Pictures of Babugan Plateau, Crimea
Babugan-Yayla, or "Babugan Plateau," is the highest of the Crimean mountain plateaus and includes the highest peak, Roman-Kosh, at 1545 m above sea level. Babugan and the lower, forested mountains to the north and northwest are part of the Crimean Nature Reserve, which is formally off-limits to the public. Only one day a year on a special religious holiday are organized tours allowed to visit the remote Kosma-Demyan Monastery, an inhabited monastery deep in the forest northwest of Alushta that is actively being restored by the Orthodox Church.
Informally, however, the plateau is well-visited by groups of backpackers who climb Roman-Kosh. The mountain is reachable by a strenuous hike along poorly-marked trails from Gurzuf and Alushta, or from the Yalta Mountains, which join Babugan Plateau at 1200 m above sea level.
Romanov Highway, a decent asphalt road that passes through the reserve and affords incredible views, used to be open decades ago, but now is patrolled by forest rangers. Wildlife abounds and there are almost no signs of civilization in the reserve, except for an occasional deer trough or wooden bench.