Connecting to Ukok

Situated at the intersection of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, Ukok Plateau is part of the “Golden Mountains of Siberia“, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

Isolated from the outside world by surrounding mountain ranges, Ukok is home to the snow leopard, argali mountain sheep, and steppe eagles. Stone and Bronze Age petroglyphs are common and the plateau was once the resting place of the Ukok Princess (Ice Maiden) until her discovery, excavation, and removal in 1993. Rich in biodiversity and fragile landscapes, Ukok is truly a special place in the world…and is sacred to many native peoples. Visitors can sense the plateau’s close connection with the heavens above.

Our friends at Sacred Land Film Project created a 4-part film series called “Standing on Sacred Ground“.

Part 1, “Pilgrims and Tourists” hones in on the Ukok Plateau and the development projects that continue to threaten this sacred part of Altai. “Pilgrims and Tourists” aired throughout the country on PBS and the World Channel in 2015. You can visit the film’s website for more information or to find a way to watch.

Protecting Ukok has always been a priority for The Altai Project. We continue to pay attention to potential threats and work together with our Altaian partners and U.S. based Altai Alliance members to support conservation initiative in this sacred place.

Enjoy a few photos of Ukok and the surrounding area.