Katun River - uVisitRussia

Katun River

Katun is the main river at Altay and is famous for great rafting routes. Also, the first 50 km after Gorno-Altaysk along Katun river is the area with very good infrastructure and can be recommended to those, who have only a few days and want to get a glimpse of what Altay is like.

Katun is one of the major rivers at Altay, it's 688 km long and starts at the height of 2000 m at south Altay mountains, being

Katun river, Altay mountains, Russia fed by melting glaciers, smaller rivers, and Chuya river (along which passes Chuysky Trakt - the road to Mongolia).From far, Katun looks like a green river, that is because there's a lot of limestone in the water, so the light is reflected in a strange way. Katun is not very wide: closer to Gorno-Altaysk it is just 20-30 meters wide and up towards the stream it may be 50 meters wide.The stream in the river is quite strong, but it is possible to walk in at some places and swim a little bit, especially that the water during summer is not very cold. Katun is also great for fishing. The main attraction of Katun is that for years, since the Soviet times, it has been a mecca for water tourism and rafting trips. Katun has a wide range of rapids of all kinds and complexities. It is a good place both for beginners and advanced rafters. There are a few annual rafting championships taking place at Katun.

Places to Go & Stay Along Katun: The length of Katun river from Gorno-Altaysk to Chemal offers quite nice and comfortable tourbases, where you can stay and which you can use as a starting point for further activities at the mountains. After Chemal village there's no good auto-road, so the area becomes quite wild and you can meet there only advanced rafters, rather than "normal" tourists.Along this way (first 50 km from Gorno-Altaysk) there are a few villages and in almost every village there are a few holiday houses for short-term rent and homestays. In most cases the hosts don't speak English, one night usually costs $5 - $15 per person. Most of the houses are owned by Russian people and by businessmen, so don't expect any "unique" ethnic experience. This type of accommodation is quite popular with Russian auto-tourists.