RAFTING TOUR ON IRKUT RIVER, Grade II
6 Days / 5 Nights
From late May to late September.
best time for this Grade II tour from settlement Anchuk to Shamanka village
is July and August. This 4-days rafting route of 110 km is designed for beginners.
Russian catamarans and rubber rafts can be used for the trip. The average flow
rate varies from 100 to 120 m2/s with an average fall of 5 meters over 4 kms.
The region is almost uninhabited; a few hunter's huts can be found on the Irkut
River banks. Picturesque river gorge, unexpected rapids and the virgin taiga-forest.
The travellers are transferred from Irkutsk to Kultuk. On the way, they can
observe some of the southern Lake Baikal area. They put in for the rafting tour
at the Anchuk Resort before the Zyrkuzunskaya Bend where the Irkut River squeezes
through a tight gorge. The banks are steep and forested. The river is 50 to
100 meters wide. About 5 km before it turns to the west, there are three shoals.
After the shoals and a 12- km straight section, the Zubkogan Rapids come (Grade
2). Further, a long straight section begins.
Fishing is good near the junction of the Bolshaya (Big) and Malaya (Small) Zubkogan
streams, and there are buildings nearby to prove shelter. One km downstream
is another rapid called Zubkoganskaya Shoal and next to it the Maly (Small)
Rapid. The left side is choked with rocks; the river still squeezed in by steep
forested slopes; the valley soon opens up at the Shiroky (Wide) River which
flows into the Irkut River.
most difficult rapid of the tour, the Bolshoye (Big) Rapid is 5 kms downstream
from the junction of the Irkut and Shiroky Rivers. It takes 300 meters of waves
and huge boulders scattered throughout the riverbed. After the rapids, the valley
turns to the east, and large rocks appear on both sides. However, more rapids
are coming. The long and tricky Kosaya (Oblique) Rapid is 7 km past the Bolshoye
Rapids. Next is the Byk (Bull) Rapid which is under a high wall of reddish rock
10 km past the Bolshoye.
Finally, the Glubokaya (Deep) River meets the Irkut and the river valley grows
wider. Traces of timber-cutting can be seen on the banks, and it is easy to
spot the places where logs were dropped into the water for their journey down
to Irkutsk. There are a few forested islands on the way to the deserted settlement
Vyguzovo on the river's left bank.
The trip ends with the 0.5-km wall of the famous Shamansky Cliff. Shamanka,
the first large settlement on the left bank, is located under this cliff. Although
there are loose rocks on the face, rock climbers use the cliff for practice.
These unsteady rocks are hazardous and climbers should be cautious. At Shamanka,
a ferry connects the settlement with the road on the right bank.
Day 1: Arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to hotel/ homestay. 3
hours walking city tour with one museum.
Day 2: Drive 145 km from Irkutsk to village Anchuk at the Irkut
River. Start of rafting.
Day 3-5: Rafting down the Irkut River from village Anchuk to
Day 5: Transfer to Irkutsk (60 km), accommodation in Irkutsk.
Day 6: Transfer to airport/station. Departure from Irkutsk.
It is advisable to include an extra day for a full day excursion to Lake Baikal
in settlements Listvyanka and/or Bolshie Koty by hydrofoil or public bus from