The Lake Ala-Kol & hot spring Altyn-Arashan

Trekking from Karakol gorge to Altyn-Arashan

Experience Karakol gorge, Visit Lake Ala-Kol at 3500m and take a bath in the hot spring 

  • Category: combined – auto / trekking
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level of Difficulty: moderate to difficult, pass at 3,800 meters ASL
  • Best Season: mid June — mid September
  • Accommodation & meals:  3 nights in tents; 4 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts.
  • Group size: any
  • Requirements: trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, sunscreen, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Remarks: Tents are available upon request

Karakol means a “black wrist” and is the largest city in Yssyk-Köl Oblast, with the Central Tien Shan looming above on three sides. Karakol gives easy access to Lake Yssyk-Köl, Ak-Suu, Altyn-Arashan, the fabled Karakol Valley and the road to Inylcheck Glacier. Locals from surrounding villages often trek all night or even days to bring their livestock to the Sunday Animal Bazaar. Opportunities for trekking from Karakol are abundant with the majestic Terskei Ala-Too Range of the Tien Shan soaring over the city. With possibilities of 2 to 14 day treks, trekkers of every level can experience the breathtaking beauty of the Tien Shan, the crystal waters of Lake Ala-Köl, and the natural hot springs of Altyn Arashan. Hike along rocks, rivers and passes in one of the most spectacular mountains in Kyrgyzstan, visit the renowned mineral springs of Altyn-Arashan, the beautiful alpine lake Ala-Köl, and watch the pristine nature and wildlife from towering mountain peaks.


Day 1: Morning after transfer to Karakol Gorge from Karakul town.  Trek till the 2nd bridge. Camp in tent. Trekking time: 4-5 hours.

Day 2: Ascend to Kurgak-Tor, 3 000 m. Amazing views of the valley. Hike to a beautiful Mountain Lake, called Ala-Köl (3 500 m). You will pass by two waterfalls.  Stay at Ala-Köl for overnight. Trekking time” 5-6 hours.

Day 3: Hike through the Ala-Köl pass (3860 m) to the Keldyke Gorge and from the pass see the excellent panoramas of Takyr-Tor Glasier and five thousand mountain peaks of Terskey Ala-Too. Lunch after descend.  Walk to the Altyn-Arashan resort, which is situated 2450 m above sea level. Camp surrounded by magnificent rocks and glacial streams. Trekking time: 8 hours

Day 4: Spend time before lunch in Altyn-Arashan gorge. At the Altyn-Arashan resort it is possible to take a thermal water bath. Enjoy the unforgettable sight of snow on Peak Palatka (Tent) 5260 m and Swallow’s Nest Pool nestled beneath the open sky. Afternoon walk from Altyn Arashan resort down by Arashan Gorge (4 hours). Drive to Karakol (30 minutes). Dinner and overnight in a home stay. Trekking time: 5-6 hours


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