TST-4 Lakes of Kyrgyzstan – Detailed Itinerary

Day 1-Bishkek. Arrival to Bishkek. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Rest. After lunch city-tour: visiting National Museum, “Ala-Too” central square, walk along the central park of the city. Dinner.

Day 2-Issyk Kul Lake. Transfer at the Issyk-Kul lake – “pearl” of Kyrgyzstan, one of the highest lakes of the world-170 km long, 60 km wide and 668 m depth. It is situated in tectonic gully between Kungei and Terskei Ala-Too ranges. The cool air, warm water and hot sand of beaches make this spot as favourable place for vocations and holidays not only for Kyrgyz citizens and for neighbor as well. The archeological complex “Burana Tower” (XI century) and rock-drawings (petroglyphs) will be visited en route situated on the destroyed place of ancient Balasagyn city. Accommodation at the sanitarium “Issyk-Kul”. Rest. Distance – 300 km, time-5-6 hours.

Day 3-Begin trek. Transfer to Echkilitash to the beginning of the trek. Road goes along picturesque shore of Issyk-Kul lake. We’ll stop in Karakol town for short time to make excursion in the town. Clients will visit museum of N.M. Prjevalski – Russian traveler and explorer of Central Asia region; remarkable wooden Dungan mosque built in 1910 in style of Buddhist pagoda. In the afternoon transfer to the valley of Sary-Djaz river along the mountain road through magnificent valleys – Turgen’-Ak-Su and Ottuk and over the Chon-Ashu pass (3822 m). From the Valley of Sary-Djaz River we begins trek to Mertsbakher Lake. Camp near the confluence of the tributary Echkilitash and Saryjaz River. Distance-280 km, time – 7-8 hours.

Day 4-Saryjaz range. We cross Saryjaz River using bridge and then begin hiking up along the Tuz River to Saryjaz ridge. It is not difficult hike with small difference between mountain heights.

Trip takes 6-7 hours. Camp nearby the Tyuz River.

Day 5-Tyuz pass. Crossing over the Tyuz pass (4001 m). Intensive day. Group goes along one of the tributaries of Tuz river up to small glacier. Then go up the steep screed slope to the top of the pass. From the pass there is spectacular view of the glacier, the Valley of Inylchek River and Inylchek-Too range, where just in front of the pass the snow-covered Nansen peak (5695 m) is raised above. Further steep descent the grassy slope to the Valley of Inylchek River, which is situated 1200 m lower the pass. Overnight at the place is called Chon-Tash. Time in the way – 8-9 hours.

Day 6-Mertsbakher glade . Hiking to the Mertsbakher glade. The trail goes to the Inylchek glacier. The lower part of the glacier is covered with moraine along the length of more than 20 km. That is why crossing of the glacier is not so difficult. Also there are some cracks on the way that we can pass around without any problems. Group cross the glacier and then go along the left side terrace to the Mertsbakher glade. The whole day group will be accompanied by majestic view of different peaks and hanging glaciers. Camp at the Mertsbakher glade. Time in the way – 9 hours.

Day 7-Optinal hike along Mertsbakher glade . Radial hike to the Mertsbakher Lake. This amazing lake is situated at the junction of South Inylchek and North Inylchek glaciers. The lake fills with ice and melted water every year and then breaks under the Inylchek glacier, making flood. And as a result water level of Inylchek River rises in 2-3 times. Water breaks a tongue of the glacier taking away huge ice blocks with. Time in the way – 6 hours.

Day 8-Altyn Arashan gorge . Helicopter flight to “Maida-Adyr” base camp (about 25 min.). After shot rest and lunch group drive to the Altyn-Arashan gorge. The beautiful fir forest and abundance of green color all this is contrast in comparison with Inylchek glacier colored in white, brown, and gray. On top of it all group will enjoy bathing in thermal springs. Distance-180km, time in the way – 6 hours.

Day 9-Ala-Kel pass. Radial hike to Ala-Kel pass (3860 m). The path goes along Altyn-Arashan River then turns to the right and goes out of forest area into alpine meadows zone. Further trail goes up the grassy hills to the steep scree slope and then on the top of the pass. From the pass you can see magnificent panorama of central part of Terskei Ala-Too range with its peaks: Karakolskiy (5281 m), Djigit (5170 m) and Oguz-Bashi (5168 m). And the turquoise Ala-Kel lake is spread out at the bottom of the pass. In the surface of mat water the surrounding glaciers and peaks are reflected. Return to the camp, the small rise en route. Time in the way-7-8 hours.

Day 10-Song-Kul lake. Transfer to Song-Kul lake (about 400km,8 hours) along south side of Issyk-Kul lake. The group will enjoy seeing of landscapes of Internal Tien-Shan changing like in kaleidoscope. Song-Kul Lake is situated at the height of (3013 m) in inter-mountains non-forest gully surrounded with not steep ridges (heights no more than 4000 m). From the earliest time this valley attracts lots of Kyrgyz nomads who bring in their flocks in summer time.

Day 11-Radial hike to Moldo-Too range. From the range in south direction there is panoramic view of Internal Tien-Shan ranges, which stretches on all sides as long as possible, and in north direction Song-Kul lake. Return to the camp. Acquaintance with nomad’s life. Horse-riding if clients wish.

Day 12-Kurtka pass. Transfer over Kurtka pass (3173 m) and descent into the Valley of Naryn River along sharply winding road. After crossing this valley road begins go up and then after two passes we reach caravansary Tash-Rabat. Tash-Rabat was built in X-XI century on the ancient trade route from Europe to China and back (Grate Silk Road) and served as guesthouse for traders. It is undoubtedly the most important example of historical architecture. Camp nearby caravan saray.

Distance-240 km, time in the way – 6-7 hours.

Day 13- Radial hike to Tash-Rabat pass. Radial hike to Tash-Rabat pass (3464 m) along ancient caravan route. From the pass you can see Chatyr-Kul lake (the third biggest lake in Kyrgyzstan) situated at the height of (3530 m), Valley of Chatyr-Kul Lake and Torugart-Too range (the Kyrgyz-China border lays on this range). Return to the camp. Time in the way – 7 hours.

Day 14-Bishkek. Transfer to Bishkek (about 500 km, 8-9 hours) along picturesque road through the valleys of Internal Tien-Shan and via Naryn town. Hotel.

Day 15-Fly home. Early in the morning transfer to airport. Fly home.

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