Prielbrusye Overview

Prielbrusye National Park, established in 1986, is located in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, in the North Caucasus region of Russia. The park encompasses an area of approximately 700 square kilometers (about 270 square miles), centered around Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe, standing at 5,642 meters (18,510 feet). This majestic mountain is not only a symbol of the Caucasus but also a beacon for mountaineers from around the globe.

Prielbrusye National Park’s landscape is characterized by its dramatic mountainous terrain, including vast alpine meadows, rugged cliffs, and deep gorges, as well as glaciers that descend from the twin peaks of Mount Elbrus. The park’s unique geographical features create a diverse range of ecosystems that support a variety of flora and fauna. The region is home to endemic plant species adapted to the high-altitude conditions, as well as wildlife such as the Caucasian chamois, ibex, and numerous bird species, including the golden eagle.

The park offers a wide array of recreational opportunities, with hiking, mountaineering, and skiing being among the most popular activities. The climbing routes to the summit of Mount Elbrus attract thousands of climbers each year, offering both challenging ascents and breathtaking views. In addition to its natural attractions, Prielbrusye National Park is steeped in cultural heritage, with ancient villages and historical sites that reflect the rich traditions of the local Balkar and Karachay peoples.

Prielbrusye National Park plays a crucial role in the conservation of the region’s unique natural and cultural landscape. Efforts to preserve the park’s biodiversity and promote sustainable tourism practices are essential to maintaining the ecological balance and ensuring that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of the Caucasus Mountains.

With its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and cultural significance, Prielbrusye National Park is a jewel in Russia’s vast array of natural treasures, offering visitors an unforgettable experience of the majestic Caucasus.  Mount Elbrus is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Europe.

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Park Map
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Prielbrusye National Park Pictures

Prielbrusye National Park Trails

Elbrus Ascent Trail

Rating: Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: 11 miles round trip, elevation gain of about 4,800 feet (1,463 meters)

Description: The ultimate challenge in Prielbrusye, this trail leads adventurers to the summit of Mount Elbrus.

It requires preparation and acclimatization to high altitudes but rewards hikers with breathtaking views above the clouds and a sense of unparalleled accomplishment.

Baksan Valley Hike

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 6 miles round trip, elevation gain of about 1,000 feet (305 meters)

Description: This scenic trail winds through the heart of the Baksan Valley, offering panoramic views of surrounding peaks and lush alpine meadows.

It’s accessible to most hikers, providing a mix of natural beauty and gentle physical challenge.

Cheget Mountain Walk

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3 miles round trip, elevation gain of about 500 feet (152 meters)

Description: A popular trail for those seeking spectacular views without the strenuous climb of Elbrus.

Cheget Mountain offers vistas of Elbrus and the Twin Peaks, making it a favorite for photographers and families.

Narzan Springs Loop

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2 miles loop, minimal elevation gain

Description: This leisurely loop takes hikers to the famous Narzan mineral springs, known for their healing properties.

The trail is well-marked, passing through serene forests and meadows, and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Adyr-Su Gorge Trail

Rating: Moderate to Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8 miles round trip, elevation gain of about 2,000 feet (610 meters)

Description: For those interested in the geological wonders of the Caucasus, this trail offers an adventure through the Adyr-Su Gorge.

Hikers will traverse rocky paths, encounter rare plant species, and enjoy stunning mountain vistas, all while experiencing the raw beauty of the Caucasus.

  • All Trails, Mount Elbrus Summit,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Mount Elbrus,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Be Camper, Prielbrusye National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Live Science, Mount Elbrus,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Russia IC, Kabardino-Balkaria: The National Park “Prielbrusye,”, retrieved April 2024.
  • Wild Russia, Prielbrusye National Park,, retrieved April 2024.