Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Areas currently open to limited number of travelers

Russia's Kronotsky area, known as the nation's Ring of Fire, is a natural wonderland that has been off limits for many years, with only scientists and researchers as the land's sole visitors. The area has now been made more accessible since 2011, but only to a select number of travelers.

The area provides many natural steambaths for the many local brown bears.

The area provides many natural steambaths for the many local brown bears.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: Kronotsky Zapovednik, Russia, travel, geysers

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Located on Russia's 1,200 kilometer-long Kamchatka peninsula, the nature reserve is closer to California than to Moscow. Larger than Yellowstone, with more than 10,000 square kilometers of protected wilderness, Kronotsky has permitted only the most constrained of non-scholarly visits. The area is only visited after taking a helicopter flight. Groups of tourists parade on boardwalks in small areas for under three hours.

Brown bears troll in the Valley of the Geysers, ambling among purple orchids, emerald grasses and the second-largest gathering of geysers on Earth.

Keep yourself warm in this beautiful hooded sweatshirt --

Meadows with golden rhododendron soothe the eye. Visitors are able to drink from snowfield streams. Spectacular volcanoes loom ahead, which are part of the great arc of volcanic and seismic activity known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Russia's Kronotsky Zapovednik is the world's largest system of strictly protected nature reserves.

"I was one of the first foreigners permitted to go hiking here as a mere tourist," Fred Strebeigh with the BBC says.

Russian began the country's system of zapovedniki, OR strictly protected nature reserves in 1916. Previously, these vast landscapes have been mostly inaccessible, except to scientists, rangers and students.

Strebeigh remarks that it's "as if the U.S. National Park Service (also, incidentally, founded in 1916) had forbidden hiking for most of a century - then decided a few travelers deserved a chance to explore the Grand Canyon or get close to Yellowstone's Old Faithful." 

Strebeigh describes his small group finally straddling one of the areas most intimidating volcanoes. "Now, as our group of three reached the mid-point in a five-day hike, snow-crowned Kronotsky Volcano rose before us, lifting more than 3,500 meters from the nearby Pacific.

"At its base, 30 million landlocked salmon swirled in its lava-dammed lake, a buffet for hundreds of the world's best-fed (and, weighing up to 700 kilograms, largest) brown bears.  Kamchatka snow sheep roamed unmolested in the volcano's heights - a privilege, since foreign hunters pay handsomely to shoot this long-horned subspecies in unprotected mountains."

There is absolutely no hunting permitted in the area. "The Russian word zapovednik comes from zapoved (commandment), as in 'thou shalt not harm.' The reserve's 33-year-old director, Tikhon Shpilenok, who came here after he worked as an anti-poaching ranger at another zapovednik, happily cited Russian law that permits only "educational tourism" in Russia's 102 zapovedniki.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Travel

Never before seen Vatican artifacts on display in Philadelphia Watch

Image of Pope Pius IX's processional cross.


A preview of "Vatican splendors" can be seen in an exhibit at the Franklin Institute that showcases never before seen relics and art pieces from the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A collection of over 200 items from the Vatican that have never been seen ... continue reading

Visit historic Catholic sites in New York Watch

Image of Visit New York City's Historically Catholic architecture!

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The New York Times released "A Tourist's Guide to Catholic New York," indicating which prominent locations in New York City stand out for their Catholic annotations and historic relevance. NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - People have made a journey to New York ... continue reading

'We were able to walk where Jesus walked': Pastor strives to become peacemaker while visiting the Holy Land Watch

Image of Pastor John Moyle offered to be a peacemaker between Israel and Palestine.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pastor John Moyle wanted to visit Israel not as a tourist, but as a peacemaker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Moyle, who is a social justice minister at Oakbrook Church in Reston, Va., wanted his church group to become peacemakers throughout Israel and ... continue reading

Want to visit Cuba? Here are 5 things to keep in mind! Watch

Image of Visit Cuba today!

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba restored, Americans have already started to plan Cuban vacations with thoughts of eating good food and soaking up plenty of sunshine -but what should Americans keep in mind as they plan?  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

St. Michael's Mount Watch

Image of St. Michael's Mount is located on an area that is supposedly part of a mythical kingdom that was destroyed by the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located 366 meters, (400 yd) off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low ... continue reading

Interactive map gives users a 'blast from the past' of Old San Francisco Watch

Image of Two encoders have taken a Google Street View Map and turned into an interactive look at San Francisco of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Call it a virtual time machine. Two encoders have taken a Google Street View Map and turned into an interactive look at San Francisco of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It may very well be the closest to a trip back in time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

Will Pope Francis' visit draw a big crowd? Hotel vacancies point to lower numbers than expected Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hotel owners across Philadelphia hoped Pope Francis' visit would become a major payday. However, as the pontiff's visit quickly approaches, a quarter of Philadelphia's 11,200 hotel rooms are still vacant for the time during his visit, according to Fortune. LOS ... continue reading

Skulls, pets, babies and the dead: The strangest things people try to smuggle on airplanes Watch

Image of


Airport security is one of the toughest to go through and is necessary to ensure the safety of those inside terminals, on planes and at the plane's destination. However, some people attempt to bypass TSA security measures to smuggle strange items in hilariously ... continue reading

Spectacular photos reveal 'alien world' (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of Image of the cave discovered beneath Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam (Ryan Deboodt/Caters News).


Locals discovered a cave near Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park last month, which was explored by adventure photographer Ryan Deboodt. As Deboodt's pictures show, it was like entering a breathtaking beautiful alien world. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Walls ... continue reading

Top Ten: World's Least Friendly Cities Watch

Image of The citizens in Moscow, Russia are not as friendly as they could be.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When you think of friendly cities, images of smiling faces, well-behaved children, and quiet neighborhoods come to mind. However, the following top ten list contains the top least friendly cities! LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - This list of the world's ... continue reading

All Travel News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 4:12-21
12 'Let the nations rouse themselves and march to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:27-28
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 10th, 2015 Image

St. Francis Borgia
October 10: Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. ... Read More