An epic frozen drive to Anabar

By dangerousroads

Anabar Road is a true Russian adventure leading to Anabar Bay, on the Laptev Sea. At 72°49′ North – higher north than the Nordkapp, Prudhoe Bay, or Tuktoyatuk – it’s one of the world’s northernmost roads.

Anabar Road


Where does Anabar road start and end?

The drive runs south-north from Irkutsk (the classic Siberian capital) to Yuryung-Khaya. Located at Anabar Bay on the Arctic Ocean, Yuryung-Khaya is the administrative center of Yuryung-Khainsky National Rural Okrug of Anabarsky District in the Sakha Republic.

How long is the road to Yuryung-Khaya?

The epic road trip is 4.000km (2.485 miles) long and begins in Irkutsk. You’ll have to travel 600km through the Trans-Siberian Highway to reach the mining town of Bratsk. This city is the last one you will see for 1,000 km until you reach Verhnemarkovo, near Ust-Kut. Here is where the zimnik (the real winter road) starts. The road will take you through Mirny and Udacny, the two most important towns that you will find before reaching the final destination, the coastal city of Yuryung-Khaya. The road is part of the official Russian road network but has humbled many egos.

Dancing Car on the Road to Anabar (with beautiful music from Yakutia) from KS on Vimeo.

Is the road to Yuryung-Khaya paved?

The road includes asphalt, gravel, and ice sections. It’s possible to drive the road all the way only in winter, from December to March. This trail passes through remote areas, so don’t expect police, ambulance, repair shop, or phone reception for 1.000 km. You’ll need to be prepared. With few villages in between, some of the villages are, in fact, abandoned, including Anabar itself. It’s not suitable for normal cars. When the sun comes out, the winter fairy tale landscape makes it at the same time one of the most scenic roads.

Is the road to Yuryung-Khaya challenging?

The dangers of the road are the Yakutian cold (-50°C and below), cracks in the ice, blizzards, trucks transporting vital goods to remote places, deep snow, and the lonely distances (fuel supplies!). Words can’t describe the road, and pictures don’t do it justice. According to all our research, the Anabar Road has been driven only once by foreigners in its entirety. The environment goes from taiga to tundra to polar.
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