There are thousands of different waterfalls in the vast area of Russia. Most of the highest waterfalls in Russia are located in hard-to-reach places. For example, the highest waterfall in Russia, Talnikovsky, is located on the Putorana Plateau. Its height reaches 700 meters. Such waterfalls are not uncommon in Norway, but in Russia a cascade of 100-200 meters can be considered quite high.
In the review Waterfalls of Russia on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about waterfalls that are popular with tourists. Their height is small, but they are close to interesting tourist routes, and they are visited by a lot of people:
1. Midagrabinsky waterfalls, Osetia
2. Uchar waterfall, Altay
3. Sofia waterfalls, Arkhyz
4. Chegem waterfalls, Kabardino-Balkaria
5. Saltinsky waterfall, Dagestan
6. Kivach waterfall, Karelia
7. Voitsky waterfall, Karelia
8. Rufabgo waterfalls, Adygea
9. Ruskeala waterfalls, Karelia
10. Waterfall Maiden Braids, Elbrus
11. Sultan waterfall, Elbrus
12. Colonel's waterfalls, Kuban
Follow the hyperlinks to read in detail about each waterfall and see a large number of photos
The Midagrabinsky waterfalls are one of the most famous attractions not only in North Ossetia, but also in Russia. They are located in the Madagrabinsky Gorge, which is often called the Valley of Waterfalls – there are several dozens of them here. All of them are fed by the waters of a huge glacier that lies on the slope of the Great Caucasian Ridge between Russia and Georgia. On the Georgian side, the famous Kazbek Mountain rises above this glacier.
In 1995, the Big Zygelan waterfall was measured in the valley. The reliable height of the continuous fall of water from the mountain slope is considered to be 750 meters. It means that the Midagrabinsky waterfall Big Zygelan is the highest in Russia. There are several other waterfalls of similar height in the country, in particular, in hard-to-reach places of the Putorana Plateau, but they are cascading there and accurate measurements of their height have not been made.
Uchar Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the Altay Mountains. It is possible to include it to the list of the most powerful and most beautiful waterfalls in Russia. It is located on the Chulcha River in the Altay Biosphere Reserve. The beauty of the Chulcha and Chulyshman rivers will not leave anyone indifferent.
The streams of the Chulcha River fall from a height of 160 meters, but this fall is not vertical, like most waterfalls. In fact, the Uchar waterfall is a stepped cascade littered with huge stones. Streams of water beat against these stones, raising up a cloud of spray. This spectacle fascinates with its beauty.
Sofia waterfalls are one of the most interesting sights of Arkhyz. They are visited by all tourists who have come to the resort. These waterfalls are not the highest in the Caucasus, but they are definitely the most spectacular. Cascading Sofia waterfalls consist of 9 streams. They drain from the Sofia glacier and fall into the valley from a 90-meter height.
Mount Sofia (3637 m) is one of the symbols of the Arkhyz mountain resort. Everything around is named after it. The Sofia Glacier lies on Mount Sofia, the Sofia Waterfalls fall from it into the Sofia Valley, and then the Sofia River flows down the valley and flows into the Psysh River. Next to the Sofia Waterfalls is the Sofia Saddle pass, which allows you to make a route to the waterfalls circular and return back along another trail. There are also Sofia lakes high in the mountains here.
The Big Chegem waterfalls are located directly in The Chegem canyon. These waterfalls are one of the most beautiful in Russia. They are formed by the river Kayarti that falls in the gorge from a height of 50 meters. All the waterfalls are of different height and appearance. There are small waterfalls that gush out of a sheer cliff in narrow streams. Some of them flow through the moss thickets from a height of 50 meters.
If you have the time and energy, you have to go up the stairs. The height of the stairs is 222 steps. From the upper platform, you can admire the beauty of the Chegem waterfalls and the Chegem gorge. In winter, the Chegem waterfalls freeze. They become similar to stalactites and stalagmites, which attracts as many tourists as in summer.
The Saltinsky waterfall is one of the most unusual sights of Dagestan. Sometimes it is called "underground waterfall". In order to see the Saltinsky Waterfall, you need to walk along the narrow canyon of the Saltinka River, and then go into the vast grotto.
The Saltinsky gorge is located on the outskirts of the village of Salta, 20 kilometers from the village of Gunib. At first, the width of the canyon reaches 40 meters. To see the waterfall, you need to walk along this canyon for about 500 meters. Gradually, the canyon narrows and at the entrance to the grotto its width is no more than 2 meters, while the sheer walls go up several tens of meters.
Kivach waterfall, in spite of its modest height, only 11 meters, is the third largest (by the volume of water) waterfall in Russia and whole Europe. All territory around the waterfall was given the status of a national park. Kivach National Park is located not far from St. Petersburg – Murmansk highway, near the town of Kondopoga.
Kivach waterfall is on the river Suna. Near the waterfall there survived a relict forest in Karelia. There is an arboretum where you can see the karelian birch, which you can hardly find in the wild, as well as the other trees of the Russian North. Also, you can visit the nature museum at the Kivach reserve.
Voitsky Waterfall on the Lower Vyg River (sometimes called Voitsky Falling) is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karelia. The first mention of the Voitsky waterfall appeared in written sources of the 16th century. Then it was significantly more powerful. The bed of the Lower Vyg River at this point was divided into three branches, so there were three waterfalls. They were called Mill, Middle Falling and Jostling. The height of these waterfalls reached 7 meters.
In 1931, the construction of the White Sea Canal in Russia from Lake Onega to the White Sea was started. It completely changed the appearance of the Voitsky waterfall. At the site of the Mill Waterfall, lock No. 10 is now located, and the channel of the Jostling arm has been drained. Only the Middle Falling waterfall remained, but it became much lower, no more than 3 meters. However, the change in the water level made the Voitsky waterfall more beautiful. Water the color of Coca-Cola, falling into a large granite bowl, boils violently.
Rufabgo Waterfalls are the pearl of Adygea. A stream called Rufabgo is 2 kilometers from Kamennomostsky. It is a tributary of the Belaya River. The Rufabgo having its source on a high plateau runs down a deep gorge in several cascades or waterfalls. You can get to the path by a bridge across the Belaya River. From that place you can see the first waterfall Shum and a small waterfall Kaskadny.
Further on the gorge becomes very picturesque, with rock sides looking like a puff pastry. Among these rocks is the third, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Russia - the Heart of Rufabgo. After this most beautiful waterfall you can see the highest waterfall called Shnurok (also known as the Maiden Braid). The height of the waterfall is about 20 meters.
On the way back from the Ruskeala Marble Canyon you should stop at the Ruskeala waterfalls on the river Tokhmayoki. They are just on the way, so this stop will be both convenient and very interesting. Here you can see beauty of Karelia nature. The Tokhmayoki river flows from the Lake Ruokoyarvi near the Finnish border and falls into Ladoga Lake.
Ruskeala cascade comprises 4 waterfalls with the average height of 3-4 meters. The most beautiful waterfall is called Ahven koski, which means «perch rapid» in Finnish. There is a parking lot and walking paths near the Ruskeala waterfalls. There you may have a rest, and the walking paths go through very picturesque places among low rocks and boulders.
The route to the Maiden Braids Waterfall is one of the most popular on Elbrus, as it is very picturesque and suitable for people with any physical training. The waterfall is 30 meters high and 18 meters wide. It got its name that the streams of the waterfall resemble the hair of a girl.
Hiking trail to the Maiden Braids Waterfall begins in the village of Terskol near the mosque of Zulkarnay Tilova. The length of the route along the South-Eastern slope of Elbrus is 4.5 kilometers. The waterfall is located at an altitude of 2800 meters. This is the highest mountain waterfall in Russia.
The Sultan Waterfall is one of the most famous attractions in the Dzhily-Su nature site. It can even be called one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Russia. The Kyzylkol River originates in the Ullu-Chirana glacier on the northern slope of the Elbrus and falls from a narrow gorge into the Dzhily-Su valley from a 40-meter height. Sultan Waterfall falls on a stone scree, breaking into thousands of splashes. This creates a lot of noise around. Nearby, several more waterfall streams flow down from the cracks of the gorge, which cascade very beautifully down the rocky slope.
In spring and autumn, the water of the Sultan waterfall is transparent, at this time the waterfall looks the most spectacular. In summer, the active melting of glacial masses begins, which contain a lot of clay and sedimentary rocks, so the water of the Sultan Waterfall acquires a cloudy gray color. You can come close to the foot of the Sultan Waterfall. To do this, you need to approach the Malka River from the Valley of Castles and turn left. Near the Narzan Main bath there is a small bridge where people cross to the opposite side. From here you can climb directly to the foot of the waterfall and feel its spray.
Cascades of the Colonel waterfalls are located on the Stony river, which flows along the Eastern slope of Gebius mountain, in the area Dzhubga pass (where the road passes between Krasnodar and Dzhubga). Most beautiful is Colonel Second Waterfall. It is located in a wide gorge (4.5 km from the beginning of the route in village). Its height is more than 5 meters.
Further, the stones in the gorge become wetter even in summer, and when the river is full, most of the way will have to go on water. In this place, the gorge is very picturesque. The rocks above the river have a height of several tens of meters, small waterfalls and cascades become more, until there is a Large Colonel waterfall. Its height is 18 meters.