Yakutia Republic - West

West of Yakutsk

Yakutia is the largest administrative territory in Russia. Remote, scarcely populated corners of the republic attract adventure-minded car travelers to make trips to "the end of the road". The northernmost destination is the village of Yurung-Khaya (Юрюнг-Хая) located at latitude 73 degrees north close to the Arctic Ocean (Laptev Sea).

Anabar Bay, Yuryung-Khaya (72°49') is considerably higher north than the other "ends of the road":
Nordkapp in Norway (70°58');  Prudhoe Bay in the USA (70°19');  Vayda-Guba near Murmansk in Russia (69°56');

Tuktoyaktuk in Canada (69°26');  One degree latitude equals 111 km, one minute latitude equals 1.85 km.


In March 2016 a group of four foreign travelers plus myself drove 4,000 km from Irkutsk to Yurung-Khaya. They were the first foreigners who using standard cars reached Anabar district by zimnik - a seasonal winter road that exists only in cold season when swamps and rivers are solidly frozen.

The first zimnik runs from the town of Ust-Kut in Irkutsk oblast to the town of Mirny in Yakutia. 1,100 km through taiga where there are no villages, no gas stations, no hostels, no police, no ambulance service.

Mirny is famous for the gigantic diamond mine. The crater is the 2nd-largest excavated hole in the world and has yielded US$ 17.5 billion worth of diamonds.

From Mirny 510 km to Udachny - another diamond mining town located close to the Arctic Circle.

From Udachny it is 1,050 km of zimnik to the end of the road in Yurung-Khaya.  You can get fuel and a place to sleep in Olenek (300 km from Udachny) and in Saskylakh (910 km from Udachny).

Siberian sable.

From Olenek to Saskylakh about 550 km by frozen Anabar River.


Saskylakh. The northernmost church.

Evgeny Laptev - the Anaber governor is very helpful to travelers.

The last leg of zimnik Sakylakh - Yurung-Khaya. No more trees. Open tundra.

An aerial view of the Anabar River.