The major rivers in the district are the Pakhacha and the Apuka. Their headwaters are close to the north-flowing Mayn River, and the Velikaya River, branches of the Anadyr. Lantzeff speaks also of the Olyutora River, which does not appear on modern maps and which he distinguishes from the Pakhacha.
In 1714, Russians built the ostrog (fortress) of Olyutorsk to control the coast and land route from Kamchatka to Anadyrsk; a function it shared with Aklansk. It was besieged by the Yukaghirs and Koryaks. It lost its importance after the sea route from Okhotsk was opened.
The Alyutors, a branch of the Koryaks lived in the area or somewhat west. There were also Yukaghirs, some of whom had been brought south by the Russians.