Akishma River Expedition
Each year, with the assistance of legendary river guide Vladimir Gavrilov, NWRC picks a river to explore in Russia’s vast wilderness of Siberia. This year Vlad will be heading with a few hearty guests to the Akishma River in the far East of Siberia.
Days 1 & 2 – Fly to Khabarovsk City
Depart from the U.S. for Khabarovsk City, Russia. You will cross the international date line and lose a day. Don’t worry – you’ll get it back on your flight home!
You can travel to Khabarovsk City via Tokyo, Seoul, or Beijing on non-stop, approximately 3 hour flights. You may opt to arrive a day or two early to get acclimated to the local time. You are responsible for your own lodging and meals should you arrive early, but we’d be happy to make recommendations.
Day 3 – Arrive in Khabarovsk City (July 4th)
Khabarovsk is a regional center and the largest city in the Far East region of Russia. It is located on the Trans-Siberian railroad at the confluence of two great rivers: Amur (9th longest in the world) and Ussury.
You will meet your head guide (Vlad) for dinner at a local restaurant in Khabarovsk City on July 6.
Night at hotel (D)
Day 4 – Train to Chegdomyn
In the morning, board a train to the town of Chegdomyn. The train takes 15 hours, and you’ll spend the night in a hotel in Chegdomyn.
Night at hotel (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Drive from Chegdomyn to the Akishma River
After breakfast, drive 8 hours to the put-in on the Akishma, just west of the gold mining settlement of Sofiysk. Camp at put-in.
Days 6 to 16 – Raft the Akishma River
We leave civilization and enter a true wilderness for the next 200 river miles. We’ll raft the Akishma River for 92 miles before it joins the Niman River. After 66 miles on the Niman, it joins the larger Bureya River, which we’ll float about 45 miles to our take-out at the settlment of Novyy Urgal.
The first day is an easy 25 mile section of the river. The following days, the rapids increase in difficulty and there are about 150 obstacles along the river. The Akishma is known for good fishing for taimen’ (see report about our Kaa-Khem 2011 trip), grayling, and Siberian trout (lenok).
On the fourth day we’ll enter the most challenging and the most beautiful section of the Akishma. Here we will run many Class III – IV rapids including Apollo, Elephant, Builders, Expectation, and the most challenging Atlantis. We plan to stop for a lay-over day with a Russian river sauna in this beautiful section of the river. The gorgeous canyon “Singing Rocks” is also located in this section.
The Niman is a high-volume, fast-running river that flows through two canyons (Upper and Lower Pipes) with 18 rather simple obstacles. We’ll spend a couple of days on the Niman before its confluence with the much larger Bureya River. Once on the Bureya, there are about 45 miles of fast water to our take out near the settlement of Novyy Urgal.
Day 17 – Train to Khabarovsk
We’ll take a train back to Khabarovsk arriving about 2 AM and sleep in a hotel. After a good night’s rest you will say goodbye to your guides.
Night at hotel (B,L)
Day 18 – Fly Home or on to Your Next Destination
You could opt to take the train to see Vladivostok (known as the “Russian San Francisco”), or if you have time, you could take a week long ride to Moscow on Trans-Siberian railroad.
Head home from Asia and the world is your oyster!