HORSEBACK TOUR IN KUNGEY ALATAU (5 DAYS)
Ideal route for those who want to visit middle lake Kolsai, but not in traditional way, where many tourist walk. Route goes along forgotten mountain roads and forests where traces of wild animals can be found.
Season: May - October
Best period: July - September
Route complexity: this route is for experienced tourists who have ever sat in the saddle and who will be able to stand long walks along cross-country mountain area and for those who are familiar with hiking along mountain trails.
H difference: the lowest point - 1600 m.a.s.l. Maximal altitude on the route is about 3500 m.a.s.l.
Program of the route:
Day 1. Almaty – Charyn canyon – Kurmety.
Departure from Almaty not later than 7 a.m. The first object on the way to mountain land Kungey-Alatau will be Charyn canyon.
Charyn Canyon is a natural complex, unique in its kind not only in Kazakhstan but also worldwide. It was formed during Paleogene and reminds the Grand Canyon of Colorado River in North America, although inferior to it in size. The h of the steep slopes of the canyon is up to 150-300 meters. Extraordinary dissection of the terrain is striking: the numerous ravines form a dense, chaotic network. Wind and water have created the beautiful "Valley of Castles", where you are always surrounded by the fancy towers composed of sedimentary rocks. The length of the valley - more than 2 km, width - 20-80 meters. For millions of years the nature has been creating a unique architecture, erecting magnificent castles carefully and slowly. You can spend hours walking among the strange towers and columns, being surprised by the wild imagination of the nature.
After short walking in “Valley of Castles” we will go to the village where delicious lunch will be waiting for us in guesthouse. After lunch training walk on horseback to the lowest lake Kolsai.
Kolsai Lakes - "Pearls of the Northern Tien-Shan" - represent a cascade of three lakes. The largest lake is accessible for all visitors. It is the most beautiful lake, having a lack of civilization and the abundance of mushrooms. Horse lovers can order horseback tour to this place. The highest lake is small. It is located on the border of fir-wood and the alpine meadows and amazes by its harsh alpine beauty, as well as the rich flora and fauna. Vertical drop between the three lakes is about 700 meters. The lowest lake can be reached by car. But you should walk few kilometers along mountain trails to see the second and the third lake. Without doubts the tourists are expected to have a wonderful vacation in these places - berries, mushrooms and fishing. The water in the lakes is cold and clean and is home for the rainbow trout - a fish that lives only in the running or spring water. In the around mountains you can see Marals, mountain goats, wolves and even bears.
After reaching lake’s shore we will make a break, drink tea, coffee. Coming back to guesthouse. Dinner and bathhouse/shower, night in guesthouse. *Horseback walk during the day about 6 km.
Day 2. Kurmety – Besmoinak – mountain hut.
Breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast preparations and beginning of main horseback part of the route.
Most of the route we will pass through the old mountain roads with stops for rest and lunch. After rest there will be long ascent to the Besmoinak pass. Most of the trail passes through the coniferous forest, where there are many traces of wild animals. After reaching the saddle of the pass we will have a break. Then short walk to the mountain hut where we will stay for the night. Dinner and night in the hut. *Horseback walk during the day about 15 km.
Day 3. Mountain hut – middle Kolsai – mountain hut.
Breakfast in the hut. Depends on condition of tour participants there is possibility to make a program more interesting by hiking to the middle Kolsai lake. Descent from hut to the lake will take about 2 hours. After reaching shores of the lake we will go to the area which is not so popular among the tourists. Picnic will be arranged over there. If the weather is good it will be possible to swim in the lake! After rest, walking and lunch we will go back to the hut. Dinner and night in the hut. *Hiking distance during the day about 15 km.
Day 4. Mountain hut – Besmoinak – Kurmety.
Breakfast in the hut. After breakfast preparations and exit to the finish part of our horseback route. This part of the way will be the most exciting. When we get the highest point of the ridge we will be moving along it almost till the village. Few of stops will be made on the way. By the end of the day coming back to the village. Dinner, bathhouse/shower and night in the guesthouse. *Horseback walk during the day about 28 km.
Day 5. Kurmety – Kaindy – Moon canyon – Almaty.
Breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast transfer to Kaindy lake.
Kaindy Lake (birch lake) is situated among magnificent pine forest at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level and is famous for its origin. It was formed in 1911 due to the powerful earthquake that triggered the landslide blocked the alley by the natural dam, and the water has flooded the valley. The water of the lake is very cold, that is why the needles of the flooded trees are well preserved and clearly visible through the transparent surface of the water, and dry stems of fir trees overlook the water surface, like the masts of the submarine squadron. It is impossible to describe in words all this mystical splendor of the lake – it is necessary to go there and see everything with own eyes.
After walking near the lake picnic will be arranged. Transfer to the Moon canyon.
Moon valley – it’s one of the numerous canyons of Charyn national park. It got such name because of fancy shapes of the rocks and pleasant yellow color. There are a lot of small springs and bush thickets where flocks of pheasants live. Just few of tourists visit this canyon. And because of this feature it was kept untouched by civilization.
Walking in the canyon. Then long back way to Almaty. Arrival to the city by 8 p.m.
Tour price for 5 days/4 nights per person, provided 2 persons traveling together.
For the group requests discounts will be provided.
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.
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.