The Karmadon Canyon Road is said to be the scary of scaries

Karmadon canyon is the name of a stunning gorge located in Prigorodny District, in the North Ossetia–Alania Republic of Russia. The area suffered a deadly slide of a gigantic iceberg in the mountains killing 125 people.

Karmadon Canyon Road

What happened in the Karmadon Gorge?

The area gained notoriety since the terrible tragedy of September 20, 2002. On this day, a the partial collapse of the Kolka Glacier, moving at a speed greater than 180 kilometers per hour (112 mph), completely wiped out the village of Upper Karmadon and the crew of the film “The Messenger”. Since the gorge is narrow, the mudflow rushed very quickly and destructively, killing 125 people (including a film crew of 27 people, among them Russian actor Sergei Bodrov Jr. The alleged remains of the crew, despite an intensive search, were found only a few years later. The consequences of the biggest glaciological disaster of the 20th century are still noticeable there. Few people know, but this is not the first descent of the Kolka glacier: in 1834 and 1902 there was another case, in the second case 36 people and 1500 head of cattle became victims, the Karmadon resort was destroyed, like many buildings. In 1964 there was still a small gathering, but without serious consequences. The modern Karmadon Gorge can hardly be called a tourist destination. Rather, it is a place of memory. This story is telling us that in a matter of minutes a natural disaster can take dozens of human lives.

Can you drive across Karmadon canyon?

Set high in the Caucasus Range, on the northern slope of the Mount Kazbek massif, the gorge was carved by the Genaldon river. A minor unpaved road known as P299, runs across the gorge. It’s a stunning canyon road navigable by all passenger vehicles. The area features a memorial with the names of the dead and a sculpture of a grieving mother.

How long is the Karmadon canyon road?

Starting at the town of Karmadon, the road is 11.2 km (6.95 miles) long. To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 35 and 45 minutes. After heavy rains the road can be easily washed away.
Road suggested by: jorge manuel gómez sánchez
Pic: Oleg Ivanov