The Caldera of Golovnin volcano – the southernmost volcano of Kuril Islands – is located at the south of Kunashir Island.
The defining characteristic of this volcano is the lack of clear-cut cone. Thousands of years ago, there was a huge explosion that could only be compared with Tambora or Krakarau ones. The cone has been destroyed and just a ridge of rocks – Caldera – still remains. All further eruptions and other volcanic activities at the bottom of Caldera caused the new cones to grow.
There are 2 lakes located in Caldera: one of them named Goryacheye (“Hot” in Russian) and another – located in one of the craters – Kipyashyaye (“Boiling” in Russian). Both lakes contain a number of sulfur and sulfide compounds, and the surface of Kipyashyaye lake is even covered with a sulfide-sulfur foam. The beaches of the lakes consist from an unusual sand, which is partly black. Kipyashyaye lake got its name for a reason, the average temperature of the water is higher 35 oC. This temperature is maintained due to a huge variety of boiling water springs, coming from under the surface. Goryacheye lake is located at the north of the Caldera and covers over 3000 km2, which is 1/3 of the total Caldera square, and is 62 m deep. Goryacheye lake is inhabited by a variety of different crostaceo and plants, which feel amazing in such environment.
You must be very careful while nearing Kipyashyaye lake.
The route to Caldera, Kipyashyaye and Goryacheye lakes takes about 7 km one way (14 km there and back). This route can be walking, where you can enjoy the plants growing in Caldera or you can ride a quad bike and spend just 30 minutes on a road. The walking route takes about 2 hours one way.