The road from Klyuchi to Petropavlovsk, surrounded by volcanoes
Located in the Far East region of Russia, on the Kamchatka peninsula - Russia's Land of Fire and Ice –, the road from Klyuchi to Petropavlovsk is one of the greatest adventures.
The road is mostly unpaved. It’s 564km (350 miles) long and runs north-south from Klyuchi (a rural locality in Ust-Kamchatsky District of Kamchatka Krai to the north of Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano) to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital of Kamchatka Krai, along the banks of Avacha Bay. Until 1990, no foreigners or nonresident Russians were allowed to visit. In 1991, the Russian Federation was established as an independent republic and Kamchatka was opened for visiting by foreign guests.
The drive is very remote. Facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. Make sure you leave enough time to make plenty of stops along the way. The road is mostly surrounded by high, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes such that one cannot see the horizon from any point, and offers stunning views of volcanoes and glaciers, hot springs and boiling geysers, swift-flowing rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Remember no roads connect the Kamchatka Peninsula to the rest of the world. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. As with most of Kamchatka it gets buried in depths of snow rarely seen elsewhere in Russia. The region of Kamchatka is the most seismically active place on the planet, so earthquakes are quite common here. It’s possible to see numerous volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and even a lake of acid. It contains the southernmost expanse of arctic tundra in the world and is notable for its wealth of arctic wildlife, fish, game, and marine life. The road crosses one of the most spectacular regions in Russia. Along the road there are great views of the magnificent, constantly smoking Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia’s largest active volcano and the Bakening volcano. Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula has the highest concentration of active volcanoes on Earth.