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April, 06, 2017

Lakes on the Lake: Baikal’s Younger Brothers

Baikal was formed as a result of tectonic shifts, so due to the movement of the Earth’s crust in its vicinity, other lakes emerged. Each of them is interesting in its own way: here you can find the landscapes of Alpine meadows and rare plants, as well as the abundance of underwater fauna. Let’s talk about the junior relatives of the Great Baikal Lake.

Frolikha Lake

The area of this lake is 16.5 square kilometers. It is located on the north-eastern coast of Lake Baikal, 530 km away from Ulan-Ude. It emerged during the descent and collision of two glaciers between the mouths of the rivers of Pravaya (“Right”) Frolikha and Levaya (“Left”) Frolikha and is considered one of the most picturesque and beautiful lakes near Baikal.

A dense coniferous forest is growing around the lake. Snow-capped mountain peaks can be seen next to it. Here travelers get the feeling that they have come to real Alpine meadows.

A rare predatory fish — Alpine salmon trout, or “Frolikh char” – lives in Frolikha. This fish is a relict of the Ice Age. It is included into the Red Books of Russia and Buryatia.

The most popular route to Frolikha begins from the Ayaya Bay. A hiking trail 8 kilometers long begins there. The hike will take about 2 hours if the travelers are inexperienced. If you’re going to visit the place, do not forget to get permission of the Frolikhinsky Reserve in the Information and Tourism Control Centers of Severobaikalsk, Nizhneangarsk or Baikalsk.

Kolok Lake

This Lake is situated on the Morskoy Ridge in the upper reaches of the Itantsa River. It occupies an area of 3.5 square kilometers. Several mountainous rivers converge in this place. They form the source of the Itantsa River.

The average depth of the lake is only 10 meters. The place is popular among fishermen. Here you can catch pike, Siberian roach and sometimes river perch. You can reach Kolok only by your own car.

Kotokel Lake

This Lake in Pribaikalsky District is located between the mouths of the Turka and Kika rivers. Its area is 68.9 square kilometres.

The territory of the water reservoir hosts 40 tourist centers, holiday homes and health resorts. Unfortunately, travelers will not be able to plunge into the waters of Kotokel. In 1991 an environmental disaster here - an outbreak of Haff disease - occurred. The water became toxic due to the decomposing algae at the bottom. The lakes are still being cleansed even today.

Sobolinye (“Sable’s”) Lakes

A group of freshwater reservoirs is located on the Khamar-Daban Ridge, not far from the Selenginka River. Sobolinye Lakes appeared as a result of landslides blocking the valley, i.e. due to the natural dams.

Vegetation is very diverse here because of abundant precipitation. You can see ferns, poplars, find strawberries, red bilberries and blackberries. Some travelers call the place “Siberian Jungle”.

You can reach the lakes by the trail going from the Vydrino station. You have to go 15.5 kilometers on a tourist trail by foot. The route is quite long, but it is worth going this far to enjoy the beauty of these places.

Gramninskie Lakes

These water reservoirs are located at an altitude of 922 meters above the sea level. They emerged due to the young tectonic movements of the bottom layer of the eastern slope of the Baikalsky Ridge.

Setaceous quillwort, a relict of the pre-glacial period, grows near the lakes. It is listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Buryatia.

Arangatui Lake

This Lake is separated from Lake Baikal by a sandy neck of land, this type of water reservoirs is called sor-affected. Arangatui splits into the two stretches of water: Maly (“small”) and Bolshoy (“big”). The smallest of them is connected with the Chivyrkuiskiy Bay by a waterway.

The unnamed islands between Maly Arangatui and Bolshoy Arangatui are the places where swans, loons, cranes, herons are nesting. Gray and black-headed gulls, as well as ducks also live here. Local birds feed on lake fish: dace, common carp, river perch, pike, and so on.

Arangatui is located 7 km away from the Barguzinsky Bay and can be reached only by boat.

Angarsky Sor

It is a half-lake and a half-bay in the lower reaches of the rivers of Kichera and Verkhnyaya Angara. The ecosystem of the water reservoir is separated from the water area of the Lake by the island of Yarki. The Sor is located on the territory of the Verkhne-Angarsky Natural Biological Game Reserve. Scientists suggest that the Lake emerged due to the transfusion of the coastal zone.

Tourists come here mainly to fish. Since the lake is pretty swamped, it is inhabited by pike, river perch, ide, Siberian roach.

Tazheranskie Lakes


A group of salty steppe lakes is located in the Barguzinskaya hollow. These prerequisites of the dry steppes and semi-deserts of the Southern Transbaikal Region have a shallow depth and quickly change their area with the change of seasons. They are fed by underground springs.

The lakes are inhabited by rare red ducks – ruddy shelducks being the ornament of these water reservoirs.

The lakes are situated at a 47-kilometer distance from the village of MRS (Maloe More River Station, Sakhyurta). You can get there by car.


Gusinoe (Goose’s) Lake

It is located in the vicinity of the Selenga River at an altitude of 550 kilometers above the sea level. It is of a tectonic origin: as a result of the movement of Earth's platforms, three water reservoirs merged into one.

Vegetation around the lake is sparse, and there is a long stretch of steppe. The southern coast is swamped. Earlier there were a lot of geese on the island of Oseredysh, that’s why the lake got its name. Now the population of these birds has significantly decreased.

You can get here by train. You need to arrive in the city of Gusinoozersk from Ulan-Ude or Irkutsk.

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