Goreliy is a shield volcano standing 1829 meters above the sea level. It consists of two structures, ancient and modern. The ancient one is shield-shaped and has a caldera in its center 25 meters in diameter. The modern structure is situated in the central part of the caldera and has a tourist trail which leads to three combined cones. There, on the very top of the modern structure, you may see eleven overlapped craters and about forty secondary breakthroughs on the slopes, from which liquid lava once flowed. The liquid lava spreads many kilometers away and it is the very reason for the shield volcanoes forming. 


This volcano doesn’t look at all like a volcano - it reminds one of an arching shield from which solidified lava rivers flow from in different directions, much like tentacles. But if you get a bird’s-eye view at Goreliy volcano you will comprehend the real size of this mind-blowing, yet from first sight insignificant volcano. Quite an amazing part of nature to witness indeed!


Beautiful glacier lakes appear in some of the Goreliy craters. Up until 2010 it had been possible to view the acid lake in Activniy (Active) crater, which dried up during the latest eruption. Now, instead of the lake, tourists enjoy glowing gases which come out of lateral cracks in crater walls and these gases intertwine and turn into a gigantic steam-gas column which rises several hundred meters up above the volcano. These steam-gas columns play a major role during eruptions and sometimes climb up to five kilometers in the air above the entire volcano, like strong jets and smoking vapors. Even in the calm period of its life you can see the smoking Goreliy clearly from the embankment in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on a windless day.