Along the Nomad’s trails in North Tien-Shan

Loca­tion: Kyr­gyzs­tan
Sea­son: July — August
Days: 14
Dif­fi­cul­ty: medi­um

Tour price:
from $1450 USD per per­son.

Kyr­gyzs­tan has a wealth of nomadic tra­di­tions plus some of the most beau­ti­ful moun­tains in Cen­tral Asia: the cel­e­brat­ed Tian Shan, the tra­di­tion­al moun­tain home­land of the Kyr­gyz and Kaza­kh peo­ple, who have a col­or­ful his­to­ry of nomadic wan­der­ings. Our trek focus­es on the Kyr­gyz-Alatau sec­tion of the north­ern range of the Tien-Shan. A con­tin­u­ous wall of ice and rock forms the cen­tral por­tion of the range, crowned by Semen­ov-Tien-Shan­s­ki (4895m), the high­est peak in the region. The trek takes us along alpine flat­lands, grassy hills choked with pret­ty wild­flow­ers, through forests of unique Tien-Shan blue fir trees, and close to stun­ning glac­i­ers. As we hike along the deep Alamedin, and Tuyuk gorges, we’ll keep to the tracks beat­en by sheep and hors­es that are tak­en to high alti­tude sum­mer pas­tures by local Kyr­gyz shep­herds. On trek we’ll gain insights into the lifestyle of these local nomads who have grazed their flocks here since ancient times. Hos­pitable and friend­ly, they will wel­come us to their sum­mer huts (called yurts) and per­suade us to try kumyz, the nation­al fer­ment­ed drink made of mare’s milk, and airan (a yogurt-like dairy prod­uct).

The gorges are laced by great sum­mits whose glac­i­ers feed numer­ous rivers, both large and small, with crys­tal clear water. We cross the range twice: via Alamedin pass (3964m) and Tuyuk Pass (4004m). We have good chances to see the diverse wildlife, includ­ing moun­tain turkey, moun­tain hen, gold­en eagle, moun­tain sheep, goat, and per­haps even a rare snow leop­ard.


Program of the tour “Along the Nomad’s trails in North Tien-Shan”

Day 1
Bishkek. Arrival to Bishkek ear­ly morn­ing. Trans­fer to hotel. Rest. Sight­see­ing around the city.
Day 2
Begin trek. Ascend to the top of 2807 m Chichar pass, where we have a spec­tac­u­lar view of the Salyk glac­i­er sur­round­ed by Kyr­gyzs­tan peak (4795 m), Alamedin Wall (4675 m), and Usechen­ka peak (4606 m). After a short descent, we have a slight climb into a stand of fir, from which we can see 19 km long Alamedin gorge direct­ly below. Descend steeply to our camp (1980 m) in the gorge (which is more like a valley),(15 km, 8 hours). Camp.
Day 3
Alamedin gorge. We fol­low a scenic trail along the Alamedin Riv­er up the Alamedin gorge, the longest in the Ala-Too Moun­tains. The gorge is pic­turesque with var­i­ous types of trees grow­ing on the banks of the riv­er and a wide gap between the two ranges that form the gorge. Arrive at Altyn-Tor (2350m,“Gold Moun­tain”), where we make camp.(12km,5–6hours.).
Day 4
Upper reach­es of Alamedin gorge. Today we con­tin­ue hik­ing to the upper reach­es of Alamedin gorge. Slopes cov­ered with juniper and larch trees, turn­ing into bush zone and then into alpine mead­ows. After 3–4‑hours hik­ing we reach the con­flu­ence of Alamedin riv­er and its right trib­u­tary – Ashu-Tor. Radi­al hike for 3–4 hours to the upper reach­es of Alamedin Riv­er and Tuyuk-Ter glac­i­er. Camp is near­by con­flu­ence of two rivers – Alamedin and Ashu-Tor.
Day 5
Upper reach­es of Ashu-Tor Riv­er. Group hik­ing up Ashu-Tor Riv­er along grassy slopes among scat­tered stones to the end of moraine, where Ashu-Tor Riv­er flows from. We can see graz­ing moun­tain goats, and if we are lucky – famous Snow Leop­ard. 5–6 hours is in the way.
Day 6
Alamedin Vos­tochniy pass. Group begins hik­ing to Ashu-Tor glac­i­er along long not so steep moraine. After 1 hour hik­ing we ascent to Alamedin Vos­tochniy pass (3964 m). From the pass there is spec­tac­u­lar view of the Val­ley of Karakol Vos­tochniy Riv­er. Descent into the val­ley of Issyk-Ata South riv­er along the scree and then grassy slopes. Group reach­es the place called “Syrty”-it is high moun­tains pas­tures, where proud Kyr­gyz nomads have grazed their flocks since the days of the ancient Silk Road.7–8 hours is in the way.
Day 7
Karakol pass. Today we con­tin­ue descent into the val­ley; we’ll hike through alpine mead­ows of wild flow­ers. Then group begins easy ascent to Karakol pass (3486 m). From the pass descent into the val­ley of West Karakol Riv­er. 5–6 hours is in the way.
Day 8
Tyuk pass. We pro­ceed along old road. Group will meet Kyr­gyz herders in their tra­di­tion­al yurts. Steep ascent brings us to the bot­tom of Tyuk pass. Camp is in the bot­tom of the pass. From this point the views of the Val­ley of West Karakol Riv­er and slopes of Djum­gal-Too ridges are tru­ly spec­tac­u­lar. 7–8 hours is in the way.
Day 9
Kok-Moinok pass. Today we ascend the scree slope to the top of Tyuk pass (4010m). Descend sharply past small glac­i­er and over moraine into the val­ley of Tuyuk riv­er and towards to the foot of Kok-Moinok pass (2911 m). 6–7 hours is in the way.
Trek to con­flu­ence of the Kok Moinok and Tyuk rivers. Cross­ing over Kok-Moinok pass (2911 m). Descent to the pic­turesque Kok-Moinok val­ley pass­ing a small lake. Land­scape is chang­ing from alpine mead­ows into for­est area, famous for Tien-Shan fir. Camp near­by con­flu­ence of Kok-Moinok and Tuyuk rivers. Farewell din­ner..
Day 11
Trans­fer to Sonkul Lake. After break­fast, the group moves to Sonkul Lake (3016) for bet­ter get acquaint­ed with the life of nomads and to see the beau­ty of alpine mead­ows sur­round­ing the high-moun­tain Sonkul Lake. Dis­tance 350 km. On the way vis­it the archae­o­log­i­cal com­plex “Burana Tow­er” (XI cen­tu­ry). Then the group will stop in the vil­lage of Kochko­r­ka for lunch and vis­it a sou­venir shop. By evening, the group, hav­ing over­come the Kalmak-Ashuu pass (3447), will arrive at the yurt camp locat­ed on the very shore of Sonkul Lake. Accom­mo­da­tion in yurts, din­ner.
Day 12
Radi­al hike to Mol­do-Too ridge. 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 13
Return to Bishkek. After break­fast, the group returns to Bishkek through the pic­turesque pass­es of Tor­pok (3133) and Dolon (3038). The road to Bishkek runs through three regions of Kyr­gyzs­tan — Naryn, Issykul and Chui regions. Dis­tance 380 km. Lunch on the way. Accom­mo­da­tion at a hotel in Bishkek. Din­ner at a restau­rant in Bishkek.
Day 14
Depar­ture home. Ear­ly morn­ing trans­fer to the air­port. Depar­ture home.

Preis der Tour “Along the Nomad’s trails in North Tien-Shan” in USD

Group (per­son)
Per per­son
Sur­charge for sin­gle accom­mo­da­tion in hotels: $130 USD per per­son
Sup­ple­ment for sin­gle tent: $110 USD per per­son

The program price includes:

• Guide ser­vices
• All trans­fers accord­ing to the pro­gram
• Full meals accord­ing to the pro­gram
• Porter ser­vices
• Accom­mo­da­tion in Bishkek in a hotel in dou­ble rooms
• Accom­mo­da­tion in Sonkul in yurts
• Accom­mo­da­tion dur­ing trekking in dou­ble trekking tents

Price doesn’t include:

• Visa
• Insur­ance
• Per­son­al expens­es
• Inter­na­tion­al flights
• Devi­a­tions from the main pro­gram

Additional Information

Required documents



Mov­ing is car­ried out:


In Bishkek, in a guest house.


In cities, dur­ing trips and in base camps — three meals a day.

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