Altai Krai (Russian: Алта́йский край uhl-TIGH-skee krigh) is in a region Western Siberia. It is located to the north-west of the semi-autonomous Altai Republic. Both regions are named after the stunningly beautiful Altai mountains and are home to the Altai people, an ethnically Turkic group living in the region for over 10,000 years. During Soviet times, Altai (both Krai and Republic) were very popular tourist destinations, particularly for adventure tourists interested in fishing, hunting, mountaineering and related mountain sports. In beauty, the Altai Krai is comparable to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska or the Swiss Alps.
Chuysky Highway (Чуйский тракт) is a road from Novosibirsk to Mongolia, that goes through Berdsk, Biysk and down south to Altai Republic, where the landscape changes from steppes plain to scenic mountains covered with snow. The highway is very popular among motorist and cyclists.
A variety of adventure resorts exist in Altai Krai. In Russian, these camps are affectionately known as Bazi Otdiha (Rest Bases). At most camps, the traveler can expect to rent horses, indulge in a banya, or rent fishing or river equipment. The bases are inexpensive and welcoming of Western-style backpackers. They offer campsites and can serve as a valuable resource for information about particular sites/passes and mountain locations.