"Golden mountains" (from Mongolian word "altan") - is one of the meanings of the word "Altai". Really there is gold here, although Altai was never included to the number of popular gold-fields, such as for example Eldorado or Kolyma. There exists one more interpretation of this word - "motley mountains". It reflects the general picture of the region more precisely.
Altai stretches from North-West to South-East for more than 2 thousand km. Having climbed a slope somewhere in the valley of the Tchui River one may see, that the slope directed northward is overgrown with thick grass, and the opposite slope languid with the heat is covered with dry steppe grasses, thorny bushes of acacia and barberries. When it is midsummer at the bottom of the valley where the white waters of the Tchui flow, at the crests of high ridges an early spring begins. Then one may actually agree that Altai is motley mountains.
Altai is so diverse, that it may satisfy the taste of any traveller.
It is possible to travel around Altai on foot and on ski, on horseback or on camelback, by helicopter or hand glider and paraglider, by light sporting boats on rapid mountain rivers and by comfortable motor ships on Lake Teletskoye which is also called Altyn Kyol (Golden Lake), on mountain skis upon steep slopes or by cars and bicycles across mountain passes searching for "the heart of Asia"…
With the special alpinist equipment on icefalls and sheer rocks to transcendental tops of the highest Siberian mountains or in fathomless pits of the deepest caves, with aqualungs along the bottoms of transparent mountain lakes, with guns in taiga pursuing an expensive hunting trophy - it is really difficult to imagine any kind of tourism impossible in Altai.
European travellers, who happened to be here last century, found striking resemblance between Altai and the Switzerland Alps.
That's why no wonder that such names as Siberian Switzerland, North-Tchuya Alps, the Katun Alps appeared. The Swisses, who recently visited Altai, prove this resemblance and say with unconcealed envy, that only here one may imagine the Alps as they were before tourist inroad. Today not large hotels and roads to them are being built in Altai. The majority of geographical discoveries in Altai were made last century. However, nowadays lots of new is found here.The majority of geographical discoveries in Altai were made last century.
However, nowadays lots of new is found here. So, only in the end of the 70-s the deepest caves were discovered and explored in the river-head of the Ustyuba and in Seminsky Ridge. Scientists think, that explorations of the Altaian karst will give not a single discovery. In the mid 70-s the waterfall on the Chulcha River gained great popularity. This biggest waterfall has the total fall height of 160 m and is a marvelous view.
Archeological finds of recent years attract attention of specialists all over the world: a site of a man in Denissov cave on the Anuya River is almost the oldest one in Asia. People living in these mountains, their way of life and history are a real fount for travellers, for Altai is a point of contiguity and inter-penetration of different religions: Christianity, Mohammedanism, Lamaism and Buddhism, and some Altaian tribes still preserve their pagan faith and live watched by a kind god Ulgen and malicious Erlic.
Altai is a wonderful example of how much t people's life depends on nature, is determined by land where they live. The same as many years ago people pasture cattle here, hunt for wild animals, weave homemade carpets. A great area of these mountains were not industrially developed, that's why food production gained mostly by means of old grandfather's methods is environmentally safe. Many products of natural origin possess unique medical properties, e.g. maral horns obtained in maral-breeding farms, honey and propolis from mountain apiaries, golden root.
Situated in the north of the Republic, Maiminsky Region is considered to be one of the most perspective regions in regards of its recreational development; there are several tourist and recreation centers, as well as numerous places for "non-organized tourism", along river-coasts, in particular. The region is quite popular due to bordering on the Altai Region, due to its well-developed transportation network and one of the most developed infrastructures as compared to the other regions of the Republic.
Touristically, the Maiminsky Region is one of the most attractive for "non-organized tourism" and consequently, it is the region most subjected to ecological contamination.
A fine Altaian cuisine restaurant "Merkit" is situated not far from the village of Maima. Also, Museum of Kazakh culture (ail), situated near the bridge to the Aya Lake, is of interest. one could visit V.Y. Shishkov's monument (116th km of the Tchuisky Highway), or go the Lake Manzherok, mineral spring Arzhan-Suu, to Taldinskiye Caves or visit the archeological monument near the village of Souzga - the site "Souzga".
The climate of the Region is continental. Precipitation amount equals 800 mm, with more than 300 mm of it falling in summertime. South-eastern and north-western winds prevail.
V. Maima - the center of Maiminsky Region - is situated 10 km northward from Gorno-Altaisk and is connected with the capital by an asphalt motor road. Petrol stations are situated in v. Maima, v. Rybalka, v. Manzherok. In Maima there is also a technical maintenance station.
Today there is a number of tourist and recreational centers on the territory of the Region.
Recreational center "Kiwi-Lodge" is situated on the coast of the Katun River near the village of Souzga, 30 km away from Gorno-Altaisk. The complex includes a 3* hotel, a summer camping on two islands
Tourist complex "Manzherok" is situated in the village of Manzherok in a pine forest on the coast of the Katun River. It is a two-storeyed cottage and a tent camping.
There is a Kazakh Culture Museum in the Region, near the Aya Lake. Experienced instructors work at the tourist center "Manzherok" and carry out rafting; in winters one is offered excursions, skiing, sledging, as well as hiking, horse-riding, water and automobile routs to any taste.
Tourist base "The Katun Crown" offers rafting down the Katun, excursions to the Kamyshinsky Waterfall, to Tavdinskiye Caves, to Lake Manzherok, to Holy Spring Arzhan-Suu; a diverse sports and cultural program. Souvenirs, wood articles may be bought at the Holy Spring Arzhan-Suu.
There are no significant objects of tourism, no recreational base or places of note on the territory of the Region. But despite that, the so-called "rural tourism" is being developed in Tchoisky Region (reception of tourists at the local people's houses, meals, residence, excursions, recreation). Local population may offer tourists hunting and fishing recreation.
Maximum July temperatures equal +33°C, while minimum January temperatures are - 44°C. North-western winds prevail. Precipitation amount constitutes 800-1000 mm.
V. Tchoya - the center of the Tchoisky Region - is situated 62 km away from Gorno-Altaisk. There is an every-day bus from Gorno-Altaisk to the village of Tchoya. There are also two technical maintenance stations in v. Sugul and Tchoya.
There is a mini-hotel in Tchoya. Development of "rural tourism" seems perspective for this Region.
Presently, a special stress is laid upon the development of the so-called "non-organized tourism". The tourists visiting this Region are offered to spend their time hunting big and small fur-bearing animals and fishing in mountain rivers of the Region.
One may buy wicker vine articles in the villages of Tchoya, Paspaul, Salganda
The central disposition of the Region and the abundance of archeological, historical and ethnographic monuments predetermines intensive tourism development on this territory. Here are numerous stone statues, burial mounds, settlement sites, rock drawings. The Seminsky Pass is of the greatest popularity - it is the highest point of the Tchuisky Highway (1984 m above sea-level). In old Altaian language the pass was called Dial-Menku ("Eternal Mountain"). A memorable obelisk erected in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the voluntary joining of Gorny Altai to the Russian Empire, is situated on the highest point of the pass.
Training bases "Seminsky Pass" and "Dinamo" are the places for Altai sportsmen to train, it is a sport center of the Russian Olympic reserve. Various routs are offered here - hiking, horse-riding, skiing, automobile routs.
The so-called "Karakolskaya Gallery" is of special interest - there are rock drawings, burial mounds and stone stellas. on the territory of ongudaisky Region there are archeological monuments of Inya, the White Bom - a monument in honor of Red Army soldiers, - Kalbak-Tash Terrain - a place with the unique rock drawings, the Shavlinskoye Lake.
The climate of the Region is sharp continental. Average annual temperature is -1,1°C, in January -22,1°C, in July +16,2°C. Maximum absolute temperature in January is - 54°C. Average annual precipitation amount equals 379 mm.
The distance between the center of ongudaisky Region - the village of ongudai - and the city of Gorno-Altaisk constitutes 194 km. Petrol stations - in v. ongudai, in v. Inya. Every-day bus-communication with the town of Gorno-Altaisk.
There are 4 tourist centers on the territory of ongudaisky Region. Three of them are training ones, the rest one is a recreational center.
Training tourist centers "Seminsky Pass" and "Dinamo" are situated at 132nd km of the Tchuisky Highway. The capacity of the center is 55 people in winter and up to 70 tourists in summer - in houses and at the hotel.
There is a departmental hotel of the Administration, there is also a hotel in the village of Inya.
The center may offer its visitors the services of highly qualified guides-instructors, who may teach you how to make phyto-tea, balsams, perfume and cosmetic preparations. Sportsmen are trained there. There is also an ethno-ecological rout "Echo of the Mountains".
A handicraft articles shop "Torko Chachak" is situated in v. ongudai. Here one may buy felt articles, traditional Altaian fur-hats, carpets (syrmaks), goat-skin blankets (tyurkkhans).
Ust-Kansky Region is rich in historical and archeological monuments of nature. There is a Museum of Regional Studies in the village of Mendur-Sokkon, and there's Altaian ail near the Museum.
The Denissov Cave, 4 km away from the village Tchyorny Anui, is of great interest: it is the only Altaian monument containing over 20 cultural layers.
There is also Ust-Kanskaya Cave situated 4 km to the south-east from v. Ust-Kan, on the right bank of the Tcharysh, on the Beliy Kamen (the White Stone) Mountain, which counts approximately 50-20 thousand years. Some rock drawings have been preserved near the Kyrlyk village. Girls' Reaches situated beyond the village of Ust-Kumir (57 away from Ust-Kan) - one of the most picturesque places for tourists. The Shereta Terrain also attracts tourists' attention.
The climate of the Region is continental. Maximum July temperatures reach +33°C, while minimum January temperatures may fall up to -52. Average winter temperature is -19°C, in July - +14°C; average year temperature is -1,5°C. Average annual precipitation amount equals 391 mm. North-western winds prevail.
There are several ways to get to the village of Ust-Kan. The first one is convenient for those going to Ust-Kan after having visited the Denissov Cave. The quite good road crosses the following villages: Tchyorny Anui, Turata, Ust-Muta, Keley, The Keleisky Passage and Yakonur; the distance from Gorno-Altaisk - 222 km. The second way - by the Tchuisky Highway to v. Tuekta, then turn right, 284 km from Gorno-Altaisk through the Yabogansky Pass, but here the road conditions are difficult. The third way is the shortest one - one should go to v. Ust-Sema, then having reached v. Tcherga - the road turns right and crosses the Verkh-Kukuisky and Tchakyrsky Passes, then the road from Yabogan reaches Ust-Kan. Every-day bus communication between Gorno-Altaisk and Ust-Kan.
There are hotels in the villages Mendur-Sokkon and Ust-Kan. Hotel complex is presently being constructed in v. Ust-Kan.
In Ust-Kan there are cafes, a canteen, a national yurta, where one may taste dishes of the national Altaian cuisine, there is also a pelmennaya (a cafe, where the national Russian dish pelmeni is served up). V. Mendur-Sokkon also has its own pelmennaya.
The Ust-Kanskaya and the Denissov Caves are situated on the territory of the Region. Horse-riding routs and hunting tours are offered. In Yanokut there is a museum of A.G. Kalkin.
National souvenirs are manufactured in Ust-Kan.
Shebalinsky Region is rich in historical and archeological monuments: burial mounds Tourak-1, Bolshoi (Big) Tolgoyek, site Tytkesken-2, Tchoba; burial mounds Iliinka, Shebalino, mounds of Ayula and Bike groups, Ust-Sema settlement.
A part of "Tsar Hunting" tourist base is situated on the territory of the Region.
Experimental farm of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences is in the village of Tcherga.
The climate of the Region is temperate continental, which is characteristic of the northern parts of the Altai Republic. Air masses from the Arctic Ocean and Middle Asia blow through the Region freely. January is the coldest month, when the temperatures fall up to - 40°C; the hottest month is July with the temperatures up to +38°C; temperatures are mainly negative - in December, November, January, February, March and half of April. Temperatures are positive during all the rest months. Precipitation amount equals 600-1000 mm per year.
The distance between Shebalino and Gorno-Altaisk constitutes 122 km. Every-day bus communication with Gorno-Altaisk. Network of petrol stations in Shebalino.
A part of the tourist base "Tsar Hunting" is situated on the territory of the Region.
There is a departmental hotel of the regional Administration in Shebalino.
There is a possibility to hire horses. Horse-riding excursions.
Tar is produced in the village of Barlak.
The Region disposes several recreational centers and tourist complexes, as well as numerous places for "non-organized" camping-tourism. The Tchemal Region is very popular among tourists due to beautiful nature and picturesque landscapes of the Katun banks, birch and pine forests and parks, rather low wooded mountains.
Touristically, the Tchemal Region is considered one of the most developed Altai regions. The so-called "rural" tourism with the elements of "active recreation" - is the main tourism type in the Region.
From Tchemal one may easily walk to the Katun Hydro-Electric Power Station, to the valleys of the rivers Kuba and Tchemal, to v. Anos (House-Museum of G.I. Tchoros-Gurkin).
Warm humid summers, snowy and relatively mild winters are characteristic of the Region. In summer maximum temperatures may reach +36…+38°C. In some years very low temperatures were observed, with the absolute minimum in Tchemal - 46°C. Average January temperature is - 12,6°C; the duration of the period without frosts (in days) - 123, average annual precipitation amount equals 584 mm.
V. Tchemal - the center of the Tchemalsky region - is situated 95 km southward from Gorno-Altaisk (approximately 3 hours by car). There is bus communication with Gorno-Altaisk.
Presently, there are 13 tourist bases on the territory of Tchemalsky Region. "Rural" tourism - a new type of tourism (accommodation in a village in local people's private houses) is especially developed. The basis of this type of tourism is the use of family resources: dwelling houses, bee-gardens, personal plots, hayfields, cattle, transportation means, cultural and spiritual heritage, free labor forces.
The largest tourist institutions of Tchemalsky Region are:
Tourist complex "Katun" (*). V. Uznezya, 17 km away from Ust-Sema. one of the oldest tourist complexes of Altai, founded in 60-ies. Capacity - up to 500 people.
Tourist base "The Katun Crown" (*). V. Barangol. The base is 44 km away from Gorno-Altaisk, 310 km away from Barnaul. Capacity - up to 45 people.
Tourist base "Raft-Premiere" (*). Near v. Tcheposh. Capacity - approx. 50 people.
Tourist bases "Areda-1" and "Areda-2" (**). 6 km away from v. Tchemal, on the bank of the Kuba River. Capacity of each - approx. 25 people. Tourist base "Areda-1" - a 2'' building for 14 people.
Rafting programs under instructors' guidance are offered at tourist bases "The Katun Crown", "Raft-Premiere", "Areda-1" and "Areda-2", at the tourist complex "Katun".
Tourist base "Katun" offers excursions, horse-riding tours, children's camp, a unique 10-days journey "Around the Golden Ring of Altai"; bronchitis, asthma and other diseases treatment is also offered. Other ways of "active recreation" are possible at other bases. Sports equipment for hire. The "Areda" bases offer individual programs, which include hunting and fishing. There is a consultation center of tourist agency "Sibalp" (Novosibirsk) in v. Anos. The center offers help in the organization of tours and rafting. Experienced guides-instructors.
The opening of the Arts Salon, offering articles of folk trade and souvenirs, is planned. In the middle of July, a Bards' Song Festival is held at tourist base "Katun.
Due to its close disposition to the Belukha mountain and the lakes Talmenye, Multinskoye and Akkemskoye, Ust-Koksinsky Region and the village of Ust-Koksa - the regional center - are the starting points of many tourist itineraries, especially attracting "active recreation" fanciers (hiking tours, mountaineering, rafting) and requiring special sports training and instructor's guidance. A tour around Old Believers' villages of the Uimon Valley (v.Multa, v.Tikhonkaya, v.Verkhniy Uimon, v.Gagarka) starts at Ust-Koksa. Cultural tourism in this Region includes a visit to the Regional Studies Museum named after N.K. Roerich, and Old Believers' Museum in v. Verkhniy Uimon. Archeological monuments of the Region include the stone image (20 km away from v. Tyungur, down the Katun; difficult of access), the excavated burial mound (III century B.C. - I century A.D.) in the area of v. Katanda, rock carvings on the right bank of the Kucherla River, in the mouth of the Kuilyu Brook.
Ust-Koksinsky Region attracts a great number of pilgrims, bending their steps towards Belukha Mountain, to the Roerich's places. There are several maral-breeding farms in the Region (including those in the villages of Multa and Verkhniy Uimon), where not only marals are bred and the curative beverage is made, but various medicinal treatments are offered. Ecological itineraries (ecopaths) and scientific programs for schoolchildren and students are being developed on the territory of the Region.
The climate of the Region is continental, due to the predominance of south-western air masses. Maximum absolute temperatures are observed in July (+34°C), while absolute minimum - in January (-56°C). Average winter temperatures equal - 23,3°C; +15,4°C - in July; average year temperature - 1,9°C. The average annual precipitation amount is 517 mm.
V. Ust-Koksa - the center of Ust-Koksinsky Region - is situated 401 km away from Gorno-Altaisk. There is an every-day bus going from Gorno-Altaisk and stopping at Tuekta, Ust-Kan, Ust-Koksa and Tchendek (8 hours' journey).
Tourist base "Kucherla" (**). V. Tyungur. Capacity - approx. 50 people.
Hunting base "Antara" (*). In the low reaches of the Katun, on the right bank.
Tourist complex "Kucherla". At the foothills of the Belukha mountain, on the bank of the Kucherlinskoye Lake. Capacity - 30 people.
Tourist base "Vysotnik" (*). V. Tyungur. Capacity - 30 people.
Tourist base "Talan" (*). V. Ust-Koksa. Capacity - 25 people.
Every tourist base of the Region disposes experienced instructors, specializing in a certain kind of tourism (rafting, horse-riding tourism, hiking tourism, mountaineering).
The State Nature Preserve "Katunsky" is situated on the right bank of the Katun.
Manufacturing of valenki (felt boots, Russian national footwear), manufacturing of wicker sledges in v. Multa, wood souvenirs - in v. Tchendek, v. Bashtala.
The "Katunsky" Preserve plans to manufacture and sale various articles of folk trade for tourists.
The valley of the river Bolshoi (Big) Ulagan is famous for the Pazyryk mounds. The chain of the huge excavated mounds of the Pazyryk Terrain, which is 16 km away from v. Ulagan near v. Balyktuyul, is first of all famous for its articles of art and objects of ritual cult of VI-II centuries B.C.
Nature of the Region staggers by its "wildness" and primordial beauty. Canyons, cascade, the Red Gate Rocks, the Tcheibekkel (Dead Sea) Lake cluster round the road from Aktash to Ulagan. Not very large lakes of the region are full of fish.
Ulagansky Region possesses a rich ethnographic potential. In v. Ulagan there is a small museum of the Telengits - the indigenous population of the Region, who are Christians in the fourth generation. There is a folklore group giving performances in other regions of the Republic.
The climate of the Region is severe. In winter temperatures fall up to -58°C, while in summers maximum temperatures are +33°C. Daily amplitude of temperature fluctuations in summer is quite high (up to 40°C).
Annual air temperature amplitude is over 90°C. Duration of non-frost period equals 50 days - from the end of July up to the beginning of August. Average annual precipitation amount is approx. 340 mm.
The journey to v. Ulagan (411 km southwards from Gorno-Altaisk) and to the Pazyryk Terrain may be a part of the thematic itinerary from Aktash (by the Tchuisky Highway), i.e. a part of the itinerary by the Tchuisky Highway. The Regional center is 56 km away from the Tchuisky Highway. Bus communication - three days a week (by odd-numbered days).
Network of public catering in the Region is presently being developed. A wide assortment of national dishes is offered by cafes "Teremok", "Tchelkanov". Tourist complexes "Altyn-Tuu" and "Taiga Bay" are situated in the Region. Tourist complex "Mandilu" - a traditional place for celebrating of the national holiday El-Oiyn is situated at the Alpine level. Children's Summer Camp "Kok-Taman" occupies a place 2000 m above the sea-level, on the bank of the picturesque mountain lake. A wide range of national souvenirs made of wood, wild animals' skins, bones and other traditional materials are offered.
The Tchuiskaya Steppe is a unique natural territory, extremely interesting and exotic for a European traveler from the viewpoint of its landscape, flora and fauna; this is a slightly undulating plain situated at the altitude of 1700-1900 m above the sea level, surrounded by mountain ridges covered with eternal snow. Severe climate, dry and windless, with permafrost ground's thickness from 15 to 90 m, reigns here. The Tchuya River, having changed its tempestuous character to a meandering flow, crosses the steppe. There's practically no vegetation in the Steppe - only rare thorny bushes and wormwood can be seen.
The climate of the Region is continental; average annual air temperature equals -7°C, in winter the temperature may fall to -63°C. The rated average winter temperature is -45°C. Duration of non-frost period constitutes only 68 days a year, in unfavorable years the number may be even less - 30-35 days. The thickness of permafrost grounds constitutes 1,5-50 m. In January, average precipitation amount (in the area of v. Kosh-Agach) is 5 mm, in July - 27 mm; annual amount - 127 mm. V. Kosh-Agach - the center of Kosh-Agachsky Region - is 471 km to the south-east from Gorno-Altaisk. The Tchuisky Highway, being the main motor road, reaches the Mongolian border (v. Tashanta). Bus communication - 3 days a week (on odd-numbered days).
The building of tourist sites with traditional Kazakh dwellings - yurtas - is being planned, as well as the development of itineraries for horse-riding and camel-riding tours. Traditionally, the Tchuiskaya Steppe was thought of as "the world's end" (Kosh-Agach is translated as "good-bye, tree", meaning the last tree before desert). It had an image of a place, where civilization, though a relative one, gives way to solitary desert. A journey to the Tchuiskaya Steppe means a journey to the unknown, exotic, to "the world's end".
Ethnographically, the Tchuiskaya Steppe is of interest as a symbolic border between Altaian settlements and Kazakh villages, starting from Kosh-Agach. In a small modern village Zhana-Aul, a traveler may come across the still preserved and restored traditions of Kazakh culture. Here one may find a museum, a memorial complex, a mosque.
The Tchuiskaya Steppe is rich in archeological monuments - mounds, stone statues, rock carvings (near v. Kosh-Agach and Tashanta). According to the number of monuments, the Tchuiskaya Steppe may be compared to the number of ancient painting of the Sahara, or the south-west of the USA.
There are Alpine tourist complexes Àk-Tru and Ak-Kem.
Beautiful syrmaks (picturesque woolen carpets with patterns-appliques) are manufactured in Kazakh villages Kosh-Agach, Zhana-Aul, Tashanta.
In the middle of the summer 2000, a traditional Altaian holiday "El-Oiyn-2000" was held in the Region. The holiday was organized on the initiative of the Government of the Republic (national games, competitions, folklore performances).
The Teletskoye Lake is the most significant sight of the Region. All illustrated albums and all catalogs of various travel agencies are full of photos with the sights of the lake. The Teletskoye Lake is often compared to the Baikal and is as famous as the latter. Mighty cedars grow along the shores of the beautiful lake, right near the water. Cedar groves make you breathe easier, here one realizes, what Siberian taiga factually is. Numerous tourist groups come to the Teletskoye Lake.
Altai State Preserve is the main scientific center of natural studies of the Teletskoye area.
There are several tourist itineraries in the neighborhood of the Teletskoye Lake; these routs do not require any special sports experience or training including even the ascent of the Tyalan-Tuu Mountain, excursions to the Third River, to the Kamenny Bay, to Korbu Waterfalls. Tourists may settle down at equipped tourist bases.
Warm and humid summer, snowy and relatively mild winters are characteristic of the climate of the Region. Average annual air temperature in July is not below +15°C. Average annual temperature equals -0,3°C.
According to precipitation amount, the Region is one of the most humid ones in the Altai Republic (from 850 mm in the south to 1100 mm in the Teletsloye area). Abundance of humidity and warmth in the Teletskoye area make it possible to have an orchard somewhere in Yailyu and grow many southern plants including grapes.
One may get to the Teletskoye area (v. Artybash) from Biysk (268 km) and from Gorno-Altaisk (approx. 150 km a 4 hours' drive). There is an every-day bus to v. Turochak, in the summer, during the tourist season, there is taxies taking tourists from Gorno-Altaisk to the Teletskoye Lake.
Tourist complex "Teletskoye Lake" (*). 1 km from v. Artybash. Capacity - 470 people.
Tourist guest-house "Edem (**). V. Artybash. Capacity - 30 people.
Tent camping "Milky Way" and children's camp "Patagonia". V. Artybash. Capacity - 30 people, tents. A wide network of summer and all-year-round cafes, offering national Altaian dishes, are at tourists' service.
There are motor-boats and horses for hire in v. Artybash; one may go horse-riding guided by an instructor.
Local population sells cedar nuts, articles of stone, tree roots. Several remarkable artists live and work in v. Artybash and make beautiful souvenirs of tree roots, cedar, stones.