Lena Stone Pillars – Khangalassky District, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Lena Stone Pillars

Khangalassky District, Russia

A remote forest of stone pillars along the Lena river. 


Taking a trip to the Lena Pillars is no easy task.

Your trip will start in Moscow city where you will take a 6-hour flight to the Siberian city of Yakutsk. This trip will cost you an average of $800 since there are no other airlines competing for this route. Upon arrival in Yakutsk, you will learn that you can only get to Lena’s Pillars by boat. Supposedly this is only a half a day’s trip upriver; in fact the trip with takes 3 days with a local guide and costs $500. 

Lena’s Pillars are a natural rock formation which was made a World Heritage site in 2006. Numerous fossils and ancient organisms can be found at these pillars, and the area is important for its fossil record of the explosion of life in the lower Cambrian. It has also been the site of many mega-fauna fossils such as mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius Blum), bison (Bison priscus Boj), woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis Blum), Lena horse (Equus lenensis Russ), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L). Evidence of ancient human life can be seen from the rock paintings and manuscripts from the area.

Although Lena’s Pillars are an amazing sight to behold, be aware of the long (and expensive) trip ahead of you, as well as the lack of basic comforts and amenities due to the remoteness and isolation of the of the area.

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