Красный Ключ

Krasny Klutch Spring - Krasny Klyutch - Red Spring

Useful Information

Location: In Krasny Klutch, at the river Ufa. 120 km northeast of Ufa.
From Ufa M5 east, turn left to Iglino, Krasnaya Gorka, and finally Krasnyy Klyuch.
(55.378468, 56.680289)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstVauclusian Spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: T=5 °C, Y=14.88 m³/s.
Sinkhole 1: L=80 m, W=50 m, D=38 m.
Sinkhole 2: L=110 m, W=90 m, D=20 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Krasny Klutch Spring, Red Spring Station, Nurimanovsky Region, Bashkortostan.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1917 White Spring renamed Red Spring during the Revolution by the Bolsheviks.


Красный Ключ (Red Spring) is one of the biggest Vauclusian type karst springs of fresh water in Europe. And it is one of the biggest karst springs in the world. It is difficult to compare springs because there are several numbers which may be used for such a comparison, for example the biggest yield, the average yield, or even the size of the spring. However, in any of those categories the Red Spring is comparable to the original, the SpringFontaine de Vaucluse in France. The water in the spring is saturated with limestone, so every second the water brings more than one kilogram of limestone to the surface, which makes about 100 tons per day.

The spring consists actually of two shafts or dolines, which are connected. The form two almost circular lakes which are separated by a dam. Both are rather deem, 38 m and 20 m, and are obviously the possible access to the water filled cave system behind. The underground stream has its catchment area in the Karatau ridge, about 60 km away. The waters of the underground Yaman-Yelgi River must have created a huge cave. So far the divers were not able to enter the cave.

The spring was originally named White Spring, some say because of the white limestone in the water, but that's nonsense. The limestone is dissolved and invisible. However, during the 1917 October Revolution, the White were fighting against the Red, and after the Red had won, the White Spring was renamed Red Spring. The "spring turned red", as the locals say.

The spring is located at the eastern side of the town Krasny Klutch, inside the city limits. It is also located only 250 m from the Ufa River, and the water flows parallel to the river for 600 m and then it flows into the river. The two springs were dammed twice, so it actually forms two lakes. The use of the water started long ago with a mill. At the end of the 19th century a paper mill was erected, and a small power station to provide electricity for the town. The paper mill survived the revolution and was operated until the mid-1970s. It was recycling imported waste paper. Today a company is bottling water under the label Krasny Klutch as drinking water, but they have a well nearby, they actually do not use the main spring.