Aksai Gorge located in the southwestern outskirts of Almaty. It has one of the major rivers of Trans-Ili Alatau - Aksai, originating high in the mountains. The majestic river is particularly beautiful in the summer; the banks are covered with dense thickets of wild apricot, apple, maple and hawthorn. The riverbed makes a lot of sharp turns on its way, loudly and rhythmically sounds water, easily overcoming the huge boulders and drops of the channel. At first glance, Aksai gorge has no glaciers - above the spruce belts are alpine meadows and bare rocks. But behind these visible from the valley ridges, which peaks are located below the snow line, there are two glaciers and alpine lakes, that could cause dangerous mudflows when are overflown during the rapid melting of snow and ice.
After a long tedious road in dense deciduous forest of Aksai gorge, a traveler, got here at the first time, is expected for a pleasant surprise - a majestic picture of bright blue colors of mountain slopes, thickly covered with Tien-Shan spruces, is suddenly opened before him. Birds sing loudly, the river sounds nearby, a light gust of wind stirs the leaves on the trees. Leftwards the Ak-Zhar Mountain ("white cliff") is visible – the trace of the catastrophic earthquake of 1887, when in a neighboring gorge, at the right tributary of the Aksai River, the tremendous rock fall has hapenned, revealing a part of the steep northern slope. The volume of rock debris, according to scientists, was more than 40 million cubic meters. The height of the Ak-Zhar is 2163 meters above sea level and it is not the only consequence of the Semirechenski earthquake in the Aksai Gorge.
A little further to the south, on the right side, there is one more grand rock fall - Kyzyl-Zhar (red cliff). Behind this cliff the male Orthodox monastery is hiding, which appeared at the burial site of two monks who were killed here in 1921. At the entrance to the hermitage you meet so-called "Calvary Cross" - a large stone plate with crucifix embossed on it. This plate with great difficulty was brought to the monastery in 1991, when Christian youth of Alma-Ata decided to mark this holy place with the blessing of Archbishop. The monastery is clean and well maintained. There is the tomb of the monks, the cave, where they prayed, the holy source (spring) and the building of the worship (church). You are not allowed to smoke at the monastery as well as come with dogs. The women have to be fully dressed, including scarves and long skirts. Annually, on August 11 (the day of death of the monks) it is a pilgrimage to this place. It is visited for the solemn worship by representatives of secular and ecclesiastical authorities, representatives of all faiths and delegations from other countries.
Tour Available from April to November
Tour Price is given per person, provided two persons traveling together, and includes hotel pick-up/drop-off, English-speaking guide service, lunch (picnic) and environmental fees