This settlement, once established in 1666 by a Cossack detachment under the leadership of Gavrila Lovtsov, is located at the source of the Barguzin River, one of the biggest rivers flowing into the lake from its eastern side. After Irkutsk hydro-electric power station construction that resulted in general water level increase the village was transported on the higher left bank of the river. You can still see some of those old houses remained. Nowadays, Ust-Barguzin has the population of about 7.1 thousand people.
Since 1938 it has got the urban village status and during the summer time looks like a small resort town, indeed, due to a big number of tourists. The settlement is considered to be quite remote, although it is located about 50 km from the regional center (Barguzin village with its 6 thousand residents) and 270 km from the nearest large city which is Ulan-Ude (404 thousand residents). Local economy and infrastructure does not go beyond a timber industry, a half-closed fish cannery, one public and one vocational school and a local hospital. Most local people are busy with logging, fishing and also provide tourist services.
Ust-Barguzin serves sort of the gates to Zabaikalsky National Reserve that embraces the water area of the Barguzin and Chivirkuy Gulfs and the Ushkany Islands that are so favored by Baikal seals. Ust-Barguzin serves as a drop off point for further tours to sand beach resorts found at both gulfs. Tourists come here to see the untouched nature, wilderness in its primordial state. Shallow bays with warm and clear water, sand beaches, hot springs, unexplored fascinating nature, beautiful landscapes brought this place the fame of the best resort area at Lake Baikal.
In order to reach the reserve that lies on the other bank of the Barguzin river, tourists take a ferry going from Ust-Bargzin quay. The ferry crossing is available from early May till late October. Its working hours: 8:00 a.m. till 23:00 (with 12:00 – 13:00 and 17:00-18:00 break time). Official ice-road is open from December.