Skip links

Facts about the Ural Mountains for Kids


The Ural mountains lie within the Ural geographical region and significantly overlap with the Ural Federal District and Ural economic region. They are rich in various deposits, including metal ores, coal, precious and semi-precious stones.

  • Since the 18th century the mountains have been a major mineral base of Russia.
  • As attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock (stone) and belt.
  • The modern Russian name for the Urals (Урал, Ural), first appearing in the 16th–17th century when the Russian expansion into Siberia was in its heroic phase, was initially applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century.
  • He sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave, which later turned into the Ural Mountains.
  • As Middle-eastern merchants traded with the Bashkirs and other people living on the western slopes of the Urals as far North as Great Perm, since at least the 10th century medieval mideastern geographers had been aware of the existence of the mountain range in its entirety, stretching as far as to the Arctic Ocean in the north.
  • The Middle and Southern Urals were still largely unavailable and unknown to the Russian or Western European geographers.
  • The upper reaches of the Kama and Chusovaya in the Middle Urals, still unexplored, as well as parts of Transuralia still held by the hostile Siberian Khanate, were granted to the Stroganovs by several decrees of the tsar in 1558–1574.
  • During the 17th century the first deposits of iron and copper ores, mica, gemstones and other minerals were discovered in the Urals.
  • After the war, in 1947–1948, Chum – Labytnangi railway, built with the forced labor of Gulag inmates, crossed the Polar Urals.
  • Earlier, in the 17th century, rich ore deposits were discovered in the mountains and their systematic extraction began in the early 18th century, eventually turning the region into the largest mineral base of Russia.
  • The Ural Mountains extend about 1,600 mi from the Kara Sea to the Kazakh Steppe along the northern border of Kazakhstan.
  • The Polar Ural extends for about 385 kilometers (239 mi) from the Mount Konstantinov Kamen in the north to the Khulga River in the south; it has an area of about 6.0 cu mi and a strongly dissected relief.
  • Intensive weathering has produced vast areas of eroded stones on the mountain slopes and summits of the northern areas.
  • The Virgin Komi Forests in the northern Urals are recognized as a World Heritage site.