Kol-Tor lake is located in a gorge that has the same name. It’s possible to reach this gorge through the Kegety gorge, which is 90 km from the city of Bishkek towards Issyk-Kul. Kol-Tor lake is located at an altitude of 2725 meters above sea level. Most of the year the lake is frozen and in summer the water warms up not more than 50C. So it’s too cold for swimming but you can try if you dare to. Kol-tor is notable for its stunning turquoise color of the lake, especially a beautiful combination of colors that can be found here in summer.
As already mentioned Kol-Tor gorge is part of another gorge-Kegety. There are two beautiful waterfalls located in Kegety gorge- Big Kegety waterfall and Small Kegety waterfall. On the way to Kegety gorge, 12 km from the city of Tokmak there is a unique building from 10-11 centuries. It is the Burana Tower, which is an important monument of architectural heritage. So if you have time, it’s worth visiting.
The length of the hiking track to the lake is 8 km one-way. The path is clearly visible, so you should try hard to get lost there. The path itself is very picturesque: it starts from a rather gentle treeless stretch gradually turning into forest slopes and then real alpine meadows. There are a lot of places on the way to stop and have a rest.
There is a large number of herbs growing on the banks of the river. You can find sage, St. John’s wort, thyme or bidens. In the valleys, you can also come across forest berries like strawberries or blueberries.