Over the Talas Ala-Too Range Towards Sary-Chelek Lake
Sary Chelek lake is located 500 km from Bishkek and 300 km from Osh, in the territory of the Sary Chelek State Biosphere Reserve. The lake lies on the boundary of At-Oinok and Chatkal ranges, at an altitude of 1940 meters. The lake covers an area of 507 hectares, has a length of 7.5 km, and a depth of 234 meters. It is the second and third deepest lake in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, respectively. The coastline is covered with dense forests and rocky places in some areas. Sary Chelek is fed by several mountain rivers.
The water temperature in summer does not
exceed 19 °C and in winter ranges from 0 °C to 4 °C. Sary Chelek in Kyrgyz means 'yellow barrel.' According to legend, there was once an old beekeeper who, one spring, decided to place hives on the shores of an unusually beautiful lake. When the time for harvest had come, the beekeeper was so mesmerized by the golden color of honey, he named the lake Yellow Barrels referring to the barrels full of honey on the shore. Additionally, there is also another explanation to the name of the lake. As autumn rolls around, the golden color of the trees on the coastline reflected in the water form a fabulous whole golden landscape. The Sary Chelek State Biosphere Reserve (area 23,8 ha) is included in UNESCO’s international network of nature reserves. It was established to preserve the flora and fauna of the walnut forests and alpine landscapes.
Duration: 8 days trekking
Level of difficulty: Medium
Best season: end of June to September
Requirements: trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, torch, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
Itinerary: town Talas - Chiim-Tash pass – Kara-Kuldzha pass – Kotormo or Kashka-Suu pass – Kara-Suu lake - Kotormo pass - Sary-Chelek Reserve – Kara-Suu village
Day 1: Leave Bishkek. Arrive in Talas. Dinner. Accommodation in a CBT home stay.
Day 2: Breakfast. Transfer to Madaniyat village. Meet guide and support team. Tour starts alongside a stream towards the Urmaral gorge. Short picnic lunch. Supper and overnight camp near two rivers junction. Trekking time – 5/6 hours.
Day 3: Breakfast. Starts the trekking hours following the Chiimtash river. Short picnic lunch. By the way you can see orthographic art on the rock, that has drawn many years ago by nomadic people on the way. Supper and overnight camp near two lakes. Trekking time – 5/6 hours.
Day 4: Breakfast. Tour crosses Talas Range over the Chiyim-Tash pass (3600 m). Cross steep and stony.On the top perfect panorama view you can see Chatkal range and Talas Ala Too range. Pass by shepherd’s yurts and animals. Short picnic lunch. Supper and overnight in a camp in the mountains Kara-Kuldzha valley. Trekking duration – 6/7 hours.
Day 5: Breakfast. Walking alongside mountain river towards the Kara-Kuldzha pass (3161 m). View griffins and marmots. Short picnic lunch during the day. Walking hours – 6/7 hours.
Day 6: Breakfast. This day is quite tough. Ascent to Kashka-Suu pass challenging but rewarding. Short picnic lunch during the day. Supper and overnight in a camp, on the shore of Lake Kara-Suu. Duration – 7/8 hours.
Day 7: Day off! This day you can enjoy with nature you can swim, you can go the waterfall and take photos
Day 8: Breakfast. Cross Kotormo pass (2446 m) into Sary-Chelek National Reserve. Observe stunning panoramas, trees and wild animals. Visit differant lakes. Short picnic lunch. Walking hours – 6/7 hours.
Day 9: Breakfast. Walking through Sary-Chelek orchards and forests. Arrive at Kara-Suu village. Acquaintance with local lifestyle and habits. Short picnic lunch during the day. Shower, supper and overnight in a local homestay. Trekking hours – 6/7 hours.
Day 10:Breakfast. Leave Kara-Suu.
Attention: above description is given for 8-days trekking tour!
Date & Prices
*Price include: prices are set per person and include guide and cook services, meals during tour, horse rent, accommodation B&B and supper in Talas town and Kara-Suu village, local transfer from Talas to Madaniyat village, entrance fee to Sary-Chelek state reserve.
* Price does NOT include: overnights in Bishkek; transport from Bishkek to Talas, or the return journey from Kara-Suu to Bishkek and meals underway;