Blue Lakes Nature Park (Golubye Ozyora), Russia

The Kamchatka Peninsula has a system of lakes known as the Blue Lakes. This natural attraction is located 600 m above sea level. The distance from here to the center of Yelizovo is 21 km. The Blue Lakes are designated as a Regional Nature Park. The lakes were discovered quite recently, in 1960, by a group of Soviet researchers.

The best time to visit if you want to see all the beauty of the summer nature of the mountainous Kamchatka is the second half of July, August. In June, there is still a lot of snow near the lakes, only primroses bloom. And in July-August it is usually drier, it is possible to see a green carpet of subalpine vegetation. But it is in June, when the snow begins to melt, that the lakes acquire an unusually beautiful blue hue. At the end of summer, the water dries up, in September the lakes can stand almost without water.

The system consists of three reservoirs located at different heights. These are recesses of natural origin in the moraine of ancient times, filled with water. They are united by a common stream of small size, which, leaving the last lake, turns into a river called Polovinka. Its lower course passes through the territory of the city indicated above. Among the people, the names of Faith, Hope and Love (for the lower, middle and upper) were fixed behind the lakes.

The common name arose from the fact that when the snow cover quickly disappears at the beginning of summer, part of the ice hiding the surface is flooded with melt water. Ice, reflecting the light, gives the surface of the lakes a bright blue, sometimes even ultramarine, hue. This is characteristic of most of the mountain reservoirs on the peninsula, and there is also a system of lakes, called Turquoise because of this phenomenon.


Attractions on the route

If you are planning to spend more than one day on the Blue Lakes and their environs, then you should pay attention to other attractions of the area:

Thermal springs. Reservoirs with warm water (it is very cold to swim in the lakes themselves) are located on the floodplain terraces of the Polovinka River.
Tinuevsky waterfall. The reservoir is located near the trail to the Blue Lakes. Especially full-flowing in the first half of summer.
Mount Vachkazhets. The mountain is not close, but you can see it by climbing the ridge that rises above the lakes. The mountain impresses with its massive ice-covered peaks.



The flora along the shores of the lakes is represented by cedar and alder dwarf trees. Herbaceous plants growing in this place are typical representatives of the mountain tundra and alpine meadows of Kamchatka - rhododendrons, irises, saxifrage, various types of sedges; many buttercups grow along the streams. During the warm season, the valley of the lakes is decorated with many different colors, replacing each other as they bloom, until autumn. The autumn color of these places is very bright, thanks to the reddening leaves of blueberry and alpine arctous.



Due to the fact that the water temperature in the lakes is close to zero even in the summer season, fish do not live in the lakes. On the shores of the lakes, eurasian girls live, digging holes among the numerous stones. The appearance of bears is possible in the park.



How to get to the Blue Lakes in Kamchatka
The Blue Lakes are located in a fairly accessible place; you can get here in one day along a special route - an ecological path from the Moroznaya Mountain base. The walking route to the lakes is easy to pass, suitable for both children and tourists without physical training. The asphalt road ends 10 km from the lakes, then there is a 12–15 km long hiking trail. The road is not difficult, it passes mainly along the flat part. The first 7 km of the path is a road through a forest of stone birches, then along a rocky part, with a slope (you need to smoothly climb up 600 meters forward, the return road goes faster, downhill).

You can visit the Blue Lakes of Kamchatka as part of an excursion group - it's safer than an independent walk. One-day tours are organized by local tour operators. A group tour with a transfer from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and lunch will cost from 5000-6000 rubles per person.