Yakutsk – Magadan. Kolyma Highway

Yakutsk - Magadan. Kolyma Highway Summer Overland Travel in Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Black pass in the Verkhoyansky Range between Yakutsk and Magadan on Kolyma Highway (Road of Bones) in Russia’s Siberia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Overland travel in summer-autumn 2019

This warm period we continue arranging road trips on Kolyma Highway from Yakutsk to Magadan or backward. Yes, it’s on Stalin’s Road of Bones in Russia’s Siberia.


Kolyma Highway (Road of Bones) in Summer

Watchdog on the famous M56 Kolyma Highway. Summer Overland Travel in Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

In above photos, you might see such parts of the M56 Kolyma Highway as:
– Tattinsky district with statues by the road;
– mountain passes in Verkhoyansk Range;
– one of bridges constructed by the inmates of Stalin’s Repression;
– mountain rivers, glaciers, falls;
– Vostochnaya Meteo Station and a cute watch dog;
– Ust Nera and Artyk settlements;
– gold mining spot, one of them;
– Kadykchan, abandoned town of coal miners, one man is left to live inthere;
– a new bridge across the Kolyma River.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov, our major guide.

Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold in the summertime (optional)

Oymyakon is the coldest inhabited village on Earth. It’s often named the Pole of Cold. In summer, we would rather call it the hottest place in Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia.

We are often asked to add Oymyakon in the itinerary. So, we did this time as well. See the related option of the Kolyma road trip below.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Dneprovsky GULAG Camp in Magadan Oblast

Dneprovsky is one of Dalstroy’s many GULAG camps in Magadan Oblast. Stands a little bit off the M56 Kolyma Highway between Susuman and Magadan. Big relatively. With well-remained buildings to see during the visit.

A track to Dneprovsky is passible, if weather is perfect and there were no heavy rains.

Photo credit: Evgeny Venediktov, one of our expedition drivers.

Butugychag GULAG Camp in Magadan Oblast (optional)

Butugychag is the horrible GALAG’s Labor Camp existed in Magadan Oblast from 1945 till 1955. Mostly known for its deadly uranium mines.

On request, we can visit this site, but we would need to have one extra day and drive from Susuman to Magadan through Ust Omchug (overnight) as well as additional expenses for a guide to show a trek.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Magadan, Russia

The Sea of Okhotsk and bays in Magadan, Russia.  Photo by Ajar Varlamov.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.


We offer two options:
  • Yakutsk – Magadan Tour, 6 days, group trip.
  • Yakutsk – Magadan Tour, 6-10 days, private trips. Route and travel budget to be customized on clients’ request. Travel dates are set up by clients. Private trips might be arranged from the early June till the midst of October.


Duration: 6 days (4 travel days + 1 full day in Magadan + departure day.)
Group size: 4-6 travelers.
Period: Summer – Autumn 2019.

Dates for group trips:

  • 10 – 16 Jul 2019 – DONE.
  • 17 – 22 Jul 2019 – DONE.
  • 22 – 28 Jul 2019 – DONE.
  • 14 – 19 Aug 2019 (Yakutsk to Magadan) – Flat rate. Guaranteed.
  • 05 – 10 Sep 2019 (Yakutsk to Magadan) – 1 space available. Flat rate. Guaranteed.
  • 11 – 16 Sep 2019 (Magadan to Yakutsk) – 2 spaces available. Flat rate. Guaranteed.

Dates for private trips:

  • Any dates on request.

Route: Yakutsk (start of the tour) – the Lena River – the Aldan River – Khandyga (overnight) – Teply Klyuch (GULAG Museum) – Verkhoyansk Mountains (Road of Bones) – Ust Nera (overnight) – Kadykchan (ghost town) – Susuman (overnight) – Yagodnoye (Kolyma History Museum) – the Kolyma River – Dneprovsky (GULAG) – Magadan (city tour + the Sea of Okhotsk bays) – Sokol Airport (departure).

Expedition-ready 4wd transports:
– Mitsubishi Delica (minivan);
– Toyota Land Cruiser Prado;
– Toyota Land Cruiser 105.


– Lena & Aldan Rivers to cross by transport ferries;
– Yakutian villages between Yakutsk and Khandyga;
– Teply Klyuch (w/ GULAG Museum);
– Verkhoyansky Range w/ narrowest passes such as Chernyj Prizhim, Zajachja Petlya, Lastochkin Dom and w/ the highest, longest Olchan Mountain Pass;
– Kadykchan, ghost town;
– Susuman (the town of gold miners);
– Yagodnoye (Panikarov’s private museum “History of Kolyma”.)
– Kolyma River & Bridge;
– many abondend gold miner’s settlements;
– Dneprovsky GULAG, if weather would allow;
– Magadan City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour.

Kolyma Road Trip Intinerary:

DAY 1 – YAKUTSK (START OF THE TOUR). DRIVE YAKUTSK TO KHANDYGA, 432 km (according to our GPS tracks), average moving speed 40 km/hr. Breakfast at hotel. Leaving hotel/place of stay at 09:00. Crossing the Lena River by a transport ferry, 8 km. Stop at Nizhny Bestyakh at a store for travelers to buy snacks and drinks. Start of journey on the Kolyma road through many traditional Sakha (Yakutian) villages. One stop at Cherkekh Outdoor Architecture History Museum. Two stops for meals at roadside cafes en route (not included). Crossing the Aldan River by a transport ferry in the evening. Arrival in Khandyga. Accommodation at private apartment-based hotel (twin/triple rooms, shared kitchen, shared bathroom, no breakfast).

DAY 2 – DRIVE KHANDYGA TO UST NERA, 560 km, 40-50 km/hr. From this moment, the Kolyma road goes through mountains’ valleys and passes. We depart the place of overnight at 08:00. Drive one hour to Teply Klyuch. Stop for breakfast in Teply Klyuch (not included). There is a chance to visit GULAG History Museum in Teply Klyuch. Drive through Verkhoyansk Range with numerous stops for photo sessions at such remarkable places as Zheltyk & Chernyj Prizhim (Yellow & Black Passes), Zajatchja Petlya. Stop for late dinner (not included) at Cuba Cafe in Kyubyume. This is the place where all adventure travelers leave their expedition stickers to a tube-like cash box. Stop on high points on Olchansky Mountain Passes. Arrival in Ust Nera in the evening. Dinner (not included) at cafe in the settlement. Accommodation in the Soviet-era hotel (single room/s with WC for travelers, no breakfast).

DAY 3 – DRIVE UST NERA TO SUSUMAN via KADYKCHAN, 395 km, 40-50 km/hr. Visit to a cafe for breakfast (not included) and at a store to buy snacks and drinks. We depart Ust Nera ±10:00. On the way to Susuman, you’ll see abandoned settlements previously used by GULAG’ administration, and the lost coalminers town of Kadykchan. No cafes en route for stops to have lunch. Arrival in Susuman by the evening. Dinner (not included) at a cafe bar in Susuman. Accommodation in Susuman in gold-mining company’s hotel (single/DBL room/s with bathroom).

DAY 4 – DRIVE SUSUMAN TO MAGADAN via DNEPROVSKY, 625 km, 40-60 km/hr. This day we leave Susuman after breakfast at a cafe (not included). We’ll see the famous plane cabin sticking out of the public administration building. Crossing the only bridge across the Kolyma River (stop for photo session). If weather is good to us and there had been raining, we would be able to do a 16-km turn to visit Dneprovsky GULAG. Final decision to drive to Dneprovsky belongs to a driver. We’ll see also many ghost towns, do stops for meals (not included) at cafes in Laryukovo and Palatka/Atka. Arrival in Magadan in the late evening. Check-in at hotel (not included).

DAY 5 – MAGADAN. Breakfast at hotel. City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour. Stops at bays, Mammoth Monument, the Mask of Sorrow, Magadan Surroundings, etc. We have a good tradition to visit a local fish market to get the perfect red caviar.

DAY 6 – DEPARTURE. Breakfast. Transfer to Sokol Airport, 51 km. Hugs. Flight from Magadan.

Feel free to request a tailor-made trip!

6-Day Tour Cost for Summer-Autumn 2019:

For 4 and more travelers = 103 000 RUB per person.
For 1-3 travelers = on request.

For September drives we provide discounts.

On request, the itinerary might be customized and the budget optimized.

Package Includes:

  • visa invitation;
  • 4wd transport w/ experienced driver (who is going to be a guide at the same time) and all transport-related expenses for driving en route Yakutsk – Magadan road as per itinerary;
  • travelers’ ferry passes on the Lena and Aldan Rivers;
  • travelers’ entry tickets to museums in Cherkekh and Teply Klyuch;
  • accommodation in Khandyga (apartment-based hotel, twin room, shared kitchen, shared WC & shower, no breakfast), Ust Nera (Soviet-type hotel, single/twin room w/ WC & shower, no breakfast), Susuman (standard hotel with single/DBL room, no breakfast);
  • sightseeing in Magadan (entry tickets not included) as per itinerary;
  • transfer from hotel to Sokol Airport in Magadan;
  • sat phone for emergency calls only.

Does NOT include:

  • air tickets to Yakutsk and from Magadan;
  • any meals in Yakutsk (reserve 1500-4000 RUB/day/person);
  • any meals en route Yakutsk to Magadan (1500-2000 RUB/day/person);
  • entry tickets to Panikarov’s Kolyma History Museum in Yagodnoye (if Panikarov would be in the town, it’s possible to attend his private museum dedicated to the victims of Stalin’s repression);
  • meals at restaurants in Magadan (2500-6000 RUB/day/person);
  • personal travel & medical insurances;
  • personal clothes & gears;
  • tips & gratitude.
Booking & Payment Conditions:
  • Payment might be done in EUR/USD/GBP/CNY by bank transfer.
  • To reserve space in a group trip, deposit amounting to 19 420 RUB per person is to be pre-paid by bank transfer.
  • To book a private trip, deposit amounting to 30% of the trip budget is to be pre-paid by bank transfer.
  • Balance payment should be done 45 days before the start of the road trip.
  • Please, note that Payer’s bank surcharges a Payer up to 25 USD per international international.

Download the PDF file to see more details.


By phone:

+7 (4112) 25-99-30 (work),
+7 (924) 765-99-30 (mobile).

Via email:


We tend to reply immediately or in the course of a day. If we don’t get back to you as quick as you wish, please, don’t worry. We could be busy with urgent requests or current travellers. Don’t hesitate to remind us.

Kolyma’s Road of Bones travel is better to do with friends. Tell the world that you plan to do the trip from Yakutsk to Magadan in Russia’s Siberia.