Lena Pillars (Ленские столбы)

Image of Lena Pillars

Location: Kytyl- Dyura  Map

Area: 0.485 million ha

Official site


Description of the Lena Pillars

The Lena Pillars Natural Park is a huge territory with an area of 80 thousand hectares, which stretches for 220 km along the banks of the Lena River. It is located on the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) 180 km from its capital - the city of Yakutsk. At the same time, the Lena Pillars occupy only a 40-kilometer coastal line along the right bank of the Lena. In the rest of this natural park you can also admire the Sinsky pillars and similar rocks on the Buotama River. But we'll talk about this a little later. Let's first figure out what natural objects are usually called pillars, how they appear and why they attract travelers from all over the world.

Pillars are usually called high single rocks resulting from soil erosion. In addition to the Lena Pillars, similar natural objects in Russia are found in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Komi Republic. However, unlike these places, on the territory of Yakutia on the banks of the Lena River there are an unusually large number of pillars! They occupy as much as 40 km of coastline, their height ranges from 100 to 200 meters and together they form a unique natural complex reminiscent of a real stone forest.

Lena Pillars are limestone rocks. Once upon a time, this place was the bottom of a prehistoric sea, but the geological changes taking place on the planet led to the rise of the Siberian Plate. So limestone deposits on the seabed became real mountains on the surface of the planet. Then another 200 million years passed before wind, precipitation and the hot sun removed any noticeable part of the rock. And about 400 years ago, this mountain range turned into the very Lena Pillars that we can see now.


What to see and do in Lena Pillars Park?

A journey through the Lena Pillars park is not only a walk along the right bank of the Lena River. On its territory there are many unique and interesting places - both historical and cultural, as well as natural attractions. In addition, the Lena Pillars are an ideal place for real eco-tourism! We recommend visiting and seeing in the park:

the Sinyaya River, which also boasts its own Sinsky pillars. Of course, they are slightly smaller than Lensky (up to 100 meters in height), but no less beautiful;

the Buotama River with its very small pillars, which is also part of the national park;
tukulan "Saamys Kumaga" is the main mystery of the nature of Yakutia. This huge sandy massif appeared along the banks of the Lena River among the impenetrable taiga. Scientists are still arguing where so much sand came from in the Yakut forests and how it turned into a real desert on permafrost;
bisonarium "Ust-Buotama" is a unique nursery on the banks of the Buotama River, where wood bison are raised and they are trying to restore their population in Yakutia. These northern animals once lived in the local taiga, tundra and forest-tundra, but became extinct many years ago. And so, in 2006, the first herd of forest bison was brought to Yakutia from Canada;

petroglyphs, or ancient rock paintings, were discovered in several places in the area. In addition, caves with traces of primitive people were found in the local rocks. Yakut cave paintings are made with yellow paint made from minerals. They depict animals, people, horsemen with banners and runic writing. One of these ancient rock carvings with a horseman can be seen on the modern coat of arms of the republic.

On the way, you should definitely check out two unique museums on the territory of Yakutia: the world’s only specialized Mammoth Museum and the “Kingdom of Permafrost,” an abandoned adit carved out of one of the hills in the suburbs of Yakutsk. Both places are located in the capital of the republic. Well, if you come here in winter, don’t forget to go to the fish market - the largest in the northeastern part of Russia.


How to get there?

Before you go on an excursion to the pillars themselves, you first need to get to the capital of Yakutia - the city of Yakutsk. A one-way flight from Moscow will take about 7 hours. Please remember that the time difference is +6 hours. It turns out that you will have to spend almost the whole day on the road (about 13 hours). But on the way back you will make up for lost hours. And it turns out that the road to Moscow will take only 1 hour!

Several airlines fly to Yakutsk from major Russian cities - Aeroflot, S7, Nordwind and the local air carrier Yakutia. Most flights arrive in the first half of the day. We recommend buying tickets for those arriving in Yakutsk early in the morning. This way you will have another whole day to explore the city and its attractions. You will definitely be able to handle this within 24 hours and will be able to continue your journey the very next day.

The most convenient way to get to the national park is by water, so most tourists prefer to come here in the warm season. During the summer, you have several options to get to the park: join an organized tour in advance, buy a cruise ship ticket on the spot, or rent a boat. Let's say right away that the journey takes several hours one way. Therefore, a trip on a small boat will be quite tiring. It is better to buy tickets for cruise ships in advance, since trips to the Lena Pillars natural park are very popular among the local population.

Well, if you come to Yakutia in winter, then the only chance to see the beauty of the Lena Pillars is to go on an organized or individual expedition. Far beyond the borders of Yakutsk you will have to travel on Trekol all-terrain vehicles. Therefore, organizing a trip on your own in winter is quite difficult. Of course, there are companies that can do this for you, but the cost of such an individual trip will be extremely high.


Expeditions with RussiaDiscovery

RussiaDiscovery has both summer and winter expeditions to the Lena Pillars. Do you want to go on an active tour with rafting along the Lena (the fourth longest in the world) and Sinaya rivers, fish for unique northern fish, swim in a cold Siberian river and enjoy the silence of nature, amazing landscapes and unusually clean air? Then our summer expedition awaits you - “Golden Rocks of Yakutia”, which includes:
rafting on inflatable catamarans on the Lena and Sinaya rivers - people without special training and families with children can join;
climbing to observation platforms and visiting the most beautiful grottoes;
trips to caves with rock paintings of ancient people and a walk through the sacred places of Yakut shamans;
excursion to the bisonarium and a trip to the sand dune (tucuman) in the Yakut taiga.

For those who want to experience the strength of the famous Yakut frost (after all, the world’s Pole of Cold is located on the territory of Yakutia), we have prepared a winter trip - “Expedition to the Pole of Cold”. As part of this trip, you will not only climb the famous Lena Pillars, but also:
learn how the everyday life of Even reindeer herders goes;
meet the charming Yakut Laika and visit farms where special breeds of Yakut horses are bred;
undergo a pagan rite of purification;
take part in ice fishing;
visit the Tomtor ethnographic museum, where you will get acquainted with the culture of the peoples of Yakutia;
you will visit the “Kingdom of Permafrost”, where you will find out what it looks like from the inside (after all, most of Yakutia is located in the permafrost zone);
meet the “Yakut Father Frost” - the lord of the cold, Chyskhaan.



Rock formations, the height of which reaches 220 meters above the river level (abs. marks - up to 321 m), are composed of Cambrian limestones. Tectonically, the Lena Pillars lie within the Siberian Platform. The beginning of the formation of the rocks that formed this natural monument is usually dated to the early Cambrian - 560-540 million years ago. The formation of the Lena Pillars as a landform is dated to a much later period - about 400 thousand years ago, that is, relatively recent geological time. The territory of the Siberian platform was subjected to gradual uplift, resulting in the occurrence of faults and the formation of deep river valleys. This led to the activation of karst processes, which, along with the ongoing erosional weathering, gave rise to such bizarre and diverse forms of rocks composed of carbonate rocks.

The Decembrist A. A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky spoke enthusiastically about the Pillars:
“Some kind of holy silence lies on the virgin creation, and the soul merges with the wild, but majestic nature”


Natural Park

The Lena Pillars Nature Park was organized on the basis of Decree of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) dated August 16, 1994 No. 837 and government decree dated February 10, 1995 and is subordinate to the regional Ministry of Nature Protection. The area of the park is 1353 thousand hectares, the park consists of two branches - "Pillars" and "Sinsky". The main task of the park is the development of ecological tourism.

In addition to the well-known stone "pillars", there are such remarkable objects in the park as fluttering sands-tukulans with separate sections of the cold northern sandy desert, the site of an ancient man at the mouth of the Deering-Yuryakh stream, during the excavations of which stone tools were found (Diring culture ) and burials of the Late Neolithic (Ymyyakhtakh culture, II millennium BC). There are unique permafrost ecosystems. Fossilized remains of representatives of ancient fauna were found in the park area: mammoth (Mammulhus primigenius Blum), bison (Bison priscus Boj), woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiguibatis Blum), etc.

According to natural criteria, the Lena Pillars were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 2, 2012 during the 36th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which was held from June 22 to July 6, 2012 in St. Petersburg (earlier, in 2009, such an attempt failed).


Flora and fauna

470 species of vascular plants grow on the territory of the park, among them 21 species are listed in the Red Book. 202 species of mosses, 83 species of lichens and 76 species of fungi were identified. There are 42 species of mammals in the park. Bear, lynx, wolf, fox, sable, weasel, elk, roe deer, white hare, squirrel, etc. are widespread. 152 species of birds nest in the national park. There are 21 species of fish in the rivers.