Vachkazhets mountain in Kamchatka
Coordinates – Vachkazhets on the map
Latitude 53°2′44″N Longitude 157°55′49″E
Location - How to get there
Vachkazhets mountain range is located to the west of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city, and it is a part pf Uzhno-Bystrinsky mountain range. Remoteness from the city is not so large, about 80 kilometers. The highest point is Vachkazhets mountain with a height of 1556 meters above sea level.
Mountain range is a nature monument and included in the list of specially protected nature area of regional and local importance in Kamchatka Krai.
Who is interested in a trip to Vachkazhets?
The route is not difficult which is even for unprepared travelers.
The most popular types of tourism there: trekking, skiing, bird watching, enjoying the scenery.
A route to Vachkazhets like a way to your own world
If you drive out Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city you need to move along P-474 highway. We can confidently say that a road to Vachkazhets will be able to become the most wonderful journey for those who would like to know secrets of Kamchatka. Severity of the peninsula combines with tenderness and softness and become even romantic one. Every moment, every centimeter and millimeter of passed way leaves “aftertaste”.
Origin of name
The name of the mountain origins from the ancient word of local itilmen people – Uachkagach, meaning “flowing along the stone ridge”.
One more etymological feature is that itelmens' word “Uach” can be pronounced in Russian like “Vach” because there is a difficulty in pronunciation and way of writing. It makes sense, since “Vach” translates into Russian like “stone”!
The area of mountain range
During powerful eruption the mountain ranged was divided into three parts: Letnya Poperechnaya mountain, Vachkazhtsy mountain and Vachkazhets mountain. The summits were created by broken craters which bind with the narrow mountain isthmuses. The top of the mountains are almost always covered with snow.
Nowadays, the Vachkazhets mountain range is considered an extinct volcano. During ancient powerful eruptions characterized as explosive one, the craters of the volcano were broken, so that it created huge circuses.
During thousand years the insidious glaciers could have reduced the height of the mountains. Melting of the glaciers had been the cause for creating circuses, but it made the place wilder and more original.
There is a glacier lake in one of the circuses, called Takhkoloch.
The small Takhkoloch River flows from the circus of the mountain range. The river feeds from the glacier melting and flows along the valley located between Letnaya Poperechnaya and Vachkazhets mountains, making the cascades of waterfalls. After 18 kilometers, the river falls into the Plotnikov river.
There is a large Nachikinskoye lake on the west side of the mountain. The lake has glacier origin. During spawning period the fish (such as sockeye, pink salmon, coho and char salmon) swims up the Plotnikova river to this lake. Its purpose is to spawn and give a life to new breed.
The unique of Vachkazhets mountain’s flora is a change of vegetation from bush and mountain tundra to tall grasses and mountain meadows. You can breathlessly watch a color play of mountain and alder pines. The golden and pink rhododendrons flowers near the snowfields which are glistening in the sun there.
Every piece of land is a separate world. Forest slopes are very attractive and covered with plants, such as: orchid, Palomino Lady's Slipper, lily debile, pepper-saxifrage, honeysuckles, common juniper. As well, there are tender globeflowers on the valley growing along the path and road. If you go deeper in the forest you will see flowers, such as: Kamchatka fritillary, violet, dog-rose, mountain ash (Sorbus sambucifolia) and many other unique plants. The blossom starts in the end of June – the beginning of July and move from birch forest along the route up.
At that time you will see also indescribable beauty near marshland. In summer the terrain is covered with plants: Sieversia pentapetala, as well as butterbur with bog bilberry.
Along the banks of the mountain river flowing into the Takholoch Lake, you will meet Anemonastrum villosissimum and Parrya nudicaulis which is the only plant from cabbage family with lilac flowers. The plants, such as Cassiope lycopodioides, Diapensia obovate, Alaska harebell, as well as Bryanthus gmelinii, hide among the stones.
The Takholoch lake are surrounded by pinus pumila, Empetrum and dwarf birch which grows on the glade.
You will meet butterfly orchids, round-leaved sundew, labrador tea, as well as cranberry shrubs growing near tundra lakes.
Choosing a route on Vachkazhets, you have all the chances to meet quite rare mineral formations, which at the same time are remains of the rare “ancestor” in these places. In the rocky outcrops it happens to meet minerals, such as quartz and opal. As well, imagine a myriad of old rocks, which cannot be named young rocks, because they are Paleogene and Neogene age.
In short, Vachkazhets mountain range is a paradise for people who are fond of botany and simply those who want to know beautiful nature of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Information for tourists:
The area of Vachkazhets mountain range will be very interesting for tourist who would like to watch local species of birds, blossoming flowers in summer and to ski in winter. In autumn you will be able to see a fantastic riot of colors coupled with magnificent mountain landscape. This amazes and calms your soul.
Vachkazhets mountain range in Kamchatka attracts not only tourists but also owners of the lands – bears. So if you take a trip there, don’t go ahead alone, but stay in your group.
Likewise, you don’t expect that tight fog can down the slopes of the neighboring hills making a possibility to lose yourself in unknown to you places. Be careful.
You need to take with you a mosquito repellent!
Watch the video which was takes in our trip to Vachkazhets.
You will be able to walk along the surroundings and to see the riot of colors by your eyes in our following tours: