Lena Pillars National Park in Yakutia

The Lena Pillars

The Lena Pillars are located in the middle course of the Lena River. The area here is so picturesque that it leaves an indelible mark in the soul of everyone who has visited it at least once. Along the banks of the Lena, the Buotama and the Sinyaya, wherever you look, you can see curious pillars, sometimes taking bizarre shapes. The Lena Pillars are the remnants of bedrock destruction – Lower Cambrian limestone. They are 524 km long and about 200 m high.

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The Lena Pillars National Park was formed relatively recently, just over 15 years ago. In the mid-1980s, archaeological excavations at the mouth of the Diring-Yuryakh brook, flowing through the territory of the park, revealed a site of ancient people, traces of the prehistoric Diring culture. Scientists found not only tools, jewelry and household items, but also the remains of ancient animals: woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiguibatis), bison (Bison priscus) and mammoth (Mammulhus primigenius). There is a version that the Diring-Yuryakh site is one of the oldest in the world.

According to the natural criteria, the national park claims to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Lena Pillars National Park is one of the natural wonders of Yakutia. Their shape has been honed for millions of years by the forces of weathering and solar radiation. They have become like palaces, towers, houses, temples and even people and animals

General Information

  • Full name: Lena Pillars National Nature Park.
  • IUCN Category: II (national park).
  • Date of establishment; February 10, 1995.
  • Region Yakutia, Khangalassky ulus.
  • Area: 485,000 ha.
  • Relief: Mountain.
  • Climate: sharply continental.
  • Official site: http://www.lenskiestolby.ru/.
  • E-mail: nppls@mail.ru.

Walk in the park.

The way from Olemkinsk to the settlement of Pavlovsk along the Lena River leaves unforgettable impressions. After all, this is where the amazing pearl of the North – “Lena Pillars” – is located. The national park consists of two branches: “Pillars” and “Sinskiy”.

On the right bank of the Lena River you can see the waving tukulan sands. Tukulan means “sand” in Evenki. The air temperature here can reach +40 ° C. There is no other natural wonder like this anywhere on the planet. For scientists, the origin of tukulans is still a mystery.

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464 species of higher vascular plants have been found in the territory of the “Lena Pillars Park”. Plain larch taiga dominates. It is interesting that only here grows endemic plant – Redowskia sophiifolia. It is found nowhere else in the world. There is another very rare plant in the tukulans – Skrjabin’s tonkonog (Koeleria skrjabinii). There are also many other rare flowers and herbs here: small-flowered postennia (Parietaria micrantha), spotted lady’s slipper (Cypripedium guttatum), Pennsylvanian lily (Lilium rep-sylvanicum), etc.

A really amazing plant is the arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus). The fact is that its seeds have broken all the world records of viability. Thus, in 1954 during the archaeological excavations on the Canadian Yukon Plateau seeds of this plant were found. Their age was also determined: 10,000 years. After the excavations had been completed, the seeds were stored for approximately 12 years before they were allowed to germinate. The experiment was a success!

Lena Pillars in Winter

There are a lot of bizarre mosses and lichens on the territory of the “Lena Pillars”. Yagel, or deer moss (Cladonia rangiferina), has a very high frost resistance. Therefore, it is a good food for reindeer even in the coldest winters, making up to 90% of their diet in winter.


The park is a home to 42 species of mammals, 99 species of birds, 27 of which are rare and endangered, 4 of amphibians and reptiles and 23 of fish.

Jagel, or deer moss, is one of the most frost-resistant lichen species

The most common animals in forests and coastal areas are spike (Mustela sibirica), sable (Martes zibellina), American mink (Neovison vison), steppe polecat (Mustela evers-manni), wolverine (Gulo gulo). Among the smaller animals are common voles (Pteromys volans), common squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Asian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus), long-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus), squirrel hare (Lepus timidus).

The golden eagle is the largest and the strongest, but today this species needs protection, so it is included in the Red Book of Russia.

There is the musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), a relatively small deer-like animal. An adult musk deer is one meter long and 70 cm tall at the withers. It has no horns; instead, the males use their fangs as a tournament weapon. Pay attention to the Latin name of this animal. The word moschus is of Greek origin and means “musk”, and moschiferus means “bearer of musk”. Each male musk deer has a special abdominal gland that produces musk, a strong-smelling substance that has long been used and highly valued in perfumery.

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Lena Pillars in the Fog

The Lena Pillars National Park is home to the Bewick’s swan (Cygnus bewickii), peregrine (Falcoperegrinus), gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), white-tailed eagle (Hali-aeetus albicilla), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white crane or crane (Grus leucogeranus), and dozens of other bird species.

The golden eagle is one of the most famous birds of prey, the largest and strongest eagle. Recently their number has declined sharply, mainly due to serious disturbances in the ecological balance of nature and purposeful destruction of birds. Golden eagles, like many other raptors, have very sharp eyesight: they can see a hare from a distance of 2 km. Golden eagles can attack animals equal or even superior in size: foxes, deer and their cubs, chamois, roe deer and sheep.

Visitors to

Park Mode.

The park has ecological trails and paths that introduce tourists to unique natural monuments: the Lena Pillars, tukulans, fauna and flora.

How to get there

The distance from Yakutsk to the Park “Lena Pillars” is about 180 km, and from Pokrovsk – 104 km. The easiest way to get to the national park is by tourist boat. You can also get there from Olemkinsk. More information about tourist routes can be obtained from the park administration.

Where to stay

One of the options is the Buotama recreation center, which is located on the right bank of the Lena River in the park. It has ten heated cabins. It is also possible to stay at the recreation base “Verkhny Vestyakh”, located a few kilometers above the village of the same name. The base is supplied with electricity, has summer houses, a sauna, and a dining room. Up to 20 people can stay here.

Where is the park Lena Pillars on the map of Russia

Lena Pillars is a natural wonder and park in Russia on the Lena River, a natural mountain system two hundred kilometers from Yakutsk.

There are four areas in the Lena Pillars Nature Park. These are the Lena, Sinskiye and Buotamskiye Pillars and the tukulan sands. The park is located on the banks of the Lena, Sinya and Buotama rivers and is popular among fans of ecological tourism.

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History of the Lena Pillars Park

The “Lena Pillars Nature Park” was founded following the decree of the president of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) ¹837 of August 16, 1994. This decree was supported by a decree of the Government of the Republic of Sakha in 1995, dated February 10. Direct management of the park is carried out by the Ministry of Nature Protection of Yakutia. As the main activity of the administrative entity is the development of ecological tourism, which is becoming more and more popular lately.

Interesting facts

Lena Pillars is a natural wonder and the natural park of the same name in Russia. The mountain system called Lena Pillars stretches for tens of kilometers along the banks of the Lena River. The system represents vertically elongated rocks on the territory of the protected nature park. The reserve is located in the Khangalassky and Olekminsky districts of Yakutia, Yakutsk, Russia. On the right bank of the Lena River is the Stolby site, and on the left bank is the Sinskiy site.

For the local peoples, the site was sacred and awe-inspiring. Fearing the wrath of the spirits living in the rocks, ordinary people avoided visiting this area. Many believed that the rocks were forever frozen people punished by supernatural forces. Only elders and shamans could get close to the mysterious pillars.

It has been established that in the past there was a shallow sea there. For millions of years the remains of all kinds of shell organisms were accumulated at its bottom. Subsequently, the sea has turned into dry land. As a result of tectonic processes that took place during the anthropogenic period, the Siberian platform rose to a height of 200 meters. This led to the emergence of faults, karst processes, resulting in the formation of rocks of unusual shapes. This is how the unique Lena Pillars were born.

Paleontologists have found 350 genera of early Cambrian organisms, unique specimens of extinct animals, including mammoth and woolly rhinoceros. Scientists claim that the rocks of the Lena Pillars are a real treasure for science.

Numerous rock paintings and petroglyphs have been found on the rocks along the Lena River. The ancient settlers used yellow mineral paint for drawings. They mostly depicted animals and people, ancient Turkic runic writing.

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How to reach the park Lena Pillars

The Lena Pillars are located in Yakutia, in the Khangalassky ulus. The nearest small town Pokrovsk is 104 km away. From the capital of the republic, Yakutsk, it is about 150 km. To get to the national park, unlike many other Sakha attractions, is very easy. You can fly from Moscow to Yakutsk by plane, and after that it takes 5 hours by water on a comfortable motor ship.

It is better to buy immediately in a tour in one of the agencies – in this case you can comfortably travel in a cabin for two or four people. But it is also possible to simply hire a private motorboat with a guide from Yakutsk or Pokrovsk. Comfort, of course, will be much less, but it will cost less and will be very pleasant for those who like active way of spending time and lovers of Russian extreme.

World Heritage

The Lena Pillars is a unique natural formation, which is a large rocky ridge on one bank of the river, going further into the taiga. This massif, consisting of a chaotic heap of rocks, was formed five hundred million years ago from ancient limestone rocks. Hence the original shape of the pillars, which are a peculiar “product of the activity” of wind and climatic erosion. The height of the most significant of the columns is 200 meters or even more.

It is possible to climb the rocks. For this purpose, there are two ways: a safer long way (will take at least half an hour), and a short one, designed for tourists who are physically prepared and are fans of a little extreme relaxation. The short route will take 10 or 15 minutes. This “ascent” is quite difficult, but it is worth it – you can see wonderful views from above.

The Sin Pillars and the Buotama Pillars

The Sin Pillars are a kind of branch of a national park. This natural attraction is located 50 kilometers farther from Yakutsk on the banks of the Lena River and the Sinyaya River. The ridge stretches for 80 kilometers along the banks. The shapes of the rocks that form it differ with unprecedented whimsy. Here one can find as if man-made towers and spires, some of them still bear the traces of ancient rock art. And, of course, there is an abundance of formations in the form of pillars similar to the Lena Pillars. The Sinskie pillars are not as widely known as the Lena Pillars, but they are not inferior to the latter in beauty, and even somewhat superior to them, resembling a fairy-tale castle of northern mythological creatures.

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It is much more difficult to reach this natural formation. You can get to the Blue river by cars, but you need to be ready for a ride in a cross-country vehicle. Then you can go rafting on the river. There is a possibility to order a helicopter and see everything from height – also an option. Another way, the most interesting, is rafting or kayaking from Yakutsk.

The Buotama River flows surrounded by picturesque cliffs, called the Buotama Pillars. They are no less beautiful than the famous Lena Pillars and the lesser-known Sinskie Pillars. Tourists visit this area somewhat less frequently because of some remoteness. The main method of travel is rafting.

Tukulans Saamys Kumaga and Kysyl Elesin

Tukulans are called large sand massifs. For Yakutia, this is a real exotic. Few people can imagine a piece of desert in the middle of the Siberian taiga.

Tukulan Kysyl Elesin is located 8 kilometers from the Buotama riverbed and is a grandiose dune. Tukulan Saamys Kumaga stretches for five kilometers and is less than a kilometer wide. It is an alternation of hollows, ramparts and ridges. Some of the depressions are rich in vegetation.

Park photos

The park today

At the end of the XIX century and early XX century, this corner of nature could not visit so many people. The reason was the remoteness of the places and the small number of local residents. To correct this injustice, the city of Yakutsk organized boat trips for tourists.

The local authorities in 1994 supported the establishment of the reserve called “Lena Pillars”. Such a step was taken to preserve the pristine nature and to develop international tourism.

Since 2006, the Lena Pillars have been protected by UNESCO and are recognized as one of the most striking places on the planet, preserving an ecosystem untouched by man.

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