Yes! I started doing it!
I am gathering groups for the world’s coldest road trip Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan in the upcoming winter.
2 days in Yakutsk. 7 days on Stalin’s Road of Bones (Kolyma Hwy). 3 days in Oymyakon. Extra time in Magadan.
-50C or less. In a warm van. Visiting reindeer herders, horse breeders, and ice fishermen. We can also try seeing Gulags.
The idea is simple. We take a car and drive the 2000-km winter road!
Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan
Days on the road: 7 days.
Additional days: 1-2 days in Yakutsk + 1-2 days in Magadan.
Route: Yakutsk – Khandyga – Oymyakon – Ust Nera – Susuman – Magadan.
Distance: ~2500 km (with all short rides within villages and turns the total distance might be longer)
Group size: 4 people.
The tour starts in Yakutsk.
1st – 2nd Day: Arrival. Preparation for the road trip (shopping – warm clothes, food).
On these days there will be used city taxi cars, as the main car will be going through the final preparation for the long distance drive.
3rd Day: Yakutsk – Khandyga. Departure at 9 am. Crossing two rivers Lena and Aldan. Between crossing we might visit the village of Cherkyekh with church museum, кузница.
In Khandyga stay at a guesthouse (max. 1200 per person/night, no breakfast).
4th Day: Khandyga – Oymyakon.
Leaving the guest house at 9 am. Arrival at 10 or 11 pm.
In Khandyga we might visit the grocery shop, then the museum and church and watch the view of the Aldan River. We need to leave Khandyga at 10 am or 10.30, as daylight time is very limited. It’s getting dark already at 3 pm.
Driving the Road of Bones (officially, it is the end/beginning of the RoB) that goes through mountain passes. So, we need to use maximum time of daylight for the gorgeous winter mountain road).
On the road in the mountain area we’ll have a few stops, including one for lunch. Usually we stop at the hill with the cross (the beginning of the mountain pass), at the narrow pass called Chernyj prizhim (in the middle), the Vostochnaya meteo station and the gas station in Kyubyume, where there is a road café.
From Kyubyume we drive already the old summer road that leads to Tomtor and then to Oymyakon. In Tomtor we’ll have refuel at a gas station.
Stay for night in a guesthouse in Oymyakon (1800 rubles per person/night, w/ breakfast, lunch and dinner).
A guesthouse belongs to Tamara Egorovna. A nice old lady, who is writing books about Oymyakon and promoting her village. All her talks are like fascinating lectures.
5th Day: The day in Oymyakon.
Walking around. Taking pictures, including the sign of Oymyakon and the bull of cold sculpture. We might see a meteorologist’s measuring temperature on his own little station. See people’s way of living, including activities in school and sports house. Experiment with cold. That we can do before the lunch.
Ice fishing on the Indigirka river.
If wished, sauna in the evening.
Stay for night in a guesthouse in Oymyakon.
6th Day: Ride to and spending time in Tomtor.
In the first half of the day, we can drive to the top of the nearest hill, take a picture of the valley. Stop by a Tomtor stella with the lowest temperature sign tablet.
Lunch time. We can visit Andrei Vinokurov’s family and have a lunch at his place. He is a guy, who is a local trainer and who swims in the never-frozen Kuidusun river at -50C.
After lunch we might visit the permafrost cave and Yakut horse breeders’ farm.
Back to Oymyakon for night in a guesthouse.
7the Day: Ride from Oymyakon/Tomtor to Ust Nera.
Departure at 9 am. Arrival in Ust Nera by 6-7 pm.
On the way to Ust Nera we can make a turn to the area of the Yuchyugei village for visiting Even reindeer herders’ winter camp. See reindeer. Talk to herders. Take pictures. Have brunch or lunch.
Refueling at the gas station in Kyubyume.
Driving the new road of the Kolyma Highway up to Ust Nera.
Stay in a private hotel (looks more like an apartment). Max. 1500 roubles per person. No breakfast included. We prepare food in the hotel kitchen.
8th Day: Ust Nera – Susuman, ~350 km
Leaving the hotel at 9 am. We can drive around the settlement.
Before lunch we might try to visit the nearest GULAG camp, but in this case we’ll need to hire a local guide, who would lead us the spot.
On the way to Susuman, we can see the abandoned town of Kadykchan.
In Susuman we stay in the gold mining company’s hotel (industrial look hotel for regular visitors).
9th Day: Susuman – Magadan, ~500 km.
Departure at 9 am. Arrival around 6 pm.
On the way there are many industrial settlements.
Check in a hotel.
10th Day: A day in Magadan.
City tour (sorrow mask, seashores, museum, etc.) on a rented car. Usually one hour rent is 750 rubles per hour.
Evening in a local restaurant or bar.
Stay in hotel.
Note: On that day in the morning a driver is going all the way back to Yakutsk.
11th Day: Departure from Magadan.
To get an idea of what a winter road trip might be in Yakutia, Russia, check out following posts with reports and photos from my previous travels:
ROAD OF BONES WINTER TRIP PRICE:
Shared group expenses: from 2760 USD / 2156 EUR
(Car rent, driver service, guide service, travel arrangement fee)
Individual expenses: from 706 USD / 538 EUR
At request, I provide the file with all listed expenses.
Let’s drive through the winter!
“UPDATE, Dec. 29, 2012: All seats in two cars (each car with 4 people) for Feb. 7 – 17, 2013 are already reserved, though 1 traveler looks for replacement. Let me know, if you are ready to go on these dates.“
“UPDATE, Oct. 18, 2012: Currently, there are two available seats in the 2nd car (each car with 4 people) for Feb. 7 – 17, 2013. Let me know, if you are ready to go on these dates.“
ROAD OF BONES (KOLYMA HIGHWAY) PHOTOS & VIDEO:
All the below-listed media were done in February on the part Tomtor – Kyubyume – Teplyj Klyuch (Khandyga)<>
The following from my friends’ trip in 2010:
This is from February 2012:
Check also the Kolyma road (the world’s coldest one) in the video:
THE WORLD’S COLDEST ROAD TRIP IN FEBRUARY 2013 WAS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY!
You might also wish to consider Yakutsk – Magadan. Stalin’s Road of Bones (Kolyma Highway) Tour in Summer 2013.
- Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan. The World’s Coldest Road Trip in Winter 2013-2014.
- Yakutsk – Oymyakon. Winter Travel to the World’s Coldest Inhabited Place
- What is the standard tour to the Pole of Cold? Travel time, activities, accommodations, prices?
- Yakutsk – Magadan. Stalin’s Road of Bones (Kolyma Highway) Tour in Summer 2013
- Is it safe to drive the Road of Bones, the world’s coldest road, in November?