Mutnovsky Volcano


The Mutnovsky is a complex volcano with an elevation of 2,322 m. Modern volcanic activity concentrates in a lower area away from the summit in a wide crater. The fresh wind blows the escaping volcanic gases away.



This fantastic rock marks a point above the main route to the crater. Barely visible from a distance it looks spectacular once you decide to climb up close. The volcanoes in the background are the Vilyuchik and, already beyond Petropavlovsk at the horizon, the Koryaksky.

Tower Tower and volcanoes


From a path on a ridge we enjoy a breathtaking view on this clear day back to Petropavlovsk and even further to the Koryaksky and Avachinsky volcanoes. Some sediments are of bright yellow and orange colors. The geothermal power station down in the valley is also visible.

Stone Volcanoes and station


Inside the crater

A visit of the crater starts with a hike through the Volcannaya River canon. A glacier inside the crater feeds the river and serves as background for numerous fumaroles and mudpots. In case of bad weather the escaping sulfuric gases may shoo visitors away.

Inside crater

Sulfur dioxide

Solfataras eject gases containing sulfur and sulfur dioxide, forcing visitors to go around in a wide circle.

Big fumarole

A big hole in the ground, having the shape of a small crater, blows gases up to the sky. The walls are covered with sulfur crystals.
Sulfur Big fumarole


In spring 2000 the activity of Mutnovsky suddenly increased and a weak phreatic (?) explosion was noticed. The heat flow melted part of the ice and formed a lake inside an already existing explosive crater. It is unknown whether this was just a single event or the beginning of a new active period. The next eruption of Mutnovsky is overdue to come.

Lake Glacier

Active crater

Powerful solfataras send their gases into the atmosphere at a temperature of up to 700 deg C and their smoke is still visible from long distances (see first picture above). The surroundings are covered with sulfur and other minerals.

Bottom of the crater

The crater is about 180 m deep. Down at the bottom a few fumaroles join their colleagues further up in the walls. The yellow sulfur deposites can be seen.
Active crater Bottom
Crater wall Fumaroles