Zmeevaya Bay
Hot Springs

20 km one-way
Difficulty: Moderate
Be aware of ticks and bears
About this trail
  • Length
    20 km one-way
  • Difficulty
  • Dangers
    Bears, ticks
  • Campsites
  • Permission
    Yes, for more information scroll down
  • Water
    Water from Baikal and several springs by the trail
How to get there
Getting to the beginning of the trail is not easy unless you go there by your own car.

By car:
After getting to Ust-Barguzin, pass the bridge over Barguzin River and turn left (almost backwards) at the first crossroad. In 5-10 minutes you will reach the National Park. From the checkpoint of the national park there is a dirt road. This is the only road, so there is no chance you will miss it. Just before the mountains, there will be a turn left. Take it, and in 1.5 km you'll see the informational sign at the beginning of the trail. Depending on your driving skills and condition of the road, the way to the campsite will take you from 1 to 1.5 hours.

By public transport:
First, you need to get to Ust-Barguzin. The only way to do it that does not cost you a lot is to take a bus from Ulan-Ude. The schedule can change every year, there is almost no source of up-to-date information. The only thing you can do is to call the bus services. They speak only Russian, so you will probably have to ask someone (for example the receprionist at your hostel) to call them and ask for the schedule and book the tickets. In summer the buses can be overbooked, so it is better to call in advance. Here is a website of the local bus station:

Then, from Ust-Barguzin there are several ways to get to the beginning of the trail. First is to take a taxi directly to Svyatiy Nos cape. It's the most expensive, but also most comfortable way to get there. The cost will depend on the driver and your trading skills. Second way is to take a taxi to the beginning of National Park and then go by foot (40 km) or try to hitchike. It is the cheapest option, and quite easy in summer, when there are lots of people driving there.
You have to pay an entrance fee at the border of NationalPark.
No equipment needed, but it's good to have proper hiking shoes. If you have trekking poles, take them with you - especially if you carry a heavy backpack.
There is a possibility that there will be shop in Kurbulik village, but better buy everything you need in Ust-Barguzin.
There are many places where you can set up a tent for free. There is also a camping with touristic facilities in the middle of the trail.
The route is a series of short ascents and descents (up to 30% steep), with a big part following the shoreline of the Chivyrkuisky bay. The trail is completely cleared and marked with red paint on the trees along the path. There are touristic facilities such as fireplaces, places for tents and hot tubes (in the end of the trail).

The trail begins on the viewing point near village Monakhovo. The path goes down to the village of Katun, it follows through the village by the shore of Baikal and then again rises serpentine up the slope. Further the trail descends to a small narrow beach and again goes up, getting into the Sorozhya Bay. The bay is passed by the shore of Lake Baikal, then the route follows to the left along the forest road and 100 meters from the shore again up, later descending to the village Kurbulik. The distance from the village Kurbulik to the Zmeevaya Bay is 12 km. There is a shop in this village, it can be open, but it is better not to count on it. From the shop you should start climbing up the slope again, and then go down to Okunevuy Bay. After the bay, the ascent starts again, goes along steep slopes and descends to the shore, then rises again and finally you get to the Kresty Beach in Zmeevaya Bay. From that point it is 5 km to the hot springs. The whole trip usually takes 6-7 hours.
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