Karakol Gorge- is a high mountain gorge located in the eastern part of the Terskey Ala-Too Range on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, near the city of Karakol. The gorge is one of the most visited tourist places in the Issyk-Kul region due to its unique natural characteristics, great length, and relative accessibility. The territory of the gorge is a protected area and has a length of 40 kilometers.
The Karakol Gorge is a center for many mountain tourists, as there are trekking routes on the Terskey Ala-Too Range. In summer from the basecamp alpinists go to the peaks of Przhval’skiy, Telman, Gastello, Zhukov, Dimitrov, as well as to the two highest peaks of Terskey-Ala-Too – the peaks Karakol and Djigit. Through the Karakol Gorge, it is possible to get to the beautiful mountain Lake Ala-Kul and to the gorges of Altyn-Arashan and Djety-Oguz.
The gorge has beautiful views and a lot of vegetation. It is possible to see thickets of wild barberry and dog rose, relict forests from Tien Shan fir and alpine meadows with a scattering of wildflowers.
At the beginning of the gorge, there is a ski base “Karakol”, which is known among fans of skiing far beyond the borders of Kyrgyzstan.
Ala-Kul -(also Alakul, Ala-Kel, Ala-Köl) is a large high-mountain glacial lake, located in the eastern part of the Terskey Ala-Too Range on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, near the city of Karakol. The lake is located in a vast basin between the Karakol and Altyn-Arashan Canyons and has no runoff. The name of the lake from Kyrgyz translates as “a motley lake” which fits perfectly to this place. Ala-Kul really amazes with its colors: bright turquoise water adjoins with mountains, snow, green grass, and flowers.
In addition to the lake, tourists are also attracted by the trekking route that leads to the lake. There are two routes to the lake: through the picturesque Karakol Gorge or amazing Altyn-Arashan Gorge, but in this case, it is necessary to overcome the Ala-Kul pass (altitude 3900 meters). Many tourists use the circular route with an entrance to one gorge and an exit from another.
Altyn-Arashan- (translation «Golden Spring») is a high mountain gorge in the eastern part of the Terskey-Ala-Too mountain range, located near the city of Karakol. This gorge is one of the most popular tourist places in Kyrgyzstan due to its unique nature, hot springs, spruce forests, and stunning views.
The territory of the gorge was recognized as a specially protected reserve zone due to the great natural diversity. The status of the natural reserve of the gorge was obtained in 1963. This is one of the few places in Kyrgyzstan where the relict forest from Tien Shan fir has preserved. The hot springs of Altyn-Arashan are also widely known. The hot springs of Altyn-Arashan are also widely known. The hot springs are located at an altitude of 2600 meters and have a curative effect due to the content of radon and hydrogen sulfide in the water. All the year-round, the water temperature is 35 degrees for the radon source and 41 degrees for hydrogen sulfide. Some sources are in indoor pools, while others are “wild” to this day, located in hollows or grottoes carved into stones.
The place is very touristic due to the fact that through the gorge is possible to get to Ala-Kul lake, the most beautiful lake in Terskey-Ala-Too. The road passes through the left tributary of the Altyn-Arashan River, 5 kilometers above the resort. From the gorge also it is possible to see the famous Aksu Wall, also called Palatka Peak (translation Tent Peak), it was called due to its unusual trapezoid shape. The view on the wall became a kind of visiting card of the gorge. For those who love hiking, a walk to the foot of the peak, where there are a small glacial lake Kashka-Suu and several waterfalls: Sharkyratma, Kuldurek, Tash-Tekter, Archali-Tor, and Takyr-Tor.
In Altyn-Arashan there is a huge number of tourist routes. This place is used as a base camp for radial exit and as a starting point on the way to Ala-Kul lake, Ak-Suu gorge, Karakol and Djety-Oguz valleys. It is also a wonderful place to relax among the untouched nature of the Tien Shan.
Meet at the airport. Transfer to Karakol (7hours 410 km). Stay in the hotel.
Hire a vehicle to Jeti-Oguz gorge from Karakol ~50min (35km). The trek will start at the Broken Heart, you will hike half way to Telety Pass ~4-5 hours (10km). Overnight in the tent (Elevation: 2843m)
Leaving the campsite you will summit Telety pass (3820m) and descend to Karakol valley ~4-5 hours (8km). Overnight in the tent (Elevation: 3000m).
Leaving the campsite you will enter Karakol Valley (Karakol National Park) and ascend to Sirota EcoTrek base camp ~4-5 hours (9km). You will be walking alongside the river for ~1 hour and then you will cross a bridge with a cable and trek up the valley to the campsite. The cost to enter the park is 250 SOM per person and 150 SOM per tent. Overnight in the tent (Elevation: 2700m).
Leaving the campsite you will summit Alakul Lake (3600m) in ~2-3 hours (4km). Enjoy a short hike around the lake area and beware at night the temperatures fall below 0 C. Overnight in the tent (Elevation: 3500m).
Leaving the campsite you will summit Alakul pass (3860m) ~2 hours. Then you will descend to Keldiki gorge where you will find the Altyn Arashan Yurt camp/Accommodation ~4-5 hours (15km). Be aware that the Alakul pass is very steep with many loose rocks and can be dangerous. At Altyn Arashan Yurts/Accommodations and food can be provided (Elevation: 2500m).
Leaving the campsite Altyn –Arashan you will hike down to Aksu Village ~3-4 hours (16km). Once you’re in Aksu hires a vehicle to Bishkek ~7 hours (420 km).
Stay in the hotel. Dinner in Supara etno centre. Fly to Home.