Helicopter excursion to the Southern Group of volcanoes & hot springs

The Southern Group of volcanoes includes two active volcanoes – Mutnovsky (2322 m) and Gorely (1829 m) and one extinct volcano – Vilyuchinsky (2173 m). The ancient giants are located on a vast volcanic plateau in 75 kilometers on South from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city. This mountainous rocky area is completely free from snow only for three months of the year. There are also several fields of healing hot springs.

Points of interest

The Mutnovsky Volcano

The Mutnovsky Volcano can rightly be called one of the most beautiful and interesting of not only volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula, but all over the world. Life here boils in the truest sense of the word. Active fumaroles, steam emissions, mud pots, outcrops of minerals, volcanic sulfur, a fantastic volcanic landscape make this place one of the best volcanic manifestations in the world. The volcano is a short ridge formed by four merged cones. The explosions formed two overlapping crater – North and South in the Western part of the array, from above resembling a figure eight stretched out on the 4 km. Diameter of craters reaches 1.5 – 2 km, and depth reaches up to 600 m. The third crater is “Active funnel” adjacent to the first two on the West side and is the main place of modern activity of the volcano. The highest point (2322 m) is on the East, is already inactive cone.

The Gorely volcano

Gorely volcano is one of the most beautiful volcanoes of Kamchatka. His age is impressive – 38-40 thousand years. From the outside, it’s barely looks like volcano as it hasn’t distinct cones and visible signs of life in the form of fumarole jets or ash emissions. Its height above sea level is 1829 m. The Gorely Volcano is a ridged array, formed from numerous fused cones and has several craters not very intensity and powerful. Thousands of years ago it was a huge volcano with a base diameter about 25 km with the appropriate height. During eruptions giant lava flowed to the surface and stretch for tens of kilometers. These flows are very visible now. As a result, magmatic boiler under the volcano dried up and the volcano collapsed, forming a huge, almost perfectly circular Caldera. One of the most beautiful craters of the volcano – is the Сrater Bowl, with cold glacial lake inside. The diameter of the crater is 200 m, depth 75 m.

The Ksudach volcano

The Ksudach volcano is located on the territory of the South Kamchatka Sanctuary. It is declared a natural monument of landscape and geological nature. This is a truncated cone with a base of 18 to 22 km with different age caldera complex. The northern part of the main caldera hosts the Shtyubel’ cone. Eastern and northeastern trio of the calderas and the Shtyubel’ crater contain crater lakes.

In 1907 a catastrophic eruption happened here and literally shook half of the world: the atmospheric disturbances were observed in Europe. This eruption is one of the most powerful in the modern history of Kamchatka.  

The Klyuchevoe lake in the eastern part of the caldera has an oblong shape, with its size being of 4 by 2 km. On every side it surrounded by 400 to 500 m high walls. On its northwestern shore the Ksudachinskie hot springs can be found, forming the Goryachy Beach.

The Khodutkinskie Hot Springs

The springs are located on the northwest of the Khodutkinsky mountain group, on a flat meadow surrounded by a birch forest. Thermal waters come from many mud springs and forms one creek. Springs bubble on its bottom and on both sides, so that it turns into a 30 m wide and 1,5 m deep creek that doesn’t freeze in winter. You can swim in it all year round. The temperature in mud springs reaches 70OC. Down the creek, where it flows through the forest, you can choose a location with a temperature you desire and relax, swimming in the gentle flow.

The Khodutkinskie springs, with their large amount of silicic acid, have high medicinal properties. They have been declared a nature sanctuary of landscape and balneological nature.

Tour program

  • Flight from helipad to the Southern Group of volcanoes (≈ 20 min)
  • Overflying of the two active volcanoes Mutnovsky and Gorely (≈ 20 min)
  • Flight to Ksudach caldera (≈ 25 min)
  • Landing at the Goryachiy (Hot) beach in the crater of volcano Ksudach. Short excursion, photographing landscapes (≈ 40 min)
  • Flight to Khodutkinskie hot springs (≈ 20 min)
  • Landing for bathing and lunch (≈ 1 h 30 min)
  • Flight back to helipad (≈ 40 min)

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