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Destinations \ Waterways \ Lena River (Russia)

Lena River (Russia)

Waterways (main page)

Lena River locatorThe mighty Lena River is the second biggest river in water volume in Russia (after the Yenisei) and 9-10th longest in the world, yet it is virtually unknown outside of Russia. The 4,400km river starts in the mountains to the west of Lake Baikal and snakes through north eastern Siberia until it floods into the Laptev Sea in the Arctic Ocean. Since the mid 1600s, the river has been the lifeline to the capital of north eastern Siberia, Yakutsk city, supplying it with grain, salt, guns and adventurers. It was from here that the exploration, conquest and eventual colonisation of eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East were launched. The river is navigable from about 150km from its source all the way to the Arctic sea, however regular services only ply the river from Ust-Kut city north to Yakutsk city. It is usually ice free from May to September and its frozen surface is so solid that it can be safely driven on in February. The Lena is a godsend for travellers as it is one of the most interesting ways of exploring hidden corners of Russia. As few foreigners ever travel these routes, you are guaranteed an extraordinary insight into the lives of river villages, both Russian and indigenous.

Quick facts:

  • The 4,400km (2,734mi) long Lena River is the 9th longest River in the world.
  • Lena's cities & towns: Yakutsk, Ust-Kut, Kirensk, Peleduy, Lensk, Olekminsk, Tiksi
  • Lena does not have any hydropower dams, locks, or any large industrial plants.
  • Lena is ice free for 5-6 months in the south and between 4-5 months in the north.
  • Lena reaches high water in June with average annual rise between 10-18 meters.
  • The area of the river's drainage basin is about 961,000 sq. mi (2,490,000 sq. km).
  • Lena's main tributaries are: Vitim, Olyokma, Aldan, and the Vilyuy Rivers.
  • Lena empties out 12 million tones of sediment and 540 cubic km of water annually.
  • Lena's Delta (Laptev Sea) is the largest Arctic River delta in the world (250km wide).
  • Lena's Delta consists of 1,500 islands shaped by endless number of smaller channels.
  • Lena's basin is the home to many Indigenous groups: Yakut, Evenk, Dyuktai, Nanai...

  • Tours

    Cruise / Lena River - the Queen of Siberia

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    Yakutsk (Yakutia-Sakha Republic)
    Yenisei River (Russia)

    Rocky Pillars (Stolby) of Lena River Lowlands of Lena River Lena's tribuitary


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