The Klyuchi-Petropavlovsk Road is one of the greatest adventures in the Russian Far East. Located in the Kamchatka peninsula - Russia's Land of Fire and Ice –, the track is mostly unpaved.
The road is 567 km long but expect more than 11 hours driving due the road conditions. 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 road links Klyuchi, a rural locality in Ust-Kamchatsky District of Kamchatka Krai and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai. The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera! The road is surrounded by high, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes such that one cannot see the horizon from any point.
Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. As with most of Kamchatka it gets buried in depths of snow rarely seen elsewhere in Russia. Kamchatka is extremely geologically active and has 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. It’s mostly gravel with some asphalted sections. 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.