Located in the the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Russia, in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, the gorge of the river Cherek is a very scenic spot.
The road to the gorge is called P291. It links Babugent and Verkhnyaya Balkariya. It’s a narrow dangerous road on the steep slope of rocks. In Cherek's gorge there is the well-known Bezengi Wall - two-kilometer ice rise on height over 4000 m. The surface of the road is asphalt, but in very poor conditions in some parts. The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). There is little room for error on this road. There are some narrow sections -scarcely wide enough for two cars- where if two vehicles have to pass each other, one might have to reverse for some kilometers of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. Cherek gorge, the land of famous Blue lakes. The Lower Lake is a natural blow-well. Only two Russian lakes are deeper: Baikal in Siberia and Teletskoye in Altai. Along the way you will learn about history, routine and traditions of Kabardino-Balkar Republic. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Cherek Gorge is a place where you lose track of time and know the multi-dimensionality of the real world. Under the cliff of the right slope of the valley in the dense thickets of green nestled Blue Lake. It is a miracle of nature and a dazzling pearl of Cherek Gorge. It will not leave anyone indifferent. Unprecedented spectacle which is open to your eyes is so suddenly impressive that the traveler, especially first-timers for a moment become numb, admiring by the picture. Bottomless, piercing blue resembles a piece of the sky fell to the earth.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
Pic: Владимир Ганзиков