10 Day Hiking and Rafting to Vorkuta

This is an area of Siberia that few people visit, but they’re missing out on one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Once the initial snow-melt has subsided, the river waters provide a wonderful, calm rafting experience along with some of the best fishing in the Russian Arctic.

This trip combines hiking through the Komi Republic with rafting, fishing, and a trip to a half-abandoned city that has to be seen to be believed. This is one of the most varied trips we offer, with a huge variety of landscapes covered in a relatively short amount of time.

Why not join us to find out for yourselves why we think that this is such a special part of the world?

This trip runs in July only.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

Salekhard to Vorkuta Itinerary

Day 1 – Moscow to 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 – Train to Sob and Hiking to Payputdyn Valley

After breakfast at the hotel we’ll transfer you to the train station where we’ll take a short journey to Sob, the start of our hiking route. From here it’s a 13km hike to our destination, a campsite in the Payputdyn River Valley.

This is a lovely short hike that will ease you into the adventures to come, allowing you to enjoy some of the gorgeous scenery that the Polar Urals have to offer. We’ll set up camp before relaxing for the evening.

Activity: Hiking 13km

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 3 – Hiking in the Polar Urals

We’ll break down our campsite and then head off on our route for the day that takes us through the mountains to our destination – a mountain pass near Lake Estato. There will be plenty of time for you to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way, since we know you’ll want to take plenty of photos.

We’ll set up camp once again tonight before sharing dinner together under the stars.

Activity: Hiking 17km

Accommodation: 3-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 4 – Hiking to the Komi Republic

After breakfast we pack up before enjoying a short, but slightly challenging hike over the pass and reaching Estato Lake. This spot is where the Komi nomadic reindeer herders usually spend the summer and is a really great chance for you to meet them. 

We’ll have introductions and get acquainted with the Komi, have lunch, and then set up our campsite for the next couple of days.

Activity: Hiking 10km

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 5 – Rest Day

This is your opportunity for a little break after the activities of the last few days. You can enjoy some fishing on the lake, hiking in the surrounding areas or simply relax around the campsite and enjoy life in the mountains!

We’ll have a quick briefing about the rafting that will start tomorrow and then, in the evening, we’ll arrange a camping banya so that you can have a true Russian relaxation experience.

Accommodation: 3-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 6-7 – Rafting

Once we pack up camp, we’ll load up our catamarans and start the rafting portion of the trip. The next two days are spent enjoying life on the river, fishing and camping as we go. There’s no rush as we allow plenty of time to cover the necessary distances on this part of the journey.

Each night we’ll set up camp and enjoy dinner on the banks of the river.

Activity: Rafting

Accommodation: 2-4 person tents

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 8 – Arrival in Vorkuta

After packing up our camp for the final time, we’ll cover the last bit of rafting for the trip before being driven to Vorkuta. This half-abandoned city is well worth spending some time in since it really represents the alternating fortunes in this part of the world.

After checking into your hotel, you can either just relax or explore the city. We’ll meet for dinner at a local restaurant.

Activity: Rafting

Accommodation: Vorkuta hotel (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 9 – Vorkuta

Today is your opportunity to really get out and explore Vorkuta and the surrounding area. You’ll experience the oddity of this half-abandoned town, along with the abandoned mining villages that are scattered around the area. We can also visit the local museum so that you can learn a little more about the area.

Accommodation: Vorkuta hotel (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 10 – Departure to Moscow

Following breakfast at the hotel 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 start 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: 1 night in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 2 nights in Vorkuta 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 and Vorkuta
  • 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 – Salekhard/Vorkuta

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.