-Tau is the second-highest peak in Russia. It’s another glacial mountain that is very remote. This mountain is located very close to the Georgia-Russian border and it’s difficult to reach.
From the nearest town of Bezingi, climbers need to hire special four wheel drive vehicles to take them and their gear to a base camp at the foot of the mountain. From that base camp the climb to the top of Mount Dyk-Tau can take two days or more. Compared to the relatively easy climb of Mount Elbrus anyone that wants to try and climb Mount Dykh-Tau will find it a hard journey. Only very experienced hikers and mountain climbers who are used to extreme hiking conditions and very cold weather should attempt this climb. And even then it should only be attempted with the help of a local guide company.
3. Mount Koshtan Tau
Located in: Kabardino-Balkaria
Height: 16,900 feet
Nearby City: Bezengi
Known For: Mount Koshtan-Tau is close to Mount Dykh-Tau and together the two are known as “Brothers of Bezengi”. And like Mount Dykh-Tau, the climb to the summit of Mount Koshtan-Tau is a particularly difficult one.
There is one relatively easy trail that leads to the summit. But the easier trail is not always accessible because of the weather conditions. Most hikers and climbers who want to try and get to the summit of this mountain launch their expeditions in the summer when the weather is less likely to be deadly. But treks up the mountain are available all year long except in the worst weather.
Hikers and climbers who want to make the ascent are encouraged to spend a few days at the base camp at the foot of the mountain practicing their extreme weather hiking and camping skills and getting acclimated to the weather. Excursion guides are also highly recommended even for hikers who have significant experience climbing some of the world’s most rugged peaks.
4. Pushkin Peak
Located in: Kabardino-Balkaria
Height: 16,621 feet
Nearby City: Bezengi
Known For: Like other mountains in the region, Pushkin Peak is a tough climb. In fact, no one made a successful ascent of this mountain until 1937. And after that the next successful climb to the summit didn’t occur until 2007.
Only mountain climbers who are at the top of their climbing game should attempt to take on Pushkin Peak. But hikers who have made it only part way up the mountain say that the climb is worth it. The stunning views can’t be duplicated and some say they are life-changing. There are several vantage points on the mountain where you will be able to see panoramic views of the Tuzuak glacier.
5. Mount Vottovaara
Located in: Karelia
Height: 1,368 feet
Nearby City: Gimoly
Known For: Compared to the vast soaring glacial peaks found in other parts of Russia Mount Vottovaara seems very small. However, this area is very unique. There are otherworldly rock formations all over this large hill that could be remnants from an ancient culture or something else. Many people say that the area is home to some sort of special energy convergence similar to the energies at Stonehenge in the U.K.
Vottovaara is also famous for the Stairway to the Sky, or Stairway to Heaven. The Stairway to the Sky is a set of ancient stone steps that look like they were carved out of sheer rocky side of mountain. However, the stair formations could be natural in origin. It’s possible that they were carved out of the mountain by glacial movements and the movement of the water in three nearby lakes over the century.
No matter what your theory is on the strange energy, unusual rock formations, and the Stairway to the Sky if you get the chance to climb Mount Vottovaara you should take it. It will be a once in a lifetime chance to see a stunning landscape.
6. Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Located in: Kamchatka Krai
Height: 15,584 feet
Nearby City: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij
Known For: Klyuchevskaya Sopka is famous for being the tallest active volcano in the whole Eurasian area. It’s a traditional cone shaped volcano so even though the height is massive it can be climbed from all directions. If you make it to the summit the views are nothing less than extraordinary. The best route for climbers is to go through the Klyuchevskaja nad Kamen pass and approach the summit from the south.
Accessing this mountain to climb it can be as tough, as the climb because it lies in a remote region quite close to the Bering Sea. Depending on how you travel and the time of the year when you travel you may need to travel for several days to get to the base camp. During some times of the year you may need to take a helicopter flight to reach the base camp.
7. Mount Fisht
Located in: Adygea
Height: 9,410 feet
Nearby City: Solokhay
Known For: Mount Fisht is easier than some of the other mountains in Russia to climb. Moderate to experienced mountain climbers should be able to complete this trek.
Mount Fisht has it all, from an extensive cave and cavern system below the mountain to alpine and subalpine meadows and flatlands that you can take a break in as you climb to the summit. Some researchers believe that this mountain was once an island in an ancient ocean and that’s why the caves and caverns exist beneath the mountain. The stunning mountain meadows filled with wildflowers in the summer are a sight you’ll never forget. So is the view from the summit, which is not that difficult to reach. You will still need a guide though to make this trek successfully.
8. Zub Drakona
Located in: Sayan Mountains
Height: 1,004 feet
Nearby City: Krasnoyarsk Krai
Known For: Zub Drakona means “dragon’s tooth” and it describes the shape of this unique peak. Even though this mountain is not very tall the jagged peak and narrow width make it a tough climb.
Unlike some of the other mountains in Russia, this one doesn’t require a guide. It won’t take days to reach the summit and you can make this hike even if you don’t have a lot of mountain climbing experience. Accessing the mountain will probably be the toughest part of the climb. The views from this ancient mountain are stunning. It’s a great place for a day hike that will provide amazing views without the kind of multiple day journey that other mountains in Russia require.
Located in: Altai Mountains
Height: 14,784 feet
Nearby City: Novosibirsk
Known For: Belukha is one of the most breathtaking mountains in the world. To the native people in the region it’s an ancient and sacred site. Buddhist theology says that the land of Shambhala is accessed through Belukha. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and visiting it is a once in a lifetime chance to experience one of the most magical places in the world.
Belukha is a tough climb even for experienced climbers. You will need to go with a guide and you will have to demonstrate that you have significant climbing skills before you can go. If you are up for the challenge you will get to see some of the most stunning views in the world. However, it’s not a trek for the faint of heart.
If you are not an experienced climber you can still experience the stunning wonder of Belukha with a guided camping trip. Guides will take travelers on horseback to the base camp of the mountain where they can camp in tents under the stunning Siberian sky and take small hikes on some of the easier trails at the base of the mountain.
Located in: Yugyd Va National Park
Height: 5,971 feet
Nearby City: Pechora
Known For: Manaraga is a remote mountain that lies within a national park so getting to it can be more difficult than getting up it.
Depending on the season you may need to travel by helicopter to get to the base camp of the mountain. However, once you get there you should be able to climb Manaraga even if you don’t have a lot of climbing experience. There are both easy trails and tougher trails so that hikers and mountain climbers of all experience levels can enjoy a trek on Manaraga.
10 Tallest Mountains in Russia
- Mount Elbrus
- Mount Kazbek
- Shota Rustaveli Peak
- Klyuchevskaya Sopka
- Belukha Mountain
Highest Point in Russia
Mount Elbrus: 18,510 feet
Summary of 10 Stunning Mountains in Russia
Here’s a recap of the 10 magnificent mountains we took a look at that are located in Russia.
|1||Mount Elbrus||Southern Russia||18,510 feet||Nalchik|
|2||Mount Dykh-Tau||Kabardino-Balkaria||17,077 feet||Bezingi|
|3||Mount Koshtan Tau||Kabardino-Balkaria||16,900 feet||Bezengi|
|4||Pushkin Peak||Kabardino-Balkaria||16,621 feet||Bezengi|
|5||Mount Vottovaara||Karelia||1,368 feet||Gimoly|
|6||Klyuchevskaya Sopka||Kamchatka Krai||15,584 feet||Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij|
|7||Mount Fisht||Adygea||9,410 feet||Solokhay|
|8||Zub Drakona||Sayan Mountains||1,004 feet||Krasnoyarsk Krai|
|9||Belukha||Altai Mountains||14,784 feet||Novosibirsk|
|10||Manaraga||Yugyd Va National Park||5,971 feet||Pechora|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/_curly_
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is unique about Mount Elbrus?
Mount Elbrus is one of the ten tallest peaks in the entire world. It’s the highest point in Russia. This mountain is actually a dormant volcano. There are two summits at the top of the mountain. One is on the eastern side of the mountain and one is on the western side of the mountain.
Which mountain has ties to Stonehenge in the UK?
Compared to the vast soaring glacial peaks found in other parts of Russia Mount Vottovaara seems very small. However, this area is very unique. There are very unique and other worldly rock formations all over this large hill that could be remnants from an ancient culture or something else. Many people say that the area is home to some sort of special energy convergence similar to the energies at Stonehenge in the U.K.
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