Season: May - October
Best period: July - September
Route complexity: horseback part of the route is available almost for any tourist who has ever sat in the saddle. Who has any experience in travelling on horseback through the mountains will enjoy route’s beauty and simplicity.
Height difference: the lowest point - 1600 m.a.s.l. Maximal altitude on the route is about 3200 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 height 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 – Taldy – Kurmety.
Breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast preparations and beginning of the horseback route. During our horseback walk we will follow quiet easy trails with small height difference. We will make few stops for the break and lunch. Finish point of the route will be on unnamed pass where stunning view to the highest and the most beautiful part of the ridge will be opened. After break on the pass we will make descent to the valley of Taldy river. Back way to the village will be going through the shadow gorge with the mountain river. Arrival to the guesthouse about 7 p.m. Dinner and bathhouse/shower, night in guesthouse. *Horseback walk during the day about 18 km.
Day 3. Kurmety – Kaindy - 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. Back way to Almaty by car. Arrival to Almaty about 8 p.m.