9 day Hiking, Rafting and Fishing in the Polar Urals

Siberia is well known for its cold weather, mountain peaks and vast, frozen landscapes. What a lot of people don’t know is that, come the summer, the countryside transforms. The rivers swell with snowmelt, creating fast rapids that are incredibly fun to navigate. The fish, hidden under the ice for so much of the year, are suddenly much easier to find. Best of all, there are beautiful hikes through valleys and meadows full of wildflowers.

We think that the summer is one of the best times to come and explore the Russian Arctic. The locals are excited for the brief period of warmth and sunshine, the wildlife emerges for some spring fun, and outdoor adventurers are spoiled for choice.

This trip involves a couple of days of gentle hiking, four days rafting on some of the most beautiful rivers in the area, and a chance to experience the best fishing in Yamal.

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

Expedition 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 Makar-Ruz river

Following an early breakfast in Salekhard, your trip starts with a ferry ride across the River Ob before a drive to the village of Kharp, 90 minutes away. From Kharp, we drive via a technological road to the Enga-U river, where we start our adventure into the wilderness!

From the start of the trail, there is an 18km hike to our destination – a campsite near the Makar-Ruz river. Once we get to our place for the night, we’ll set up camp and then you’re welcome to try your hand at fishing.

Activity: Hiking 18km

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 3 – Hiking from Makar-Ruz to the Haramatolou River

Today we pack up the camp and get going after breakfast. The walking route today is a little shorter, with a 15 km trip to our overnight campsite on the Haramatolou river. You’ll be following streams and rivers, taking in some of the most picturesque landscapes in the area.

Once we arrive at our campsite, we’ll set up for the next couple of nights.

Activity: Hiking 15km

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 4 – Rest Day

After a couple of days of walking, this is your opportunity to take it easy before your four day rafting trip begins. Today the activities will be decided by you – either relaxing at the campsite, exploring the local region or enjoying some fishing at one of our secret spots. 

We’ll have a briefing for the rafting portion of the trip and then, in the evening, we’ll organise a special camping banya for you to complete your day of relaxation.

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 5-7 – Rafting

The next few days develop something of a routine. We break camp in the mornings and then get on the water for some fun rafting. There’s a mixture of rapids on the water, with some areas more exciting than others. We’ll have regular breaks, as needed, and in the afternoons we’ll set up camp once again.

Over the course of three days we’ll travel from our start point on the Haramatalou all the way down the river Sob. You’ll have opportunities for fishing, swimming and hiking depending on our campsite locations along the route.

Activity: rafting

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 8 – Return to Salekhard

Today we’ll reach the small fishing village of Katravozh, where our rafting journey ends. We’ll load up our gear before returning to Salekhard and checking into your hotel where you can enjoy a well-earned hot shower!

This evening we can arrange for you to enjoy a trip to the banya in Salekhard or you can simply relax in your room before enjoying dinner together as a group.

Activity: rafting

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

Additional extras: It is possible to add an additional day in Salekhard at the end of this trip for a small additional cost. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this.

Costs & Services


  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 6 nights camping
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Russian Arctic Travel English-speaking guide
  • Tour of Salekhard if desired
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Vehicles and fuel on expedition
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Rafting equipment including wetsuits and life vests
  • Fishing equipment
  • Tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment for camping
  • Permits and visa invitation letter
  • 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)
  • Use of banya/sauna in Salekhard if desired

Please 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.

Fitness and dietary requirements

  • A basic level of fitness is required for this trip, as the days are very active. You do not need prior experience in rafting.
  • Dietary requirements must be discussed prior but can usually be catered for with advance notification.

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.