RaftSiberia Logo The Katun River

Rafting on the Upper Katun' River

Raft on the Upper KatunThe upper reaches of the Katun' meet us as a wide, quiet, and very fast river. The blue-green water carries the rafts down the wide open valley surrounded by mountains. This trip down the Upper Katun’ will add about 50 km to the Lower Katun’ run and add some more difficult rapids as well.

You will feel power of the river in the first few miles of the run. Smooth standing waves and whirlpools will demand our attention on the first day and great camping spots are everywhere.

Once the Akkem River joins the Katun' from river right we enter the most exciting part of the river. The class IV Akkem Pipe rapids are a rocky corridor divided into eight distinct stages. Enormous standing waves and huge whirlpools are the main features of this canyon. After each stage you have a chance to eddy out and prepare for the next. Running these rapids the pearl of the trip as the rapids are very dynamic and emotional.

After the Akkem Pipe, the valley widens again but remains very picturesque. There are several villages on the bank between the Argut and Chuya rivers. These two major tributaries add glacial sediments and make the Katun’s water very similar to Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Very fast and powerful water with huge smooth waves.

The Upper Katun' ends at the Inya bridge and Yaloman village. This is the start of the Lower Katun’ run which you will enjoy for the next five days. The group will be met at Moscow by our representative and will travel to Barnaul from the Domodedovo Airport.

You can view pictures of our most recent Katun trip on our Katun Pictures page.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

Our guides will meet you early morning at Barnaul Airport. A comfortable bus will take you on a 15 hour trip to the river. A breakfast of sandwiches, dairy food, fruit, and juice will be provided on the bus. You will be responsible for lunch in the village of Sroskti where we will stop at a market where one can buy pies, pancakes, hot boiled potatoes, pickled cucumbers, mushrooms, honey, and shashlyk (pieces of mutton roasted on a spit) among other local foods. We will camp at put-in in the village of Tyungur.

Day 2:

Rafting toward our first rapids. This is a great first day as we will run very fast and simple rapids and will camp at big glade on the right bank.

Day 3:

Rafting through the challenging Akkem Pipe rapids to the mouth of the Argut River. At the confluence, the turbid and whitish Argut flows into the Katun. Our camp tonight is often referred to as Cafe Argut and we will hike up the Argut River to see its last rapid: Atlanty.

Days 4 to 8:

The Katun’ River doubles its volume after its confluence with the Chuya River and we will soon be on Lower Katun'. Tonight we camp below the Ilgumen’ Rapid.

We are now rafting down the Lower Katun’ and will run many class IV rapids including ‘The pipe of Kadrinsk’ (Kadrinskaya Truba) and ‘Shabash’ with incredible whirlpools and pillows.

Day 9:

This will be the last day of rafting includin the rapids Teldekpen’ and Yelandinskiy. There are no more tough rapids, but river is still very fast. We will camp on a big glade upstream of the Chemal village.

Day 10:

Departure to Barnaul on a comfortable bus and we will have lunch again in the Srostki village. In Barnaul we will stay at the Hotel Barnaul (bar, restaurant, sauna, stores, and laundry service). On-the-way and in-town meals are at your own expense.

Day 11:

Departure to the airport.

Tour Includes:

Transfers to and from the Barnaul Airport

English speaking guides


One night accomodation in Barnaul


Scheduled trip date: July 27 - August 5, 2008.

We can run an Upper Katun River trip at any time of the season with a minimum of six participants. If a specific trip date has fewer than six participants the tour price may be increased.

Meals to the put-in and from the take out are not included in the tour price.

Trip Length:

10 days
131 miles


Class IV


July to Aug

Average Gradient :

17 ft/mile

Typical Flow :

23,000 cfs

Put In :

Tyungur Village

Take Out :

Chemal Village

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PO Box 3184, Rocklin, CA 95677
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