Big Almaty Curcuit

Discover breathtaking landscapes and wild nature of Almaty with this guided trek in the Ile Alatau mountain range. Ile Alatau belongs to the great Northern Tien Shan mountain system and stretch for more than 350 km in Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan. This is a trip to experience some of the most inspiring sceneries in Kazakhstan!
The rare beauty of the Ile Alatau National Park offers a wide range of natural environments: from the dark coniferous forests of the Tien-Shan firs to steep and rocky peaks; from crystal alpine rivers and lakes to snow capped peaks and glaciers which will will make you feel part of a wonderful mountain world of the Tien Shan.

Our 5-day trek starts from Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, which is located in the Northern foothills of the Ile Alatau. In the company of our local guide we enter deep valleys of Left Talgar and Kyzyl-Say with crystal clear rivers and flowering alpine meadows. Crossing a high altitude pass (Turist Pass 4000 m a.s.l.) we are rewarded with amazing views of the majestic mountain ranges that stretch far into the Tien Shan. Completing our trek we cross the Big Almaty valley and get to the beautiful Prohodnoe gorge which leads us back to the city.
Hiking is a great way to experience the mountains of the Tien Shan. Join us on this trek to discover Almaty’s unique lands rich in wildlife!

Accomodation: 4 nights camping
Grading: moderate-challenging 🙂
Timing: mid June to mid September.

*We’re happy to organise the programme on dates to suit your group – please contact us for more information.

You will need to be:

In good physical shape (able to walk for long distances uphill). You should be prepared to walk for 6-8 hours per day and more. You should be experienced in hiking in rugged terrain. The highest point of the route is 4000 m (the Turists Pass).


Day 1. Almaty – transfer to Medeo (about 40 min) – Start of the trek in Kimasar Gorge- Furmanov plateau- Butakovsky Pass- Left Talgar Valley – KazPI glade

Distance: 12km. Elevation Gain: 1200 m. Elevation loss: 850 m. Duration: about 8hrs.
Our camp site will be at a height of about 2150 meters in the woods of the Left Talgar.

Day 2. KazPI glade – Alpine Rose glade – Sunny glade – Tourists river gorge

Distance: 18km. Elevation Gain: 1000 m. Duration: about 8hrs.
Camp site at a height of about 3000 meters in the lower reaches of the Turists gorge

Day 3. Tourists river gorge – Turists pass 4000m – Kyzylsay gorge

Distance: 12km. Elevation Gain: about 1000 m. Elevation Loss: about 500 m. Duration: about 7-8hrs.
Camp site at a height of about 3500 meters in the upper reaches of the Kyzylsay river

Day 4. Kyzylsay gorge – confluence of the Kyzyl-Sai and Ozyornaya rivers  – Big Almaty gorge

Today we can opt for a descent through the Big Almaty gorge back to Almaty or continue through the upper Big Almaty gorge and head to the the picturesque Prohodnoe gorge for another night camping.

Option 1. Kyzylsay gorge – confluence of the Kyzyl-Sai and Ozyornaya rivers  – Big Almaty gorge- Shukur Gorge- Alpine Rose resort

The first option will allow us to enjoy the beauty of the Big Almaty Lake. The views down to the lake and forests are just outstanding. What we love the most about Big Almaty Lake is its color transformation. Lake colors change all the time, from glacier blue to different shapes of green, deep emerald and turquoise. Before reaching the dam on the lake, we cross to the small Shukur gorge. We will descend on a wide track to the Alpine Rose mountain resort and then drive to Almaty (about 1 hour).
Distance: 15km. Elevation Gain: about 200 m. Elevation Loss: 1400 m. Duration: about 6-7 hrs.

Option 2. Kyzylsay gorge – confluence of the Kyzyl-Sai and Ozyornaya rivers  – Big Almaty gorge- Almaty Alagir Pass (3650 m) – Upper Prohodnoe Gorge

If you choose the 2d option we’ll keep on trekking to Almaty-Alagir pass (3650 m). Descend to the upper Prohodnoe valley surrounded by the fascinating mountains. Our camp site will be at a height of about 3150 meters.
Distance: about 15km. Elevation Gain: about 800 m. Elevation Loss: 1200 m. Duration: about 7 hrs.

Day 5. Upper Almaty (Prohodnoe) Gorge- “Alyoshka’s Bridge” – Terra Glade – Old Alma-Arasan sanatorium

The views down to the Prohodnoe gorge are spectacular and the flowers along the trail interspersed with mountain springs and small waterfalls make this a scenic walk. At the end of the trail you can enjoy the sulfur-hydrogen hot springs.
Distance: about 10km. Elevation Loss: 1400 m. Duration: about 5 hrs.

We’ll choose our day routes based on the weather conditions and the ability of the group.

Days 6-7 (optional). We’re happy to organise a 1-day sightseeing tour in Almaty (visiting the most popular attractions of the city) / a sightseeing tour in Almaty region (visiting the best nature spots around Almaty such as Charyn canyon, Altyn Emel national park, Kolsay and Kaindy lakes etc).

5-day tour cost:

€400 per person (for a group of 3 people)
€380 per person (for a group of 4 people)
€350 per person (for a group of 5 people)

The cost includes:

The services of a mountain guide;
Return transfer from Almaty;
All the environmental/ecological fees (National Parks);
Camping outfit for overnights (tents, camping stoves, gas etc) except sleeping bags (if you have your own sleeping bag, we’d recommend to bring it with you. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, it can be rented);
Full board (lunch and dinner in Day 1, full board in Days 2-4, breakfast and lunch in Day 5)

The cost doesn’t include:

Accommodation in Almaty (we can help with recomendations or booking a hotel for you);
Meals not indicated in the programme (breakfast in Day  1, dinner in Day 5), alcohol drinks, individual snacks;
Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the programme; Insurance policy

Please contact us to find out more detailed information and request additional services or locations.

You will need:

– clothing: sporty clothes, warm clothes (waterproof outer shell, fleece, down jacket in case of cold weather);
– hiking boots, headdress;
– extra set of warm clothing for nights in tent, extra warm socks;
– gloves, extra warm gloves or mittens;
– trekking poles;
– thermos, water bottle;
– head torch;
– sunglasses and sunscreen, swimming suit (if you’re brave enoungh to swim in a mountain lake;);
– personal backpack (minimum 45l);
– sleeping bag -10° C comfort (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, it can be rented);
– personal medical kit;
– personal mug, spoon, bowl;
– energy bars or other special mountain snacks (optional).