The largest country of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, is now attractive hiking and trekking direction for adventure lovers. In the country with a total area of 2.724.900 square km, there are hundreds of trekking routes and one-day hikes. If you are still looking for a new trekking direction here are the best tracks for hiking and trekking in Kazakhstan:
Hiking and Trekking in Kazakhstan: Burabay
Burabay or Borovoe can be described as one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan. The territory including more than fourteen lakes got the status of a national park in 2000. It is the favorite summer recreation zone for locals to swim in the lakes, for hiking, camping and boat rides.
Even though Burabay is one of the least explored and visited places, the territory has paved trails for hiking. The shortest track that takes about half an hour starts from Mount Bolektau and takes to Bolshoe Chebachye and Burabay lakes. More complicated and longer tracks are deep in the woods with smashing views over the lakes. The highest mountain of Burabay is Kokshetau Mountain (947m). The hike to the mountain will take about two hours along the steep slopes. The rather challenging climb to the mountain will grant you the best view of the entire territory and the lakes.
Burabay is a beloved place of professional photographers and amateurs. The lakes of the national park are considered the most photogenic ones in Kazakhstan and each season the park is gorgeous in its way. By the way, during winter the lakes are covered with ice and are absolutely safe for ice skating.
Hiking and Trekking in Kazakhstan: Almaty
The former capital of Kazakhstan is the touristic and cultural center of the country and the starting point of most trekking routes to the mountains. The picturesque mountains are located in the southern part of Almaty. Most trails from the city are one-day hikes so in a couple of days you can explore all the beautiful corners of Almaty mountains.
The first route from Almaty takes to Kok Zhailau, lush valley at an altitude of 2251 meters with an amazing view of Almaty. Kok Zhailau can be a wonderful place for picnics and camping. The marked narrow steep path continues to the south-east to the peak Three Brothers, huge rocks on the ridge standing above the plateau. The final stop is Peak Kumbel and the way back to Almaty. The trek takes about 6 hours and every single minute is worth the effort.
Another popular trail in Almaty mountains takes along the mountain river and meadows that are full of colorful spring and summer flowers. The trail of 14 km without steep passes takes to Furmanov peak through pine trees. This is one of the four peaks to visit during the hike. One of the most exciting places in Furmanov peak is a swing that makes you feel all the palette of emotions from an endless feeling of freedom to adrenalin and joy. The further you go the more impressive the views become. Closer to Panorama and Bashuta peaks the views change from alpine valleys to formidable cliffs. The final stop is the fourth Peak Shymbulak (3450m).
Hiking and Trekking in Kazakhstan: Charyn Canyon
Charyn Canyon is the place that can blow your mind with its views. It is often compared with the popular Grand Canyon. After the endless panorama of plains Charyn canyon with its sunburned amber rocks look like a totally different world with unrealistic and even Martian views. Trekking in Charyn canyon is the most exciting experience to have in Kazakhstan. The 2-day tour will be perfect to explore the canyon and sights close to it.
The canyon is located in Charyn Canyon National park and stretches 154 km. Deep in the canyon Charyn river flows creating a beautiful green oasis on the background of endless red sandstones. The volcanic lava created unimaginable views for thousands of years and now those unique shapes of rocks have their names like Valley of Castles, Ghosts Gorge and Devil’s Gorge.
From Charyn Canyon the trek may be continued to the closest village Saty for overnight. The second part of the trek is no less impressive. It will take you to the picturesque lakes of Kolsai and Kaindy. The Southeast part of Kazakhstan amazes with the diversity of landscapes. The dramatic views of canyons and deserts may change to lush valleys, crystal clear lakes and snow-covered mountains.
The next stop is the Kolsai National Park with the Kolsai Lakes. The group of lakes includes three water reserves called “the Pearl of the Northern Tian Shan”. The first lake is hidden in the trees at an altitude of 1000m above sea level, the second one is located high in the mountains at an altitude of 2500 meters. The third lake is surrounded by spruce forests and is located at an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level.
From the village of Saty 15 km the trek to the southwest takes to Kolsai and another trek takes to the southeast to Kaindy Lake. It is relatively a young lake that appeared after the earthquake in 1911. The natural dam appeared and the melted glacier water had no way to flow out. Shrenk spruce forest was sunk under the water and now the trees stand in the water like the ghosts of the forest.
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