9 Day Snowmobile Adventure

taking a break in the trees on Russian Arctic Travel's Snowmobile Adventure

In Russia’s far north you’ll find a snow-covered wonderland, perfect for winter adventures. On this expedition, we head out into the Siberian wilderness on a true snowmobile adventure. We’ll go in search of the Northern Lights and meet the indigenous Nenets people with their reindeer herds.

We start by heading into the mountains to spend the night under the starry polar sky in an abandoned Soviet weather station, before staying with the Nenets in their tents. Finally, you’ll get to experience the fun of ice fishing and camping in the Arctic.

Join us on this unique trip, where you’ll get to speed through the frozen tundra on your own snowmobile, and have an unforgettable adventure.

This trip runs from February to April.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

A delivery tank heading north during our snowmobile adventure

Snowmobile Adventure Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Salekhard 

Arrive at Salekhard airport and transfer to the hotel where you’ll check-in before having an arrival briefing about what to expect in the days ahead. Our local guides will check that your gear is suitable for the expedition. 

In the afternoon we can organise a tour of Salekhard (the only city in the world directly located on the Arctic Circle) or you can explore by yourself. We suggest visiting the Shimanovsky museum, with its exhibitions of Nenets ethnology, archaeology and natural history, or the reconstructed wooden Obdorsky jail. 

Accommodation: Salekhard hotel (twin-share)

Meals: D included

Day 2 – Salekhard to Mount Rai-Iz Weather Station 

Following an early breakfast in Salekhard, we’ll go via ice road across the frozen River Ob to the village of Kharp, 90 minutes away. Once we arrive in Kharp, we’ll load up the snowmobiles and sledges, and then head off on our adventure into the wilderness.

Abandoned weather station on Mount Rai-Iz which we'll visit on our snowmobile adventure

Our destination for tonight is an abandoned weather station on Mount Rai-Iz. The picturesque route to the station leads along the Kerdomanshor Creek. We’ll drive past rocky outcrops in the canyon, a beautiful polar forest, and then navigate around open water. It’s a challenging ride, but a whole lot of fun! 

When we arrive at the weather station, we’ll need to heat the place using a wood-burning stove. The guides will prepare dinner, but your help is very welcome! We’ll sleep in the shared room of the station, hoping for the spectacle of the Northern Lights in the starry polar sky.

Snowmobile distance: 20-30 km

Accommodation: camping in weather station

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 3 – Mount Rai-Iz to Nenets Camp 

After breakfast, we’ll leave the weather station and continue our adventure. Today we head to a camp belonging to the Nenets – the indigenous nomadic reindeer herders of Siberia. To get there we can either use their snowmobile tracks or lay our own.

On arrival at camp, we will be welcomed by the Nenets family and then join them for dinner.

a nenets boy plays in the snow

All meals are included during our stay here and are typical of traditional Nenets cuisine. The food is simple and usually includes fish or reindeer meat. Stoves are used for heating and blocks of ice will need to be melted for our morning cup of tea!

Accommodation here will be in the chums (traditional tent made of reindeer skins and felt) of the Nenets and is basic, with pit toilets. Before turning in for the night in the chum we’ll keep our fingers crossed to see a display of the Northern Lights.

Snowmobile distance: 40-65 km

Accommodation: Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included

Days 4-5 – Nenets Camp 

Life with the Nenets. We will have plenty of time to observe the traditional way of life of the Nenets and the amazing ways that they cope with this harsh environment. Help chop firewood or learn about Nenets cooking and how to make reindeer-skin clothing, wooden sledges, and other essentials for polar life. Many of the families here have children, and they’re always keen to get us to join in with their games. 

We’ll have the opportunity to take our snowmobiles out to the reindeer herds, to meet these shy and gentle creatures up close. We’ll get to see how the Nenets’ Herding Laikas, specially bred for this climate, manage and guard the reindeer, as well as watch reindeer lassoing and sledge driving.

Accommodation: Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included 

A nenets man walks into the arctic tundra

Day 6 – Nenets Camp to Sob River 

After breakfast with the Nenets family, we’ll be on our way. Today’s destination is a campsite on the banks of the Sob river, where we’ll do some ice fishing. We’ll teach you the techniques of fishing, and then we’ll prepare various dishes from our catch in the evening. We’ll have lunch en route, and cook dinner at our camp before sleeping in our heated winter tent.

Snowmobile distance: 40-65 km

Accommodation: heated tent

Meals: B/L/D included 

Day 7 – Sob River

Today will be spent in and around camp, trying our luck at ice fishing throughout the day. If we’re successful then we’ll cook our catch over the fire this evening. 

Accommodation: heated tent

Meals: B/L/D included

ice fishing during our snowmobile adventure

Day 8 – Sob River to Salekhard 

We’ll break camp today and ride back to Salekhard – our last long trip through the stunning arctic landscape. On arrival in the city, we’ll check-in at our hotel, and you’ll have some free time afterwards. 

In the evening you’ll have the option to enjoy the traditional Russian banya or sauna before our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Snowmobile distance: 65-75 km

Accommodation: Salekhard hotel (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 9 – Depart Salekhard

After breakfast we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight.

Meals: B included

a nenets man working in camp

Costs & Services


  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 3 nights homestay with the Nenets, 2 nights camping
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Russian Arctic Travel English-speaking guide
  • Tour in Salekhard if desired
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Snowmobiles and fuel
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment for camping
  • Permits and visa invitation documents
  • Return flights from Moscow or St Petersburg to Salekhard

Not included

  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Individual clothing, backpack, cold-weather clothing (contact us for advice – rental is available)
  • Use of banya/sauna in Salekhard
The Nenets homestay in winter

Note: The final route and activities may vary slightly, as the weather can be unpredictable here in Yamal. Your guide may need to adapt the program depending on the group, prevailing conditions and available options at the time. There is no cook on this trip, but you’re welcome to help the guides prepare meals and learn how to become a fantastic camp chef! During the expedition the cooperation of all participants will be crucial – you‘re always welcome to lend a hand.

Other important information

  • Please be aware that you are visiting this nomadic family in their home and this is a very personal space for them. The guides will inform you of any specific considerations or taboos that you need to be aware of.
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the whole stay with the Nenets family
  • The Nenets might move their camp at any time, so we will only know the exact location of our homestay just before departure
  • Accommodation in the chums is on a sharing base. Depending on the group’s size there might be a chum available for the group only
  • Using drones above the reindeer herds is prohibited

Fitness and dietary requirements

  • A basic level of fitness will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip, but no special training is required
  • If you do not feel confident driving the snowmobiles then there is an option to ride on a comfortable sledge instead
  • Dietary requirements should be discussed prior but can usually be catered for

Recommendations for Clothing and Equipment

  • Will be sent at the time of booking

Visa Information

  • Russian Arctic Travel will provide visa invitation documents for you to apply for your Russian visa overseas

Price is based on double occupancy: a single supplement of €200 will apply if you are a single traveller and are not happy to share a twin room.