About place: Krasnoyarsk Stolby

•   What: thousands of miles of endless forests
•   Where: to the east of the Urals to the Pacific
•   How long: 2-3 days
•   Activities: trips

The word «Siberia» has a special magic for any person coming from the west. Siberian taiga occupies a territory of millions of square kilometers. Taiga forest stretch from the Ural to the Pacific ocean.

And now imagine that it will take you 5 hours to fly from Yekaterinburg (capital of the Ural), where Siberian taiga begins, to Vladivostok (a Russian city on the Pacific Coast), where Siberian taiga ends. This is equal to the flight from New York to Los Angeles, or from Poland to Portugal. Both in America and Europe this territory would be inhabited by hun-dreds of millions of people, and in Russia it is covered with hard-to-get-to coniferous forests. Population density is minimum, and a distance of hundreds of kilometers between villages is a rule.
Do you still want to see Siberian taiga? Forests are really inhabited with bears there, and you can run across civilization only at places.

Surely, if you buy an expensive hunting or fishing tour to Siberian forests, you can fully understand the fascination of this region. How-ever, if you want just see Siberian taiga, you should choose some major Siberian city and buy there a trip to the forest or

Most interesting Siberian taiga excursions are offered at Krasnoyarsk. The city has an international airport receiving flights from many cities of Europe and Asia. But generally, there are big lapses of time between the flights, so you'd better fly through Moscow. Every day there are over 10 flights between Moscow and Krasnoyarsk, so you are sure to find the most suitable variant.

Alternatively, you can choose Krasnoyarsk as one of the stopovers on your journey along Trans-Siberian Railroad. If decided to fulfill the dream of your life and cross Russia by train, Siberia would be the most interesting point of your journey. Lake Baikal will be the next stopping along Trans-Siberian Railroad (you'll need to get off at Irkutsk).

Krasnoyarsk is situated on the right bank of the Yenisei, the deepest river in Russia. Krasnoyarsk is a major Siberian city, but there are no outstanding sights within the city itself. As you can hardly consider as such a small chapel at the top of a hill, or a bridge over the river. However, if you want to see the spaces of Siberia, there is a most interesting national park, – Krasnoyarsk Stolby (Pillars) - near Krasnoyarsk. You can see there a wonderful mix of taiga forest and scenic rock formations.

The national park or, as it is called in Russia, «national reserve», is virtually on the southern outskirts of Krasnoyarsk. However it is a protected environmental zone, you can easily get there by urban transport or a taxi.

Pillars or rocks are beats of syenites among taiga forest. They are composed of spar (pink), mica (lustre) and hornblende (black inclusions). Some rocks reach the height of 90 meters. The reserve takes the area of about 47 000 hectares. But the ‘Aesthetic’ Region is the most visited section of the reserve, and you should go there in the first place. There lo-cated, on a small territory, a bit more than 1 square kilometer, the most beautiful and fam-ous pillars.

Each rock has its name at the reserve. Tourist footpath starts at the ‘First’ pillar. Then you will go along the pillars ‘Vnuchka’ (granddaughter), ‘Babushka’ (granny), ‘Dedushka’ (granddad), ‘Perya’ (feathers), and ‘Lion Gate’. The ‘Third’ and ‘Fourth’ pillars are at some distance. And on your way back you will come to the tallest ‘Second’ pillar. Apart from these pillars, there scattered over a hundred of other rock formations on the territory of the re-serve.

All rocks are in the middle of the most beautiful taiga forest, mainly composed of firs and cedars. The ground is covered with needles, with big roots giving you an impression of something fantastic.

The Sayan Mountains is only 400 kilometers of Krasnoyarsk, which is quite small dis-tance by local standards. If Stolby are but low rocks (Sayan foothills), then in Sayany you can see forests and mountains that are absolutely untouched by civilization. Panoramic views of Siberian spaces in Sayany are simply overwhelming.

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