From Kamchatka Explorer Magazine: Kamchatka’s Hot Springs

Second only to Kamchatka’s volcanoes for visitor attractions, are thermal springs finding their way to the surface from the bosom of the earth. The peninsula abounds in hundreds of springs, many are accessible, others more challenging to reach. Some springs are on the territory of nature reserves, while others are out of reach in the mountains. Here is described the most popular hot springs that are accessible for tourists without a helicopter.
Zelenovskye Lakes

Near Pinachevo hydrogen sulfide pool, there are bathing places called “Zelenovskye Ozerki.” These hot springs are, probably, the most popular on the peninsula. A preventive clinic has been built here. Every day, hundreds of people come to these springs to restore their health.

Photo: V. Rusin

Paratunka Thermal Springs

Nizhnye Paratunskye Thermal Springs
Nizhnye Paratunskye or Lower Paratunka Thermal Springs are easy to reach, which makes them very popular with the residents and visitors. Thermal water outlets, heated by the earth to 92 °С, are found in the Paratunka River valley. Of all places with thermal springs, this area is the most habitable. There are many recreation centers with swimming pools, comfortable rooms, and lodges. The recreation centers and resorts are located 60 kilometers from Petropavlovsk.

Verkhne-Paratunskye Springs
Verkhne-Paratunskye or Upper Paratunka Springs are situated 18 km southwest of Paratunka village on the left slope of the river valley with the same name. They are concentrated on a small slope break of Goryachaya or Hot Hill. Here about twenty hot springs merge, forming three warm parallel brooks. Seventy meters downstream from their sources, the brooks, flowing along abrupt slopes, end in a warm waterfall. The springs are located 70 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Karymshinskye Hot Springs
These springs are a part of Upper Paratunka geothermal system. They are located 80 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Karymshina River valley. In the center of the spring site there is a borehole with outflowing hot water. There is also a small pool, a changing room, and a pool with cool water. From May to November one can reach them from Petropavlovsk by any transport except for public bus. In winter – by snowmobile or skis from Termalny settlement.

Malkinskye Thermal Springs

Malky is one of the most popular places for recreation with residents of Petropavlovsk and Yelizovo. The springs are found in a picturesque locale, 5 kilometers east of Malky village on the Klyuchovka River bank. On a small thermal field covered with pebbles, there are six groups of gryphons where thermal water mixes up with the cold river water.
Hundreds of people arrive here with their families and friends to camp on weekends. Malky is linked to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky by 125 km of asphalt road.

 

Photo: R. Bavykin

Nalychevo Thermal Springs

Fifty kilometers from Petropavlovsk, in the opposite direction from Paratunka, lie Nalychevo Hot Springs. The 40 sq. km. area holds several hundred springs. The most famous of them are Nalychevo Mineral Springs. Talovskye are the most exotic springs in Nalychevo: within a 1,500 meter area thermal water emerges in large funnels on top of travertine domes, which can be over two meters high. The springs are located 50 km from Petropavlovsk. Accommodation is available in cabins and camping.

Photo: O. Stryukova

 

Photo: O. Stryukova

 

Photo: A. Tereschenko

 

Zhirovskye Thermal Springs

The springs are located in the middle current of the Zhirovaya River, 10 km from the Pacific Ocean shore at the base of Zhirovsky Volcano. A tourist refuge including cabins is equipped with a thermal water pool. There are several large and numerous small gryphons with water up to 99 °C. The springs are located 25 km from Mutnovskaya Geothermal Power Station.

The Bystrinsky District’s  Thermal Springs

Anavgaiskye Springs
are found in the Bystraya River valley, 8 km southeast of Anavgai aboriginal village. In the village there is a swimming pool with thermal water and amenities. Several upward springs come from the lake bottom and along its shores. The lake having 240 sq. km. aquatory is located on a flood-plain terrace. The temperature of springs is below 43 °С. The springs are found 495 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Esso Hot Springs
are located in the Uksichan River valley, 2 km from its mouth. Six large springs are scattered in a flood plain terrace. The hot springs provide the central settlement of the Bystrinsky District, Esso village, with thermal heat. Every hotel as well as almost every private house has a pool with thermal water. The springs are located 520 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Timonovskye Thermal Springs

These springs are a monument of nature found on the territory of the Timonovsky Regional Zoological Sanctuary. The springs are located on both banks of a picturesque narrow valley located on the left upper reach of the Pad Timonovskaya River (the left tributary of the Srednaya or Middle Avacha River), 2 km to the northwest of Timonovskaya Mountain, at 700 meters above sea level. The springs are located 70 km from Razdolny village.

Bolshye Bannye Hot Springs
The springs are located in the southern part of the peninsula in a picturesque valley on the upper flood-plain terrace on the left bank of the Bannaya River. There are 24 groups of springs scattered over the thermal field of 1.5 km, with over 550 water outlets. Bolshye Bannye Hot Springs are very popular with off-road drivers because of the challengingly rough 40 km road from the springs to the nearest settlement Sokoch village.

Turmokskye Thermal Springs

The springs are located 20 km from Low-Shchapinskye. There are 15 thermal water outlets 42-58 °С. There are comfortable bath houses, a cozy hotel, and cabins. The springs are hard to reach because they are located far from Petropavlovsk. It’s recommended to visit them with tourist groups organized by travel companies providing transfer to the springs. Also walking tours from Kipelye Springs (20 km) or from Lazo village (about 65 km) are available. It’s almost impossible to tell about all holiday places located at Kamchatka’s thermal springs. However, no matter what you may choose for rest and recreation, the effect will amaze you. Any of them will help you to regain strength from Kamchatka’s unique nature.

Verkhne Hot Springs

Verkhne or Upper Opalskye Hot Springs are a monument of nature located on the territory of the Oleny Dol or Deer Dole Regional Sanctuary. The Upper Opalskye Springs are found on the right bank of the Levaya or Left Opala River’s nameless tributary, approximately 3 km from its mouth and from 4 km to the east of 536 m elevation. Four high-output gryphons (up to 25 l/s) with water temperature of 72-74 °C are found in a birch tree forest. The springs are located 180 km from Petropavlovsk. Plan to camp.

Kipelye Thermal Springs

The left-bank springs consist of two man-made pools 35 and 20 sq. meters. The bubbling water in the tubs resembles boiling water, though its temperature is only 38 and 40 °С. The water drains to the river. The right-bank springs are located 250 meters from the left-bank springs. Here on the thermal field is a warm lake, stretching along the river bank with numerous gas and water outlets on its bottom and on its shores. The water temperature is 33-35 °С. Kipelye Springs are located 40 km from Shchapino village in the Kronotsky Federal Nature Reserve.

This article was published with permission from Kamchatka Explore Magazine. Author: Ivan Fomin

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