On the trails of Snow Leopard
You will see Marko Polo sheep, Ibex, Yak, Marmot, Fox, Wolf, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture during this tour. Snow Leopard can be spotted from mid January to mid March
Ak Shiyrak is a high mountain valley. It is a remote high plato just 30 km from the border with China is a home place for many wild animals and birds. Tour goes through the biggest reserve in Kyrgyzstan, Sary-Chat Ertash reserve.
Tour Type: 5 (4+1) days trekking, 4 days driving
Total Duration: 9 days
Best Season: July – October to see Marco Polo Sheep and Ibex
February – March to see snow leopard guaranteed (it can be horse riding instead of trekking or winter trek on snowshoes)
Level of Difficulty: from moderate to demanding
Maximum Altitude on the Trip: 4 200 meters ASL
Start and End Point: Bishkek
Accommodation: standard hotel in Bishkek, guesthouse in Bokonbaevo, simple home stay in Uch-Koshkon and camping in the reserve
Transport: overland by jeeps
Best group size: 4-12 persons
Day in Bishkek trekking to National Park
Arrival in Bishkek. Transfer to hotel. Late morning leave to Ala Archa National Park for acclimatization trekking. Length of trekking trail is 3,4km to Waterfall on way. Altitude difference from start point to Waterfall is+800 m. Lunch in wild. Afternoon turn back to Bishkek. Dinner at café. Stay in hotel.
Bishkek – Bokonbaev village
After breakfast, check out from hotel in Bishkek. Drive to Bokonbaev village. Stop at Burana Complex where we will visit Burana Tower, historical museum and Balbal gravestones and have lunch at local family house.While driving by Southern Shore of Issyk Kul lake (Second largest alpine lake after Titikaka, 1605m asl) we will see eagle hunting
Bokonbaev village – Uch-Koshkon village.
After breakfast we will drive to Uch Kochkon village which is located at area of unique high mountain steppes with eternal permafrost earth. We will see first Barskoon gorge, Sary Moinok pass, Barskoon pass, Arabel valley which is a beginning of one of the biggest rivers in Central Asia Syrdarya. Picnic lunch will be at Taragai river bank, when we will rich high steppes depending on time and weather conditions. After stop at Kara Say village for border zone registration we will drive to Uch Kochkon village (3150m asl). We will have dinner and overnight at guest house. Before dinner from village we will drive (15 Min) to AkSjirak river canyon which is more than 60 meters deep.
UchKochkon village – Koyundu – Eshek Art Ranger station.
After breakfast drive 18 km to Koyondu Ranger Station where we will have riding and safety instruction, deliver our luggage and horses. We enter one of the biggest nature reserves in Kyrgyzstan, Sarychat-Ertash Reserve with 150 000 hectares. Our target is Eshek Art Ranger station. We will ride over Eshek Art pass of 4200m asl, ride at the landscape of high meadows, with nice panoramas at 5000 meters summits and glaciers. On the way we will visit one mountain glacier. Picnic lunch on the way. At slopes near the pass we might see Marko Polo sheep, vulture, Golden Eagle. Upon arrival at Ranger station we will have some tea and after that have a hike to the bank of Sarychat river which flow to Tarym basin in China. With this hike we will acclimatize and see special marmots and rabbits, Eagles, vultures and depending on season also ibisbill. At this area eagles have they nests. Dinner and overnight at Eshek Art Ranger station at tent.
Eshek Art Ranger station(3000 m asl) –Kashka Tor glacier(4100 m asl)
This day we will also see not only glacier but some wild animals. It is the key area for observing Marco Polo. In December rangers counted 1500 Marco Polo and 6 wolfs near glacier. Animals to see: Marco Polo Sheep, vulture, Golden Eagle, marmots and hare, Eagles, vultures.
Eshek Art Ranger station – Solomo gorge – Eshek Art Ranger station
After breakfast we will walking to Solomo Gorge. On the way see Argali (Arharkulja). From camp site we will hike up to Camera trap where we will check trap, download photos. On the way to camera trap and from that spot we will see Argali (Marko Polo sheep), Ibex and another animals. If we are lucky we will see them even at 50 meters distance. From trap point we will observe rocky slopes around and by using binoculars observe Sary Chat river nabk and Ak Shiyrak range summits. In this area we will research snow leopard footprints and possibly see leopard itself. Rangers will show his footprints, markers, explain how snow leopard lives here. Picnic at Camera trap. Return back to camp place. Dinner and overnight at tents.
We will see Argali (Marko Polo sheep), Ibex, vulture, Golden Eagle and probably fox, wolf, snow leopard,
Eshek Art Ranger station – Kara Kiya pass – South Shore yurt camp.
Today we will first walk up 9 km to Kara Kiya pass (4074m asl) and enjoy great panorama on Central Tyan Shan peaks. Have some rest and tea or coffee we will walk another 3 km to the main road where we will take our vehicles and drive to the yurt camp at the shore of Issyk Kul lake. Lunch in wild prepared by our cook. Dine and sleep in yurt.
Yurt Camp – Bishkek
Transfer to Bishkek. Lunch in café, by arrival to Bishkek hotel accommodation. Farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Bishkek full day.
City tour in Bishkek with visiting Historical Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Central Square Ala-Too. Overnight in Hotel. Lunch and dinner at a café.