The Polar Ural mountains are in many ways they are the perfect trekking spot for adventure seekers from all over the world. The can be accessed easy by a train, the trip will be dirt cheap and you will get the thrill that little places can offer, however don’t expect the trip to be easy. The Polar Urals do require a significant physical and mental stamina and experience in adventure travel.
The easiest way to polar Ural mountains is by train. The journey lasts two and a half days. The best place to start your journey will be the coal miners city of Vorkuta. Or on the Asian side of Ural mountains the town Labytnangi from where the actual mountains can be reached. The best and in fact the only time for trekking in Polar Ural is summer months June, July and August.
The first thing you have to know about travelling in these places is you will have to speak Russian. There is no other way – you have to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of Russian. Another thing about the Polar Urals you have to know is that the only way you can go there is on your own – there are no guides our tour operators (at least I don’t know of any), that would organize such trips. Another important thing is that everything you will need you will carry on your own, in your backpack. And I really mean everything – the food, your clothes, camera, GPS. Literally everything will be on your back, so you can look forward to a really big and heavy backpack. There are small settlements and villages along the railroad, but by just looking at the map you can’t be sure that there are still someone living there, so you can’t be sure that you can buy food at the next settlement.
Such trip requires really serious preparations. You have to be sure that your gear will hold for the time you are there and because you will be doing huge distances on foot with no roads or even paths do not wear new boots because they can really badly rub of your feet. Also you will have to take with you some good rain clothes – a light rain jacket should be enough in summer. A GPS is a must or at least a topographic map of the area. If you are a photographer forget heavy professional cameras and lenses, go for the lighter amateur cameras.
Travelling in such a desolate place like Polar Ural Mountains can be extremely challenging, but at the same time it is very rewarding. The almost absolute absence of man, the nature of the Russian tundra and the fact that you are hundreds of kilometers away from home certainly has it’s appeal. The Polar Ural Mountains can be very enjoyable, it just take some preparations.