Akkem river

Akkem (Altai, "White water"), a river in Ust-Koksinsky area of the Republic of Altai, the right tributary of the Katun River. The Akkem River originates on the foot of Belukha Mountain from Akkem (Rodzevich) glacier and flows into the Katun, the biggest river of Altai. Length of the Akkem is 36 km, the basin area is 454 square kilometers.

The Akkem River has ice power feed. Water temperature reaches 12°C in July-August, -24°C in December. Freeze-up of the Akkem continues 70 days. The maximum water flow of the Akkem occurs in late summer, it is associated with mode of melting glaciers and snow. The river flows from Akkem glacier through a narrow valley, littered with stones. After the confluence with the Tekelu river, the Akkem valley becomes a narrow, rocky gap.

The Akkem is the one of the largest tributaries of the Katun River. The river originates in the high mountains, rippling on placers of boulders and stones, traces of subsidence of the glacier. Then forms a small muddy stream, squeezed in steep rocky riverbed, which edged by shaft moraine forming a picturesque network of streams. At this place, Top Akkem Lake is sometimes appeared.

Top Akkem Lake was a fairly large freshwater basin, formed by an ancient glacier in the early 20th century. But moraine forming a dam has been almost completely eroded, and that was the reason of "pulsating" lake character. Currently, Top Akkem appears only during spring flood, and not even every year, showing unearthly sceneries.

The Akkem River forms a rift crossing Down Akkem Lake and strives in a shallow valley, overgrown with thickets of grass and low shrubs. This place opens splendid views of lake, crown snow-capped ridges covered with sparse pine forest and grass slopes. Gentle colors of spring nature is changed to mirror reflecting the sky, contrasting views of the mountains and deep greens in summer, then silver and golden landscapes striking geometric pattern and color saturation in the fall.

Akkem Valley narrows after the mouth of the Tekelu River, and hides for a long time in the narrow canyon, squeezing river by steep walls, then getting wider again, it becomes part of the Katun River. The confluence of rivers is very beautiful. Below the mouth of the Akkem, a cascade of rapids are generated.