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Flora of the West Altai

Duration: 4 days/3 nights

The tour program includes visiting Altai Botanical garden, walking in the forest, and hiking in the West Altai Mountains.
You will get to know the rich flora of the West Altai and see the most common plants of the region, as well as endemic plants and plants listed in the Red Book.
You will visit Poperechnoye village, which had been founded in XVIII century, and become a guest in a typical peasant house with Russian sauna (banya), a garden, horses, a cow, chickens, and cats. All the ingredients used for cooking meals are natural, grown in own gardens of local villagers.

Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Number of Participants: 2-6
Trip Departure Point: Oskemen
Type of the route: hiking and exploring
Average time on the route: 9 hours a day
Length of the route: 400 km
Length of the hike: 8 km (with frequent stops)
Height difference: up to 9000 m
Height above the sea level: 700 m - 1600 m
Recommended physical preparation: medium, weak
Recommended time: May 10 – August 10

Day 1

9.00 – Transfer to Ridder

11.30 – Ridder city tour

13.00 - Lunch at a cafe in Ridder(optional)

14.00 - Excursion to Altai Botanical Garden. Botanical Garden, which has gathered unique and relict plants of Altai. The scientific staff of the garden will tell in detail about plants and work of scientists - florists. You will be surprised at the results of their work. For about 80 years, scientists have been bringing rare and relic plants from the expeditions and growing them on the specially protected natural territory of the garden.

16.30- Excursion to local Regional Museum

18.30- Check-in at the hotel

19.00- Dinner at a cafe in Ridder (optional)

Rest in Altai Hotel

Day 2

8.00 - Breakfast.

9.00 - Start of the route.

We use a car to move along the route with frequent stops without leaving the road at more than 300-meter distance to explore various types of plants. The road passes through several high-altitude zones, which makes it possible to see the plants of different zones within one day. The guide (a scientific worker and a florist) will tell in detail about plants and share some of their legends.
The route starts from Konovalovka village, runs along a gravel road along the picturesque foothills of the Ivanovskiy Ridge to Poperechnoe village. Considerable remoteness from the ocean and open seas causes the continentality of the climate with pronounced differences in daily temperatures. Most part of the route is passed by car with some stops that offer a magnificent panorama of the eastern part of the Ivanovsky Ridge (the Three Brothers mountain range, Krestovayamountain, Broad Log).

During the excursion you can see forests of Siberian firs (Abies sibirica) and relict plants, such as Wintergreen - P?rola, Resurrection plant - Lycop?dium clav?tum, Ferns - Polypodi?psida

As well as the main forest-forming species, namely , Warty birch - B?tula p?ndula, the furry Siberian pines, spruces, and firs - P?nus sibirica.

In the undergrowth, you can see Siberian mountain ash (Sorbus sibirica), Siberian red currant (R?besr?brum), Yellow acacia (Carag?na arbor?scens), Altai honeysuckle (Lon?cera altaicum).

At any time of the year the plants of Altai astonish visitors with the variegation of the grass stand, including primroses, such as Siberian Trout Lily – Erythr?nium sib?ricum, Altai 'crested lark' - Corydalis, Altai and Blue Anemones - Anemonoides, Spring Primrose - Primula vulgaris,

And plants of the forests and meadows, namely Alpine Delphinium – Delph?nium el?tum, Allium Microdictyon, Meadow Geranium – Ger?nium pretense, Acon?tum leucost?mum, Goldenrod - Solid?go gebler, Tuberous Jerusalem Sage – Phlomo?des tuber?sa, Thalictrum - Thalictrum and other species.

Damp glades among the forests may surprise you with sign plants of the Altai flora, such as Trollius Altaicus.

Also, we can see:

Herbaceous plants: European feather grass (bluegrass family) – Stipa pennata, Alpine Onion, Crescus, Calba (leek family) – Allium microdictyon, Altai Rhubarb (buckwheat family) – Rheum altaicum, Golden Daisy (buttercup family) – Adonis villosa, Eastern Pasqueflower, prairie crocus (buttercup family) – Pulsatilla patens, Herbaceous perennial peony (peony family) – Paeonia anomala, Tuberous flowering plant (barberry family) – Gymnospermium altaicum, Golden Root (Crassulaceae family) – Rhodiola rosea, Siberian Altai Plant (Rosaceaefamily) – Sibiraea altaiensis, Maral Root, Russian Leuzea (Composite family) – Rhaponticum carthamoides, Altai onion - Allium altaicum, Asian species of wild onion- Allium ledebourianum, Marsh-marigold, Kingcup – Caltha palustris, Siberian columbine - Aquilegia glandulosa, Alpine sweetvetch - Hedysarumtheinum, Altai viola - Viola altaica, Large-flowered Gentian - Gentianagrandiflora, White hellebore - Veratrumlobelianum, Siberian Fawn Lily or Siberian Trout Lily Erythronium sibiricum (Fisch. etMey.) Kryl., Altay globeflower Trollius altaicus C.A.Mey, Herbaceous Perennial Peony Paeonia anomala L, Meadowsweet or measwort Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim, Fireweed or Willowherb (Rosebay Willowherb) - Chamaenerionan gustifolium (L.) Scop, Lathyrus Gmelini - Lathyrusgmelinii Fritsch, Lungwort - Lungwort PulmonariamollisWulf. ex Hornem.

Woody Plants:
CUPRESSACEAE Rich.etBartl. - the Cypress Family the Siberian juniper- Juniperus.sibiricaBurgsd.
BETULACEAE S. F. Gray - the Birch family Warty birch- Вetula pendula Roth (В.verrucosaEhrh.).
GROSSULARIACEAE DC – the Shrub family, Blackcurrant- Ribes nigrum.
ROSACEAE Juss. – the Rose family, the Spirea- Spiraea media Franz Schmidt, the Siberian Mountain Ash- Sorbus sibirica Hedl, Red Raspberry- Rubus idaeus L. (R. sericeusGilib.), Sakhalin Raspberry- R. sachalinensis Levl. (R. matsumuranus Levl. Et Vaniot.), Shrubby cinquefoil, tundra rose – Pentaphylloides fruticosa (L.) O.Schwarz, the Prickly wild rose or the Bristly rose - Rosa acicularis Lindl, Scotch (Burnet) Rose- R. spinosissima L. (R. pimpinellifolia.), Bird cherry (hackberry) - Padusavium Mill. (Р. racemosa (Lam.) Gilib.), Altai Siberian plant- Sibiraeaaltaiensis (Laxm.) Schneid. (S. laevigata (L.) Maxim.).
SAMBUCACEAE Batsch ex Borkh. – the Flowering plants, Siberian elderflower- Sambucus sibirica Nakai.
CAPRIFOLIACEAE Juss. – the Honeysuckle family, Altai honeysuckle - Lonicera altaica Pall. ex DC, Tatar honeysuckle - L. tatarica L.

Lunch (lunch box provided)

Next part of the route in Poperechnoye village

17.30 Arrival at the Poperechnoye village. Check-in at guest houses

Poperechnoye is an ancient taiga village with a rich 250-year history. This cozy one-street village stands across the White Uba river, hence its name, and surrounded by picturesque landscapes – mountain ridges, hills covered with thick deciduous and coniferous forests, an abundance of fragrant herbs, and several sparkling rivers. The nature here is breathtakingly amazing.

19.00 - Be ready for a warm welcome and hot homemade dinner



Day 3

08.00 Slow breakfast made from natural farm products will fill you with power and energy for the whole day ahead

09.00 Special off-road transport equipped with minimum comforts will take you to West Altai Nature Reserve, which is one of the pearls in the crown of East Kazakhstan.

The West-Altai State Nature Reserve covers an area of more than 86 000 hectares. Even though it is not the largest one in Kazakhstan, it does have many interesting places and mysterious phenomena on its territory. It is going to amaze you with its beauty, enchant with furry firs and the singing of rare birds. 1-hour ride along the gravel road will take us to the Reserve. At the beginning of the route, we find ourselves in a magical coniferous forest. Century cedars, spruces, firs, and larches hiding bushes and grasses under their canopy. Here, we will have a 5-km walk and a 300-meter climb. Today, we will see the plants of alpine and subalpine zones. Member of the scientific staff of the Reserve will tell us about unique plants typical of West Altai and share the methods of their exploration and preservation.

We will also get to see some herbaceous plants: Martagon lily or Turk's cap lily- L?lium m?rtagon, Meadowsweet or mead wort – Filip?ndula ulm?ria, Leopard's bane - Doronicum, Buttercup - Ran?nculus, Marsh grass or Parnassus – Parn?ssia pal?stris, White clover – Trifolium repens, Meadow clover - Trifolium pratense, Lousewort - Pedicularis, Leopard plant - Ligularia

Lunch in the forest (lunch box provided)

18.00 Returning to Poperechnoye

Dinner (based on your preferences)



Day 4

A large breakfast before our departure to Ust-Kamenogorsk

Transfer to Ust-Kamenogorsk

Transfer to the airport

Necessary things:
- hiking boots;
- windproof and waterproof clothes;
- hat;
- sunglasses;
- sunscreen;
- first Aid Kit;
- means of personal hygiene;
- specialized equipment – cameras, binoculars, etc;
- other personal items that may be required during a trip.

Number of persons
Tour Price per 1 person
2-person group
460 USD
3-person group
350 USD
4-person group
300 USD
5-person group
265 USD
6-person group
240 USD
NON INCLUDES (Extra cost)

- transfer UstKamenogorsk – Ridder – Ust-Kamenogorsk;
- off-road transport on the route;
- accommodation in Altai Hotel in Ridder – 1 night. Accommodation in a guesthouse in Poperechnoye village (Russian sauna (banya), outdoor facilities). Please note the village does not have WC blocks. The toilets are long drop allowing for natural decomposition;
- guide services;
- meals according to the program (FB). Let us know if you have any food preferences (like being a vegetarian) or are allergic to certain ingredients. We will certainly take this fact into account when compiling the menu;
- light snacks during the hike – dried fruits and nuts (150g per person a day);
- drinking bottled water – 1.5 liters a day;
- registration in the Ministry of Emergency Situations (the route takes place in the border area and requires special registration of tourists).

- english-speaking translator
- medical insurance (if required)











Please note:
- cost of the tour may vary depending on the number of tourists;
- the time of departure from Ust-Kamenogorsk \ arrival in Ust-Kamenogorsk is indicative and can not be considered a mandatory item of the program;
- the time and procedure for the provision of tourist services declared in the program may vary with the preservation of their volume and quality;
- the company reserves the right to change the itinerary, as well as the time of tourists staying on the route under adverse weather conditions, in order to ensure the safety of tourists.

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