The Southern Urals are a region of numerous nature treasures: beautiful mountains, clear lakes, well-known and unexplored caves and simply unique landscapes. Lake Turgoyak is one of the most attractive places in the Southern Urals.
It is situated in a large intermountain basin, surrounded by mountain ranges from all sides. The supply of the lake is provided with small rivers and streams. The depth of the lake on the average is more than 20 meters. The maximum depth reaches 34 m.
The mountains surrounding the lake are covered with forest mostly coniferous. The northern and eastern banks of the lake are high and bold, there are many big round and regular stones and pebble. The western banks are indented with numerous bays and beaked capes.
The bed of the lake is stony. On the lake there are two not very big islands – Chaika (‘gull’) and of St. Vera – and a few small islands. The water is pure and you can see the smallest stones deep below.
The average date of ice-formation is October 22. The thickness of ice reaches 1 meter by the end of winter. The ice on the lake melts between April 27 and May 19. The water warms up slowly. Only by the end of July the temperature on the surface reaches 20 degrees. Lake Turgoyak has a big climatological and balneological meaning and is an important recreation zone with a healing function.
The diversity of the lake’s flora and fauna and the flaura and fauna of its surroundings is due to its euro-asian location and mountain relief. All these contributes there to the habitation of animals of northern and southern latitudes, Siberia and Central Russia. The largest representatives of fauna are the bear and the elk. As far as predators are concerned here can be found the lynx, the wolf, the fox, the marten, the weasel, the badger, the ermine and the kolinsky. Here reside roes and wild boars, a lot of hears and squirrels. There are not many reptiles and amphibians. As far as the fish is concerned, the most interesting are the European cisco (white-fish family) and the river trout, which inhabits spring waters of mountain rivers.
They call Turgoyak Baikal’s younger brother. Many streams and rivers fall into it and only one river runs out of it, which is also true about Baikal. Turgoyak is put into the lists of the most precious lakes in the world, the most beautiful Russian landscapes and in Chelyabinsk region – of natural monuments. Lake Turgoyak is a favorite resort for the Uralian. Its banks are built up with houses and recreation centers, totally there are about 30 health resorts there.
On the banks of lake Turgoyak a landscape park with a land area of 13 thousand hectares is being created. Here you can go to an enthralling excursion along walking paths, to admire Ural landscapes from sky decks.
Not far from the lake there is a national park of ‘Taganay”. It is one of unique places of the Southern Urals. The beauty and uniqueness of its mountain landscapes has been noted by numerous travelers, artists and writers. Due to their beauty these places are often compared to the famous Alpine landscapes and are given the name of ‘Russian Switzerland’.