Trekking to Ala-Kol glacier

Duration: 5 days

Type:       Trekking

Difficulty: Strenuous (1B category)

Season:   June - September

Route:     Karakol valley – Kurgak-Tor gorge – Ala-Kol lake (3500m) – Ala-Kol glacier (3600-3800m) – Takyr-Tor pass (4000m) – Altyn-Arashan hot springs resort – Karakol town.

Brief description:    This is one of our favourite routes in the Teskey Ala-Too range. In this route we begin from beautiful forest zone in Karakol National Park then time by time get higher and higher. We will drink the glacial crystal clear water coming from the Ala-Kol glacier where we can see the beginning of the water. Amazing view from the Takyr-Tor pass to high mountains around. We will see two waterfalls and will be able to take a dip in the wild hot spring water. Also the hot springs of Altyn-Arashan always welcomes us for its hot pools. Again there are not enough words to describe the beauty of the lake and its surrounding landscape, you just need to see it!

Day to day plan:

Day 1- Karakol - Karakol valley - Kurgak Tor gorge - "Sirota" camp site.

First half of day is spending by driving through into the Karakol gorge by 4x4 soviet military car. Second half of the day is smoothly walking for a 600 m up and camping in a tree line (3000m) nearby crystal clean water of Kurgak Tor. Working day 4-5 hours.

Day 2- Sirota - lake Ala-Kol.

The trail to Ala-Kol leads up and up, along the river (coming from the Ala-Kol lake). With a nice view for the waterfall, the amazing Ala-Kol lake, the glacier. Camp close to the glacier. Very nice view of the sunset. Walking 5-6 hours.

Day 3- Glacier Ala-Kol – Takyr-Tor pass (4000m)  – Takyr-Tor valley.

This day need to start the walk early to cross the glacier, after pass the beautiful pass Takyr-Tor then slowly go down through the moraines to the valley. On the way in a good weather take a wild hot spring. Camp in a tree line. Walking 5-6hrs.

Day 4- Takyr-Tor valley – Altyn-Arashan hot springs resort.

Another walking day, easy walk down to Altyn-Arashan by the valley where you can meet shepherds, who are feeding their cattle during the summer. The trail goes all the way down till Altyn Arashan hot springs by crossing some small rivers. Stay in Yurt, take a hot spring bath. Walking 4-5hrs.

Day 5- Altyn-Arashan – Karakol town. The rest day after trek. Walk around the hot springs. Second part of the day driving by same car to the Karakol town (2-3 hours).


Conditions of the program:


Participants must have their equipment such as backpacks, desirable to have a personal sleeping bag, warm clothes, good trekking shoes, trekking poles, etc. (The whole structure of personal equipment)

Physical requirements: 

Participants must be in good physical condition, but don't need any special skills of mountaineering. The differences of heights range from 600 m to 850 m in vertical elevation. The maximum elevation is 4000m.

Group Size: 3 min- 10 max

Price in USD ($): per person for the trek

2 person $490

3 person $390

4 person $350

5 person $340


Price includes

• All transfers into the gorge at the beginning and end of the trekking

• National parks and camp sites fees

• Kyrgyz-Tours local Guide (English speaking)

• Cook

• Porters for personal luggage (every porter carries 15 kg of useful luggage)

• Lodging in the Kyrgyz-Tours tents with all meal and drinks at the trekking time

• Lodging in Yurt with the hot spring in Altyn-Arashan.

• Rent of tents and mat (2 person in 1 tent)

Not included

• Visa support

• International flights to and from Bishkek

• Lodging/meals in Bishkek

• Lodging/meals in Karakol

• Roundtrip transfer between Bishkek-Karakol-Bishkek

• Medical/evacuation insurance       


What else?

Round trip transport between Bishkek-Karakol-Bishkek:

By yourselves? You can easily catch a taxi or minibus by yourself in the western bus station in Bishkek. The ride takes approximately six hours (400km). In Karakol, you can settle in any reputed hotel or guest house. Our guide will meet you in Karakol and provide a briefing.   

Our guests? For our guests, we organize a private comfortable transport from and to Bishkek/Manas International Airport, including a visit to the Burana Tower in Tokmok, a stop to the petroglyphs in Cholpon Ata and an excursion in Karakol, in the presence of our english speaking guide. Lodging in a local partners house with a clean shower/toilet, amazing breakfast and Kyrgyz history from the lips of our grandfathers, at the start and the end of the trekking (2 nights).

For just an extra $ 100 per person.

Booking.       Feel free to contact us for additional information, maps, answers to any questions or to book this trip. If you wish to add more days or passes to this program, just let us know and we will be happy to prepare a custom designed tour exactly for you.