The road to Seminsky Pass is a sensational drive

Seminsky Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.894m (6,213ft) above the sea level, located in the southwest part of the Seminsky ridge, the Central- Altai physico - geographical province of the Ongudaysky area, in Russia.

Seminsky pass

The road over the pass is asphalted. It’s called P56 (also known as Chuiskyi trakt road or Chuya highway), and is the main highway of Altay, joining the main centers of Siberia with the distant Mongolia and China. Today it’s a regular road but it was a horse path some years ago, extremely dangerous, especially in winter and spring. In 1903 another road was built and since 1927 it is possible to drive by car. The road was covered by crushed stone and only one car could to move on it. Drivers often had to give a signal to warn other cars, because cars could to pass one another only at special pockets. The dual highway was built in 1984 only. The summit is marked by a huge sculpture and a little market with souvenir shops right at the top. The road can be pretty crowded with trucks, on the way from Russia to Mongolia.

The pass, also known as Dyal-Menku or Dyal-Menka (“The timeless mountain”), is the highest point of the highway. The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The rise to the pass is 9 km long and the slope – 11 km long. The Seminsky pass is important first of all as a natural complex-boundary of the Nothern and Central Altay. On the summit there is a monument which was constructed to devotion of the 200 anniversary of voluntary entering of Gorny Altai into Russia (it was established in 1956). Since old times the pass have been saving “a cult of mountains” presenting the heritage of far ancestors in the form of ceremonies and beliefs like the convictions considering "obo" monuments where the locals arrange sacrifices.At the summit is a big parking lot, a sculpture, a bar, and several souvenir shops.