Top 10 best hikes in Kyrgyzstan, around Karakol.
The beautiful mountains are the main reason why you should visit Kyrgyzstan. Here we have prepared a list of the best hikes in Kyrgyzstan.
1. Alakul lake
The lake is located in 20 km from Karakol town and at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. The best time to visit Alakul is from the beginning of July to the end of September. On the way, you will visit Alakul Pass(3900 m), Karakol gorge, Sirota Camp, and Altyn Arashan.
2. Aksu Traverse
This trek is a great option for fans of long hikes. In addition, on the first days of the hike, you will not meet other tourists at all. But sometimes you can stay with local shepherds and see what the real life of the Kyrgyz is like.
3. Aksu highlights: Jeti Oguz -Teleti Pass - Ala kul Lake, Altyn Arashan
According to our experience in mountain hiking in Kyrgyzstan, this trek is the most intense and beautiful too. Definitely one of the best hikes in Kyrgyzstan. Summiting the Teleti and Alakul pass is difficult, and it is simply an irreplaceable experience. The days are relatively long, and you always try to walk more every day so that you can walk less tomorrow. But for beauty, I just don’t have enough words to tell.
4. Archa tor Pass
One of the best hikes if you don’t like many tourists on the trail. Starting from Chon Kyzyl Suu gorge you will summit Archa Tor Pass, descending to Jeti Oguz Valley. Here you will have a beautiful view of Elcin Peak(5020 m). On the road, you can stop at Flower Valley, Jeti Oguz Red Rocks.
5. Enilchek Valley - Sary Jaz Valley
If you like hiking close to high and snowy peaks this is the best variant for you. Especially Saryjaz is one of the most beautiful Valleys in Kyrgyzstan. Crossing Tyuz Pass(4001 m) where you will have a view of Han Tengri Peak(6995 m). On the way, you can visit Enilchek ghost town. This is an old town of the Soviet miners. But after, all people left, and the town is ruined and empty.
6. Jyrgalan Valley - Altyn Arashan
Green meadows. A lot of horses. A small mountain lakes: Bosuchuk and Ailanysh. And at the end of the trek, exciting night in the Yurt Altyn Arashan with a hot spring. That’s what makes this trek different.
7. Svetlaya Polyana - Jeti Oguz, Dayhike
It is one of the nice and easy hikes close to Karakol. Starting from Svetlaya Polyana, you will go up around 700 m in one day. When you summit Svetlaya Polyana Pass(2700 m) you will have really nice panoramic view of all of Flower Valley. Also, here you can stay for one night in yurt camps.
8. Ak Su - Arboretum Dayhike.
Definitely the best easy hike for one day. You will walk in the beginning around the thick forest and on the top you will see beautiful valleys, flowers, and horses.
9. Karakol gorge - Zhashyl Kol lake -Chelpek gorge the best day hike close to Karakol.
This mountain lake is around 20 km from Karakol town. Very clean lake under high rocks. You can hike to this place in one day or in two days too. Because the lake is at 3200 m above sea level. And hiking there pretty long. Also, it is better to arrange transport for the beginning and for the end of the trek. Because it gets dark when you are coming back.
10. Easy hike to Elcin Peak (5020m) viewpoint. Jeti Oguz.
This hike is also one of the best hikes in Kyrgyzstan because anyone can do this. It starts from Jeti Oguz gorge and after 3 hours of hiking, you will see the view like in the photo. The road is very easy to find. Also, you can camp here too. You can see a beautiful sunset and sunrise.
11. Winter dayhike in Karakol gorge.
Not many places in Karakol where you can walk in winter. Because of the abundant snow it is quite difficult to get to the tops of the mountains. But still there are some beautiful trails with snow-covered landscapes. Karakol Gorge is one of them.
The trail is not marked on the maps. It is recommended that you get relevant information before you start on this route.
12. Winter dayhike near Cholpon ata.
The northern part of Isik Kul is surrounded by the Kungei Alatoo ridge. In winter, very little or no snow falls here. The optimal route near Cholpon Ata is from Baktuu village Dolonotu. There is a very beautiful panoramic view at sunset. It is dry and there are no forests. And good trekking boots are a must.
Some other hikes near Karakol:
One day hiking to Kashka Su Peak(3330 m)
If you are interested to go to some peak closer to Karakol in one day, you can go to Kashka Su Peak. Please note that this route is only for hiking and along the trail. There are no climbing elements here.
Day hike in Jyrgalan Valley: Turnaly Kol Lake
Jyrgalan is a valley, with green pastures and snowy mountains, located in 60 km from Karakol town, on altitude 2300 m above sea level. Turnaly Kol lake is one of the easy hikes close to Jyrgalan.
Length: 10.5 km
Elevation: 600 m Gain/Loss