Let’s start with the where part. Yakutsk is in the center of Siberia about 500 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It is considered to be the coldest inhabited place on Earth, which is something I have zero urge to experience. Haha. The city is found on the Lena River ( the name is not related to Lenin at all), which is the 10th or 11th longest river in the world. What impressed my dad and I about this river is that even though the Mississippi River is longer, the Lena River seems twice (or more) as wide. I bet it was a half mile at the narrowest section and over a mile wide in most spots.
Now for why are we here, and that is to see the Lena Pillars. This national park is on the eastern bank of the Lena River and consist of rock pillars 500-1000 feet tall. We had to take an hour long boat ride from the cabin we were driven to. Our guide was all worried that we were going to be cold even though we had layers on and the 22-foot skiff was covered. The funny part is it was him that got cold. Haha. At the trail head on the rocky beach it is a 2km hike to the top and the view is spectacular as you look down the pillars and across the river with islands and even sandbars. Once we got down we ended up having lunch with the three young rangers and had a good old time as we hung out in their cabin.
I signed my dad and I up for a private two-day tour through visityakutia.com and our driver and guide were awesome. With that said I feel I must let you know that I did feel like the tour was a bit pricy based on prices elsewhere around Russia, but still worth it to see the Lena Pillars. The part that really upset me is when they asked if we wanted a ride to the airport and then charged us four times as much as a taxi once we got there. Just a little warning for you.
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