Ample mountain peaks tower over the Altai Nature Reserve. A full two-thirds of its territory are covered by high-altitude tundra and prairies. The remaining area is mostly populated by coniferous forests containing larch trees, cedar pines and firs. Being at the intersection of the Altai, Kuznetsk Alatau and Western Sayan and Tuva mountain ranges, the Altai Nature Reserve is no less rich in its abundance of flora and fauna. The Reserve plays a significant role in preserving rare plant and animal species on the verge of extinction:
- Plants: Altai Allium, Siberia Trout Lily, Altai Rhubarb, Rare Bedstraw
- Birds: demoiselle, saker falcon, black vulture, fish hawk
- Animals: snow leopard and argali, the largest and rarest wild sheep in the world. It can only be found in the Altai Nature Reserve's southern part and, without protection, faces a major threat of extinction.