The region is home to the Altai people, an ethnic group living in the region for over 10,000 years. It is a destinations for adventure tourists interested in nature and particularly fishing, hunting, rafting, mountaineering and related mountain sports.
There are rest bases with inexpensive campsites and information about mountain locations and equipment hire which are welcoming to backpackers.
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The large area of 16,178 km², Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Mount Belukha and the Ukok Plateau, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai.
The mountains are home to many different animals due to the diverse habitat: Siberian ibex, snow leopards, rare argali or mountain sheep, deer, moose and reindeer, wild boar, gazelle, wolves, wolverine, lynx and brown bears.