Gorely is a big shield volcano southwest of Petropavlovsk with a 12 km wide caldera on top of a plateau. In the center of this caldera sits a young and active stratovolcano. The highest point reaches 1,829 m. View from the southeast.


Meltwater forms a small stream, that flows down on an old lava field before it is lost in the sand.
Gorely Waterfall


A view into the caldera. I had been here already in summer 1996 and then this place looked like an arctic region covered with snow and ice. On the background Mt Asacha and, smaller to the left, the Khodutka.

In the caldera

The bottom of the caldera is covered with sand and looks like a dessert.
Caldera In the caldera

Crater lake

A lake fills one of the summit craters. According to its diameter it must have been created by powerful eruptions. We did not observe any signs of volcanic activity here.

Small crater

The summit area and the flanks of Gorely are covered with numerous craters and cinder cones. One of the smaller craters in direct neighborhood to the active vent is still smoking in some places.
First crater Little crater

Active crater

This is the place where the eruptions in 1980/81 and 1984-86 took place. Now the crater is filled with an acidic hot lake and it will likely become the scene of future eruptions.


The terrain near the active crater is covered with a compact layer of fine ash. Strong wind and temperatures around zero deg C give a good contrast to any volcanic activity, not to mention the sun and blue sky.
Active crater Plateau


An extinct volcano south from Petropavlovsk with a height of 2,173 m. The picture was taken from Gorely and it also shows part of the bottom and rim of its caldera.

Old vent

An old eruptive vent stands in front of Skalistaya Sopka, a smaller rock northwest of Gorely. The hard basalt of a volcanic vent withstands erosion and remains as a rock above the disappearing rest of the mountain.
Lava Old volcano

Snow and lava and sand

Dirty snow fields and old lava flows are trying to move down the slopes, which are relatively flat compared to other volcanoes. Both of them make it sooner or later to the bottom of the caldera, the snow as water and the lava as sand.

Snow and lava