The Yenisei River is one of the largest and most beautiful rivers in the world. The river rises in the Sayan Mountains and, passing all the climatic zones of Siberia, flows into the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean. The Yenisei serves as a kind of natural boundary between Western and Eastern Siberia, from south to north it mostly flows straight along the meridian. The length of the great river is more than 4000 km. In the vicinity of Abakan, its largest left tributary, the Abakan River, flows into the Yenisei, and 270 km north of Krasnoyarsk, the Yenisei takes in its large right tributary, the Angara River. All rivers flowing into Baikal, as a result, compose the Yenisei basin. Due to the high speed of the flow, the Yenisei is the most water-abundant river in Russia, almost three times as water-abundant as the Volga.
Name of the Yenisei
In the upper reaches on the territory of the Republic of Tyva, the Yenisei is called Khem. In the vicinity of Kyzyl, the Biy-Khem (Big Yenisei) and the Ka-Khem (Small Yenisei) meet to form the Ulug-Khem (Great Yenisei). Having passed through the Sayan Ranges on the territory of Khakassia, the Yenisei has been historically called Kim-Sug, but now this name is hardly ever used. The name of the Yenisei River is a russified pronunciation of the Evenk word Yonesi, Ionessi, which means “Big Water”.
Energy of the Yenisei
Three hydroelectric power stations were built on the Yenisei: Sayano-Shushenskaya, Mainskaya. and Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power plants. The reservoir of the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power plant starts from Abakan, and the Krasnoyarsk Sea - as it is called here - is one of the favorite vacation spots for residents and guests of Khakassia. The Sayano-Shushenskoye water reservoir is popular because of fishing and recreational activities, the Maina water reservoir is known as the place for trout farming. The total capacity of the three Yenisei hydroelectric power plants is more than 12.5 million kilowatts per hour. It's clean, renewable energy that powers the region's steel industry
The Yenisei is the most important waterway of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Regular navigation ensures constant cargo flows from Krasnoyarsk to Dudinka. But for Khakassia, navigation along the Yenisei is not important. The southern reservoirs are closed basins, which are actually isolated from each other. There are no locks through either the Maina or the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power plants. In the vicinity of Abakan, where the Krasnoyarsk reservoir begins, the Yenisei floods widely, breaks into smaller flows and becomes far more shallow.
But this is not a problem for pleasure boats, as pleasure navigation along the Yenisei and the Krasnoyarsk Sea is well developed and in demand. The Yenisei does not freeze in its downstream of the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant, so in the area of Karlov Stvor it’s possible to go rafting on pack-rafts, kayaks and even go SUP-boarding. You can find out about this in the visitor center of Sayanogorsk. The Yenisei also has its own holiday - the Day of the Yenisei, which is celebrated in mid-September
Take a look at the Yenisei.
In Abakan, the Yenisei is not visible, so for guests there is an excellent observation deck on the Bratsky Bridge. The wide floods of the Krasnoyarsk reservoir can be seen from Ust-Abakan or Mount Kyun-Tag, and admire the speed of the current at the observation deck of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power plant on the embankment of the village of Cheryomushki or from Mount Krestik nearby Sayanogorsk. In Khakassia, the Yenisei is different, as the river drastically changes depending on lighting, season and viewpoint. But what remains constant is its power and beauty, which we wish you to see and feel for yourselves.