17 Spectacular Pictures of Siberia’s Altai Mountains

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Image: Andrew Kudrin

A river winds through the Chulishman Valley.

Encompassing an area of 1,611,457 ha, the Altai has a full range of mountainous terrains, from steppe, forest-steppe and mixed forest to subalpine and alpine. The confluence of rivers from these mountains forms the River Ob, at 5,410 km the fifth or seventh longest river in the world, depending on which source you refer to.


Image: Andrew Kudrin

Close-up of an unusually shaped rock and river pebbles.

There are actually three distinct areas of the Altai: the Altaisky Zapovednik and buffer zone around Lake Teletskoye, the Katunsky Zapovednik and buffer zone around Mount Belukha, and the Ukok Quiet Zone on the Ukok Plateau.

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Image: Andrew Kudrin

A walking track leads through a valley.

The Altaisky Zapovednik supports diverse flora and fauna that includes 72 species of mammals and 310 of birds. Among the mammals are the endangered snow leopard and the world’s biggest breed of wild sheep, known as Argali mountain sheep.

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