Lower Katun and Chemal. Middle Katun. The Katun, a Great River of Siberia

Middle Katun River begins from Koksa River to Sumulta River passing in high mountain ranges. It falls about 400 meters down on this area. Katun receives the main tributaries Multa, Kuragan, Akkem, Kucherla, Argut and Chuya. Katun flows along rapid gorge below Tungur village before Argut River. Then it passes through high terraces from Argut to Chuya River.

Lower Katun is a section from Sumulta River to confluence Katun in Biya, the path lies in the spurs of the mountain ranges. The drop height of lower Katun is 400 meters. Katun gradually loses its mountainous character to steppe. River is divided into channels and flows along the inclined plain to the confluence with Biya River. The most important tributaries in this area are Chemal River and Sema River. Shores of Katun are not populated from mouth of the Big Ilgumen River to Kuyusa River. However, places near the Chemal village are inhabited. Warm winds from the mountains, called “fens” create a unique warm oasis at the bottom of the valley of the Katun. January temperature is about 16 degrees and snow coming in the second half of March. Such places are found in various parts of the Katun and, and orchards of apple trees even grow in the village of Small Yaloman.

Manzherokskoe Lake located on the ancient terrace is another unique natural object of bottom Katun. Ob River, one of the largest rivers of Siberia, is formed at the confluence of the Biya and. This is a very picturesque place: two powerful rivers flow together rapidly into more powerful, and their flows do not mix for some time, and form a striped flow of different colors of turquoise Katun and white-gray Biya. Flows are less noticeable in spring time, because water of Katun becomes dull and gray, and the Biya becomes more transparent.

Katun water has a calcium-magnesium composition with a high content of mercury, which has maximum amount in the period of floods. Elevated mercury level is due to the fact that Sarasinskaya zone and Kurai zone which are significant part of catchment area have mercury-ore character.

Along the whole length of Katun River has different and rich views. All types of landscapes are presented in the valley.

Rapids, twisting channels and fast stream of the Katun makes it unsuitable for rafting of timber and navigation, but these facts provide great energy potential which is not less than 4 million kW. This led to the fact of that a hydroelectric power station cascade was planned to build on the Katun. It, fortunately, was delayed for a long period. Public attempt to fail these plans during these years, keeping the Katun River from man-made disaster. Let's hope this project will not be realized, and our descendants will see pristine beauty of unique river.

Chuiya highway lies in parallel of the middle and lower Katun River. The first trail along the Katun and Chui mentioned in Chinese chronicles, which are more than 1 thousand years. Chuiski tract is amazing and picturesque highway with numerous ups and downs, unexpected turns and deep abysses. Beautiful scenery and long streamers ranges covered with snow appear through car window. The highest point of the Chui tract is Seminsky Pass at an altitude of 1894 meters above sea level.

Chemal district is one of the most developed tourist area, due to its availability, favorable climatic conditions, the unique picturesque landscapes and cultural and historical objects. The district has more than 25 tourist camps and recreation centers. Various thematic tours such as hiking routes, horseback tours, auto and trekking tours are advanced. Katun stream is not as rapid as in the upper Katun stream, which allow to raft it having varying level of training, including absolute "dummies". Many archaeological sites such as ancient people parking, burial mounds and rock carvings are located farther south the Chemal along the Katun, on the site of the road from Elanda to Kuyusa. There is a famous Chemal hydroelectric station and a Church of St. John the Evangelist on Patmos Iceland. Lower Valley of Katun can be called an ideal place for who like to combine outdoor recreation with comfortable excursions.