Purpose-built to accommodate hydroelectric workers, tidy Sayanogorsk serves as a gateway to Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam, located 36km south near the town's outlying neighbourhood of Cheryomushki. Sitting at the foothills of Sayany mountains, Sayanogorsk is in fact several mikrorayony districts scattered around the Yenisey valley. Snowy peaks rise majestically from the yellow steppe as you drive from Abakan. There are popular hiking routes and a modern ski resort in the area.