Bartogai water reservoir, Assy plateau, Turgen gorge

Amazing and beautiful Bartogai water reservoir is located 186 km. from Almaty in Chilik river flood basin between Toraigyr and Soghety mountains blocked up by 60 meters stone dam 60 meters high and 330 meters long with water control facilities. Bartogai water reservoir is created for accumulation of water in winter and watering the fields in summer using 160km. water irrigation channel. Chilik river water discharge from the dam lasts from June to September for farming facilities irrigation. During the period the water discharge throughput reaches the level of 100 m3 per second making the fountain over one hundred meters high. Water torrents under huge pressure break out and dissipate into tiny water drops forming magnificent rainbow in the sun. Fishermen will try their luck in fishing. Camping under the tree shadows of a small grove will be more comfortable with tables and benches installed here for the tourists. Chilik river changes its direction to the meridian in the middle size mountains area. Having cut through the ridges Toraigyr and Soghety it deviates further to the north-west and reaches piedmont plain. Average water throughput in the mountainous end point is 32m3 per second. The water discharge breakdown by months is almost evenly distributed. Water temperature in the middle course is 6-8 degrees.

Ile-Alatau National Park has amazing piece of nature – Turgen gorge. Shyn-Turgen gorge will engulf you with the pristine and virgin nature. No trails, no roads here because in 2003 the mudslide wiped off the bridge across the river. So make sure you feel strong enough to go there. Sun rays almost don’t touch the gorge, sometimes you will see permafrost spots dating back to the ice age. Ascending up along the gorge to almost 60 meters Kairak waterfall you will come across unique moss fir-trees forest. It is unique due to the fact that fir trees grow on the moss which is about just 40cm. thick. You can take country road to get to the waterfall running through picturesque forests with versatile flora and fauna. Just 9km. walk from the fork of the road. The hike takes about 2 hours with rest stops.

Driving on Kishi-Turgen gorge road along the cognominal river you will get yourself to Assy high altitude plateau. The gorge extends to 44km. reaching huge Assy plateau (2560m). Assy is huge inter-mountain valley of about 40km. long and up to 10km. wide with the altitude about 2700m above sea level. The plateau is located in between Shelek and Turgen rivers. The road to Turgen gorge will require off-road vehicle.

In the past the land was crossed by caravans going from Europe to the East –to China and India. Turgen gorge is famous for its waterfalls and relic Shyn-Turgen moss fir-trees growing on permafrost soil. The gorge also has lots of coniferous and mixed forests, alpine and sub-alpine meadows, lakes and springs, medicinal herbs and berries.  Turgen gorge has good amount of xerophilous plants: Semyonov maple trees, wild apricot, creeping shrubs. Yesik gorge has fir-trees coating the slopes densely within the range 1350-1400m., but Turgen gorge had fir-tree belt starting from 1650m.

Traces of human activity for nomadic and domiciled tribes dating back to 5000 years were detected here.

The upper side of the plateau hosts astrophysical observatory with one of the largest telescopes in the world. High altitude plateau extends to the east along Assy river and bears lots of potential for construction of the world class ski resort due to the favorable landscape.


Our tourists will be welcomed to the Kazakh national houses and culture, national cuisine, traditions of the local population. You are also welcome to visit the local sauna (banya).

The program includes: off-road drive along Soghety valley to Bartogai water reservoir, ascent to Assy plateau, lunch in the open air, excursion to the non-operational observatory, visits to Medvezhiy (“Bear”) and Kairak waterfalls in Turgen gorge, visit of “Issyk” state history and culture museum and Saks mounts, taking pictures, national cuisine dishes.

А. Trip plan by hours:

Day 1  

8.30       transfer from the hotel;

11.30     Bartogai water reservoir shore excursion

12.30     entrance to the State National Park

13.30     Assy plateau, lunch, yurt camp

15.00     excursion to Assy observatory

17.00     excursion to Medvezhiy waterfall

18.00     accommodation for overnight

19.00     dinner

Day 2  

9.00       breakfast

10.00     trekking to Kairak waterfall

13.00     lunch at the waterfall

15.00     return to Batan village

16.00     departure to the city

17.00     visit to the nature museum

19.00     return to the hotel

Number of days: 2
Covered regions:
East Kazakhstan
North Kazakhstan
South Kazakhstan
West Kazakhstan
Included services:
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
What to bring: 1. Warm clothing, trekking shoes, trekking poles; 2. Personal care products, medicine, personal tableware; 3. Sunscreen cream, sun glasses.
Transport: SUV 4x4
Tour season:
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Payment Method

For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.