Welcome to Aktash
This rundown and isolated village, whose name means ‘white stone’ in the Altai language, commands a dramatic area of craggy valleys. It could make a base for mountain adventures in the lovely Northern Chuya Range with its challenging mountaineering on Mt Aktru (4044m; permit required) and Mt Maashey (4177m; permit required) or for trekking to the Shavlinsky Lakes (permit required) or the Blue Lake (no permit required) halfway up Mt Aktru. For all but the Blue Lake a guide is required as well as full expedition equipment, none of which you will find in Aktash, so arrange those in advance, along with your border permit, from a qualified tour company.
Cyclists taking on the glorious journey east to Tuva via Ulagan might find themselves in Aktash for a night (going beyond Ulagan requires a border permit).