Explore Russia's Lake Baikal

Outside Editors' Choice

Jul 22, 2010
Outside Magazine
Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal    Photo: Courtesy of KE Adventure Travel

With its desert-plateau-meets-big-mountains scenery, Lake Titicaca is probably as interesting as its name is memorable. And ever since I learned the hypersaline Dead Sea (which, of course, is a lake) was the lowest point on the surface of the earth, I've always wanted to float in it. But neither one has cast a spell on me quite like Russia's Lake Baikal. Whenever I scan a map of Siberia (more often than you might think), my eyes always end up on this blue blotch. Because it's so far away from, well, everything, the vast majority of the plant and animal species found there are endemic. Then there's the unexplored mountain ranges and cave dwellings and the "Siberian Riviera," a stretch of coastline marked by trees with otherworldly exposed roots that reach five feet in height. You can see all this on KE Adventure's 14-day exploratory trip, which concludes with a three-day trek in the nearby Khamar-Daban mountains. $3,845; July 9–22, August 20–September 2; keadventure.com