Avacha Volcano

An honor guardof volcanoes, welcomes visitors to Kamchatka, arriving at the main airport of the Peninsula. They form Avachinskaya Volcanic Group, which consists of two active and three extinct volcanoes. The farthest east in the row – Kozelsky – nestles against the terraced cone of Avacha, separated from the beautiful classic stratovolcano Koryaksky on its western side by only a saddle.

Avacha Volcano was recently rated as one of Kamchatka’s most active volcanoes. Its cone, which formerly rivaled Koryaksky in symmetry and grace, towered thousands of meters high. A tremendous eruption destroyed Avacha millennia ago. Clouds of scorching ash and volcanic rocks covered the ground in a thick layer, reaching 300 meters deep in some places and forming the contemporary landscape. A new cone appeared on its site.
At present, the cone is almost 3,000 meters high. The volcano did erupt afterwards but later eruptions never approached such catastrophic results. The most recent eruption occurred in 1991. Nowadays, Avacha Volcano is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Russian and foreign tourists every year. Magnificent scenery at the foot of the volcano impresses visitors. Fields of delicately blooming alpine plants cling to life among huge boulders. The rocky landscape is enlivened by the bright “rainbow” of blue, red, yellow, and white flowers. Some of them are endemic and all are surprisingly tender for the harsh Kamchatka climate.
Avacha’s diverse and beautiful botanical array attracts tourists who visit the Peninsula just to admire them. The third Friday of August is a regional festival called Volcano’s Day. The celebration is culminated by a mass ascent of Avacha Volcano. Everyone can test their strength in an attempt to conquer the Colossus’ challenging topography. No special training is needed. The ascent from the foot to the crater may take about three or four hours if one is in excellent physical condition. Warm windproof garments are required as cutting winds and bleak fogs are frequent atop the volcano.
Avacha is reachable by off-road vehicles along the course of the Sukhaya River.