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Alpine Meadows Of Zhetisu Off-road Tour

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Little-studied and hardly visited by tourists mountain gorges and valleys with dizzying panoramas, alpine meadows, rough rivers, alpine lakes and a lot of impressions from the wild beauty of Zhetysu - all this in one . .
Country: Kazakhstan
City: Almaty
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Trekking / Hiking
Package Itinerary
Little-studied and hardly visited by tourists mountain gorges and valleys with dizzying panoramas, alpine meadows, rough rivers, alpine lakes and a lot of impressions from the wild beauty of Zhetysu - all this in one adventure!
Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)
Season: June - October
Best season: June-August
Day 1. Almaty - Turgen Gorge - Asy Plateau
After meeting the guide at your hotel and boarding a comfortable off-road vehicle you will depart from Almaty to Turgen Gorge. There you will make the first stop and have a sightseeing tour to the Bear Waterfall. After the walk you will continue to drive up the gorge. When you reach Asy Pass, you will stop for a picnic at a place with a wonderful view of the plateau.
Asy Plateau is a huge plain, located at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level and surrounded by ridges over 3000 meters above sea level. On the southwest side, the valley is covered with snowy peaks, from which glaciers "flow". Along the rivers stretches forest massifs, consisting mainly of Tian Shan spruce. The plateau stretches for 40 km and in some places it is 15 km wide. Along the Asy river there are ancient barrows and rock paintings, which are one of the highest concentrations of petroglyphs in Kazakhstan. At present, the plateau has become a pasture of national importance. Here, on the plateau, a famous mountain observatory in Kazakhstan is located.
Then you will drive a little further to the most suitable place for setting a camp, where you will have dinner and rest.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 135 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 2500 m. above s.l.
Day 2. Asy Plateau - Taban Karagai Plateau
Wake-up, breakfast and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to the Kyzylauyz Pass, which offers a great view of the entire Kungei-Alatau mountain range. At the pass you will make a stop to admire the surrounding views and stretch a little. Then your journey will continue towards the Taban Karagai Plateau. On the way you will stop for lunch, and if you are lucky you can pick mushrooms for dinner. In the afternoon you will have one more transfer to the place of the overnight.
Taban Karagai Plateau is located in the south-eastern part of Trans-Ili Alatau ridge. Such kind of places are often referred to as a "paradise under the heaven." The highest point of the plateau is located at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level, and there can be clearly seen that a long time ago the upper part of the plateau was covered with eternal ice. The glaciers had melted and left behind a large number of huge boulders and rock debris, beautifully fitting into the overall landscape of soft curves of the hills on which large herds of horses peacefully roam and sheep graze.In summer, the plateau is covered by a continuous floral carpet. All this diversity of wildlife, purity and beauty, captivates the eyes of even the most sophisticated travelers. You may look to the expanse of Taban Karagai for hours.
Upon arrival you will set a camp, have dinner and rest.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 120 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 2300 m above s.l.
Day 3. Taban Karagai Plateau - Kaindy Lake
Wake-up, breakfast and disassembling of the camp, during which you can go for a little walk, admire the surroundings and take beautiful memorable pictures. Next, you will drive on the Taban-Karagai Plateau to the nameless pass, where you will make a small stop, rest, walk a little and stretch. Then you will go down a rather interesting and sometimes difficult mountain road leading to Saty Settlement. In the settlement you will have lunch at locals and then head to Kaindy Lake, where you can enjoy the views and walk around. In the evening, you will return to the guest house, where showers and a sauna await you. Dinner and rest.
Compared to other lakes in the Kolsai Gorge, Kaindy Lake, or as it is called Birch Lake, is the youngest of them. It is famous for its origin, as it was formed in 1911 as a result of a strong earthquake that caused a landslide, which blocked the gorge with a natural dam. Part of the gorge was flooded with water, but after a while the water receded, leaving a gift in the form of a lake, where one could see trees as if they were originally growing from it. The water in the lake is very cold, which is why the tree conifers are well preserved and can be clearly seen through the transparent surface of the water, and the dry trunks of flooded spruces rise above the water surface like masts of an underwater squadron. The lake is located only 11 km from Saty Settlement and is one of the favorite tourist destinations.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 90 km
Overnight in a guest house
Day 4. Kaindy Lake - Kensu Gorge
Breakfast at the guest house and departure to the next incredibly interesting place - Kensu Gorge. On the way you will make a few stops and see a lot of interesting places. The first stop will be at Bistyubinskoye Reservoir, where you will walk a little and then continue your way to Kensu Gorge. The road in the gorge is not easy, sometimes there are swamps, and on the last kilometers you will have to overcome the off-road and use a navigator.
Kensu Gorge is located on the eastern slope of Kungei Alatau ridge. Beginning at the altitude of 3300 m a.s.l. the ravine stretches out for 45 kilometers and goes into the Charyn River at the altitude of 1600 m a.s.l. In the medium part of the gorge northern slopes are covered with rare spruce forests. Southern slopes in the area of ​​alpine meadows are covered with thick thickets of archa trees - Asian species of juniper. The origins of Kensu River are in big circus where there are eight moraine lakes. These lakes are located in the old moraines and are evidence of degradation of ancient glaciation in this area. One of these lakes is of heart shape. The gorge is not visited by any tourists because of absence of information in the tourist literature.
Once you have reached the site, you will set a camp, have lunch and go for a walk. And when return to the camp in the evening, you will have dinner and rest.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 120 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 2800 m. above s.l.
Day 5. Kensu Gorge - Tekes Gorge
Breakfast, disassembling of the camp and departure to Tekes Gorge. On the way you will stop at the small border town of Kegen, where you will have a delicious lunch at the local café and then visit the local very picturesque market. Next you will have another short drive to the valley of the river Tekes.
Tekes River is the main source of Ili River, a quite large river in the region. Tekes River originates an altitude 3535 meters above sea level, at the foot of the main massif of Khan Tengri mountain group. The river flows mainly in a wide intermountain valley separating the axial ridges of the Eastern Tien Shan and the Ketmen Ridge. The banks of the Tekes River and its tributaries are covered with bushes and individual groves of birch and willows. The soil in the lower valley is fertile, the pastures and meadows along the stream are abundant. The whole Tekes Valley is picturesque; each turn of the gorge keeps the wild beauty of nature and nice surprises. In spite of that Tekes River flows in one of the most beautiful gorges in the Almaty Region it is little known and not popular among tourists. Lakes, waterfalls and untouched nature - these are the main advantages of Tekes!
Upon arrival, you will set a camp, have dinner by the fire and rest.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 200 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 2500 m. above s.l.
Day 6. Tekes Gorge - Tuzkol Lake
Early wake-up and breakfast in the camp. After breakfast, you will have some free time to walk to the small but very picturesque waterfall, located nearby. After the walk, you will return to the camp, have lunch and depart to Tuzkol Lake.
Tuzkol lake is dead and salty. Salt density in the lake changes several times throughout the year and can reach 300 g/l. For example, concentration of salt in the Dead Sea is about 340-350 g/l. It is noteworthy that no river flows into the lake, and it is undrained. Locals say that it is fed by underground mineral springs, and the mud of the lake is curative. In ancient times, when the Mongols lived on these lands, this lake was called Doban-Nor. From Mongolian it is translated as Windy Lake. On a clear day, Khan Tengri peak, the seven thousandth peak, is visible from the lake. If only you have been here once, and you cannot help coming back here again...
On arrival, setting a camp and dinner. Unfortunately, there will be no campfire, as there is no firewood in these places, but there are the excellent views.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 70 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 1900 m. above s.l.
Day 7.Tuzkol Lake - Temirlik Canyon
Early wake-up. If you are lucky with the weather, at dawn you can admire the seven thousandths peaks of the Northern Tien Shan. Breakfast, disassembling of the camp and departure to Temirlik Canyon. On the way you will visit the already known town of Kegen, have a snack and move further. If there is time, you will visit the small mining village of Tuyuk, which offers a magnificent view of the origins of Temirlik River.
Temirlik Canyon got its name from a small Temirlik River flowing along its bottom and originating in the valleys of Ketmen Ridge. At the shady bottom of the canyon grows Semenov maple, Barberry, Karagan, Halimodendron, Tamarisk, Haloxylon, and rare representative of the Earth flora - the relict Sogdian ash-tree. This unique tree has survived the relict period. In 1964 Ash-tree Groves were declared monuments of nature. Such compact Sogdian ash-tree growth were noted in Kazakhstan and in North America only. Here was noticed a rare representative of the avian world - the black stork. There are also numerous nightingales, turtledoves, cave swallows.
Upon arrival in the canyon, you will set a camp and have dinner by the fire.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 250 km
Overnight in a tent camp at an altitude of 970 m. above s.l.
Day 8. Temirlik Canyon - Charyn Canyon - Almaty
Breakfast, disassembling of the camp and a short drive to the panoramic point of the Valley of Castles of Charyn Canyon, the most popular among all canyons.
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 has created the beautiful Valley of Castles, where you are always surrounded by the fancy towers composed of sedimentary rocks. The length of the valley is 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 admiring the valley, you will make another short drive and descend to the canyon on foot. After the walk you will have lunch at the panoramic point overlooking the Valley of Castles, and then will depart to Almaty.
Total automobile mileage in this day is about 330 km
Tour Price for 2021: 1525 USD Per Person, provided 2 persons traveling together.
Group discounts available. A child participates in the tour at the price of an adult.
Tour Rates Include:
-hotel pick-up/drop-off and private transportation in comfortable air-conditioned off-road vehicle;
-professional English-speaking guide service;
-environmental and entry fees, visitation permits for special protected areas;
-accommodation in a tent camp (6 nights),
-accommodation in a guest house in Saty Settlement (1 night);
-meals according to the program (lunch and dinner on Day 1, breakfast and lunch on Day 8, full board on other days), drinking water. Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking (traditional local cuisine includes mostly lamb or beef, dough, milk products)
-chef services (for a group from 6 persons).
Tour Rates Exclude: additional services not indicated in the program.
Booking Terms: full payment is required for tour reservation. Accepted methods of payment: cash in local currency, wire transfer, bank card.
Cancellation Terms: 50% of the tour price is not refundable in case of tour cancellation less than 7 days before tour departure date. Tour price is not refundable in case of tour cancellation 24 hours or less before tour departure time, as well as in case of no-show.
Group Size: Minimum - 1 person, maximum - 16 persons.
Age restriction: 4+
Required clothing and equipment: waterproof membrane Gore-Tex jacket and pants, warm fleece jacket or Polartec jacket, windproof jacket, several sets of underwear, several pairs of socks and a pair of warm socks, several T-shirts with short sleeves, shorts, swimming suite, appropriate hiking boots, shoes for camp (lightweight sneakers), sunglasses and sunscreen, head torch with adjustable brightness and beam distance, several sets of batteries, thermos for 1-1.5 liters or other water container, personal hygiene items, personal first aid kit (for chronic diseases is obligatory), anti acarid remedy.

NOTE: A current valid passport is required on the day of travel.
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