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

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, 7 days, group trip.
  • Yakutsk – Magadan Tour, 7-10 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: 3-4 travelers for a group trip.
Period: Summer – Autumn. From the late May till the middle of October.

Dates for private trips:

  • Any dates on request.

Dates for group trips:

Summer-Autumn 2021:

  • 15 – 21 Jun 2021 – A group trip as per the below itinerary. Tour description // 22 – 28 Jun 2021 – Magadan to Yakutsk in a reverse order. Description in a separate file.
  • 20 – 26 Jul 2021 – A group trip as per the below itinerary. Tour description // 27 Jul – 02 Aug 2021 – Magadan to Yakutsk in a reverse order. Details in a separate file.
  • 05 – 11 Aug 2021 – A group trip as per the below itinerary. Tour description // 12 – 18 Aug 2021 – Magadan to Yakutsk in a reverse order. Description in a separate file.
  • 23 – 29 Aug 2021 – A group trip as per the below itinerary. Tour description // 30 Aug – 05 Sep 2021 – Magadan to Yakutsk in a reverse order. Details in a separate file.
  • 06 – 12 Sep 2021 – A group trip as per the below itinerary. Tour description // 12 – 18 Sep 2021 – Magadan to Yakutsk in a reverse order. Description in a separate file.

Route: Yakutsk (start of the tour) – the Lena River – Cherkyokh (outdoor architectural museum) –the Aldan River – Khandyga (overnight) – Teply Klyuch (GULAG Museum) – Verkhoyansk Mountains (Road of Bones w/ mountain passes) – Kyubyume (Cuba Café, glacier on the Kyubyume River) – Olchnasky Pass – Ust Nera (overnight) – Kadykchan (the ghost town of coal miners) – Susuman (overnight) – Yagodnoye (Kolyma History Museum) – the Kolyma River (the only bridge across the river) – Palatka (the biggest town of fountains) – 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;
– Cherkekh, Outdoor Architecture History Museum;
– 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 of coalminers;
– Susuman (the town of gold miners);
– Yagodnoye (Panikarov’s private museum “History of Kolyma”, if the host is available.)
– Kolyma River & Bridge;
– many abondend gold miner’s settlements;
– Palatka, the biggest Russian town of fountains;
– Magadan City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour.

Kolyma Road Trip Intinerary:

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN YAKUTSK. Transfer from airport/river port to hotel. Free time.

DAY 2 – DRIVE YAKUTSK TO KHANDYGA, 432 km (according to our GPS tracks), average moving speed 40 km/hr. 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. Time for dinner at a café. Accommodation at a private apartment-based hotel (no breakfast).

DAY 3 – 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. Time for breakfast at a café (not included). Drive one hour to Teply Klyuch. Stop for refuel in Teply Klyuch. 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 Zheltyj & Chernyj Prizhim (Yellow & Black Passes), Zajatchja Petlya. Stop for 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. Time for dinner at cafe (not included). Accommodation in the Soviet-era hotel (no breakfast).

DAY 4 – 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 at ±10:00. On the way to Susuman, you’ll see abandoned settlements previously used by GULAG’ administration, and the ghost town of coalminers called Kadykchan. No cafes en route for stops to have lunch. Arrival in Susuman by the evening. Time for dinner at a cafe bar( not included) in Susuman. Accommodation in Susuman in gold-mining company’s hotel (no breakfast).

DAY 5 – DRIVE SUSUMAN TO MAGADAN via PALATKA, 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. In Yagodnoye we’ll try to visit the private museum “History of Kolyma” (a visit depends on the host availability). Crossing the only bridge across the Kolyma River (stop for photo session). We’ll see many small ghost towns along the road. Do stops for meals (not included) at cafes in Laryukovo and Palatka/Atka. Visit to Palatka, which was initially established as a labor camp of GULAG and which became one of many goldminers’ settlements in Magadan Oblast. Nowadays, it is also considered as the biggest Russian town of fountains. Arrival in Magadan in the late evening.

DAY 6 – MAGADAN. City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour. Stops at bays, Mammoth Monument, the Mask of Sorrow, Magadan Surroundings, and Nyuklya Bay. We have a good tradition to visit a local fish market to get the perfect red caviar. Free time.

DAY 7 – DEPARTURE. Group transfer to Sokol Airport, 51 km. Hugs. Flight from Magadan (after lunchtime).

Feel free to request a tailor-made trip!

7-Day Tour Cost for Summer-Autumn 2021:

For 3 – 7 travelers = 1700 EUR per person.
For 2 travelers = 2150 EUR per person.
For 1 traveler = 4100 EUR per person.

Early birds deserve discounts. Write us to learn conditions.

Package Includes:

  • visa invitation (if requested),
  • transfer airport to hotel in Yakutsk,
  • 4wd transport w/ experienced driver/s and all transport-related expenses for driving on route Yakutsk – Magadan road as per itinerary,
  • travelers’ ferry passes on the Lena and Aldan Rivers (one way),
  • 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; twin room w/ WC & shower, no breakfast; room type depends on its availability), Susuman (Gold Mining Company’s hotel with single/DBL room w/ WC & shower, no breakfast),
  • group transfer from hotel to Sokol Airport in Magadan,
  • sat phone (for emergency calls only).

Does NOT include:

  • air tickets to Yakutsk and from Magadan,
  • meals in Yakutsk and Magadan (reserve 1500-4000 RUB/day/person for Yakutsk and 3500-6000 RUB/day/person for Magadan),
  • accommodation in Yakutsk and Magadan (our travelers usually stay at Tygyn Darkhan, AZIMUT, Bravo B&B in Yakutsk; at Magadan Plus, Silver House in Magadan),
  • any meals on the route Yakutsk – Magadan (1500-2500 RUB/day/person),
  • entry ticket 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),
  • personal travel & medical insurance policies,
  • personal clothes & gears,
  • tips & gratitude.

For private trips, it’s possible to arrange additional turns to:

  • GULAG camps on the Topolinoye summer road;
  • Oymyakon, the world’s coldest inhabited village;
  • for off-road drive to Dneprovsky GULAG camp;
  • for trekking from Ust Omchug to Butugychag GULAG camp;
  • etc.
Booking & Payment Conditions:
  • To reserve a trip, deposit amounting to 15% of tour cost is to be pre-paid.
  • Balance payment should be done 45 days before the start of the road trip, if no other date is negotiated.
  • If booking is done less than 45 days before the start of the tour, full pre-payment is required.
  • Payment might be done in EUR/USD/GBP by bank transfer. Payer’s bank surcharges up to 25 USD per cross-border transaction.
  • Payment in RUB might be done from a Russian bank by bank transfer (0% commission), by a Visa/Mastercard via the ЮKassa online payment processing system (3.5%) or PayPal (5.4% + 10 RUB).


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.