The volcanoes of Kamchatka are a large group of volcanoes situated on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. Sculpted by 160 volcanoes and 450 glaciers, the Kamchatka River and the surrounding central side valleys are breathtakingly unique.
Of the 29 active volcanoes dotted across the peninsula, Mutnovsky (a complex volcano), is one of the most active in southern Kamchatka. If you look at it from the shore of Avacha Bay, to the left from Vilyuchinsky, you will see constantly rising columns of billowing steam! Situated about 75 km south of the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Mutnovsky is 2322 meters above sea level.
Ascent to Mutnovsky is a popular activity for both locals and tourists. The hike isn’t difficult as the main goal is to explore the ruined crater, not to reach the summit. Visitors will find that the volcano doesn’t even pretend to be dormant. Greeted by steam and hissing fumaroles (vents from which volcanic gases are emitted), the land is literally breathing, belching dangerous gases and reeking of sulphur.
On one of Mutnovsky’s slopes, there is a magical cave where fire meets ice…
Incredibly beautiful, the interior of the ice cave is jaw-droppingly surreal. Formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields, the glaciers have melted to the point where the roof of the cave is so thin that sunlight penetrates through it. With the colors of the rainbow illuminating the eerie yet mystical icy structures within, the massive caverns are reminiscent of a stained glass cathedral.
Interested in visiting Kamchatka? Want to see the two sides of Mutnovsky in person? Check out the upcoming Bears of Kamchatka tour with Expedition Travellers!