Listvyanka - Bolshie Koty

One of the most accesible and picturesque trails
24 km one-way
Difficulty: Moderate
Be aware of ticks and snakes
About this trail
  • Length
    24 km one-way
  • Difficulty
    Moderate to easy depending on your physical shape
  • Dangers
    Ticks and snakes
  • Campsites
    Yes, many
  • Permission
    Yes, you have to get a permission. See how.
  • Water
    Many springs with clean water
How to get there
You have several options for this trail: you can make a return trip, starting from Listvyanka or Bolshie Koty.

How to get to the start of the trail:
- If you start from Listvyanka, you can get there by bus or by boat from Irkutsk.
- If you start from Bolshie Koty, you can get there only by boat from Irkutsk or Listvyanka

In summer, due to the high popularity of these destinations, we advise you to buy tickets from buses and boats in advance.
In order to hike this trail, you have to get permission for the entrance to Pribaykalsky National Park. There are several ways to get it:

Office in Listvyanka
Listvyanka, Gorky str., 2
tel.: +7 (3952) 659-210
(a two-storey building on the coast of lake Baikal in Listvyanka)

Office in Irkutsk
Irkutsk, Baikalskaya str., 291B
Monday - Thursday 09:00-18:00
Friday - 09:00-17:00.
tel.: +7 (3952) 350-615, +7 (3952) 350-662

You can also get the permission without visiting the office: you'll have to provide all the information about your plans to visit the National Park via email and pay for the permission with a bank transfer. For more details and examples of the email, please visit
Information on potable water
The water of Baikal may contain small particles of seaweed. Thus, drinking from the lake is possible only if you have a portable filter. If you don't have a filter, there are streams with potable water along the trail where you can fill your bottles. The campsites are usually located nearby.
For this trail no equipment needed. However, it is good to have proper hiking shoes. If you have trekking poles, take them with you, especially when carrying a heavy backpack.

Also, as there is no pharmacy in Bolshie Koty, it is recommended to have a basic medical kit with you, especially when going for a longer trip with a tent.
There is a shop in Bolshie Koty where you can buy food and some basic personal hygiene items. It has no official work schedule, do not expect it to work after 9pm.
This part of Great Baikal trail is very picturesque, it goes up into the mountains through a forest. Sometimes it descends and passes straight along the shore, where you can catch beautiful views of Baikal. On the coast there are campsites where one can set up a tent and spend the night.

If you start from Listvyanka, in order to find the beginning of the trail, you should go along Gudin street until it ends. There are several places where you can set up a tent near the beginning of the trail close to the stream with potable water. The most difficult part of the trail starts at the beginning - a long (approximately 4.5 km), but not steep ascent (approximately 450 m elevation). The trail goes through a forest, there is not so many sightseeing during this part, but the positive side is that trees hide you from the heat during hot summer days.

Somewhere closer to the top of the mountain there will be a fork in the road - just follow the signs and you'll not lose the trail. If you see a steep descent – you're going wrong way, and should turn back to chose another path at the fork, otherwise be prepared for a steep and very often slippery path. If you are going down a serpentine path - you chose the right path. From here in 10 minutes you'll reach Lake Baikal. There is a good place where you can set up a tent, a stream with potable water and table.

There is another fork just after you cross the stream. You should follow the signs and chose the one that goes uphill to the mountain, otherwise you will take a dangerous path where there is a danger of falling off the cliff. There were several lethal accidents in the last few years. After a short ascent, the trail follows the shoreline - it is easy, with minor ascents and descents. There is only one trail and it is impossible to lose it during this part of the way.
Other trails
Explore different parts of Lake Baikal!
Bolshie Koty — Bolshoe Goloustnoe
Length: 30km
Dufficulty: Moderate
Olkha plateau rocks
Length: 6km
Dufficulty: Easy to Moderate