8 nights based on twin sharing

8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches,      8 Dinners

Includes all transfers, guides and porters

Beginner – intermediate max. 6 hours in a day

Sat 7th – Sun 15th
September 2019


This classic and popular route provides you with some of the very best trekking opportunities amid the incredible natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan Mountains. Our journey takes us through varied alpine valleys, up steep passes to look out over the snow-capped jumble of the peaks and glaciers of the surrounding mountains; we will visit the stunning turquoise glacial Lake Alakol, stay in a nomad’s traditional yurt and bathe in natural hot springs. 

Optional extras: Horse riding, single accommodation 

Not Included: Flights, visas, insurance (mandatory), airport taxes, tips, beverages, souvenirs

Full Itinerary for Tian Shan Mountains Classic Adventure

Day 1: Arrive in Bishkek, view the city

Upon arrival at the international airport you will be met by your guide who can take you on a tour of the city viewing the beautiful avenues of Bishkek. The permanently snowcapped mountain ranges of Kyrgyz Alatau provide a stunning backdrop to the city. View Manas Monument, the State History Museum, the changing of the Guard of Honor at Ala Too Square among other sights. During dinner you can listen to traditional Kyrgyz musicians before a night in a local hotel.

Day 2: Overland by road to Karakol town

Our drive encompasses Issyk-Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. It is heated from thermal activity and never freezes even in the depths of winter. In the summer the water temperature reaches 25-28 degrees centigrade (warmer than the air) and you can swim as you gaze at the snowy peaks of the surrounding Tian Shan Mountains. You will also pass the ancient minaret Burana Tower, built by the Karakhanids at the end of the 9th Century. You can climb to the top of this once important marker of the Great Silk Road. In Karakol we stay at a friendly local homestay.

Day 3: Karakol town to Jety Oguz gorge

Drive to Jety Oguz gorge where we will begin our trek. Here you can see the well-known redsand rock formations of ‘The Broken Heart’ and ‘Seven Bulls’. The slopes are covered with the Tian Shan blue spruce; down to the fast mountain river, which you will follow until you reach Kok Jaiyk (‘Flower Meadow’).

Day 4: Hike over Teleti pass and camp at Karakol valley

Hiking over Teleti pass, at 3800m it has fantastic views of the surrounding high mountains. The descent takes us through alpine meadows then through forest to the picturesque campsite in Karakol valley.

Day 5: Karakol valley radial hike towards Peak Karakol (52016m) to view glacier (alternatively a rest day or additional day may me needed depending on the speed of the group)

At the discretion of the guide, the group may be able hike up to see the glacier at the foot of Peak Karakol. This is a beautiful hike that takes you up above the treeline along the fast-flowing glacial river where you can get some great shots of the mountain.

Day 6: Karakol valley camp to Sirota hut and to Ala Kol Lake camp

A walk through pine forests takes you up to Sirota hut which is a lovely place to relax and have lunch. After this you will continue on up above the treeline on a steep ascent to the shores of the mesmerising turquoise waters of Ala Kol Lake where you will camp.

Day 7: Hike over Ala Kol pass to Altyn Arashan to bathe in hot springs

The Ala Kol pass is the highest of the trek and the views are well worth it. From there it is a much-welcome descent through the vast landscape down to alpine valleys filled with flocks of livestock and horses roaming free. Reaching the river, you follow this until arriving at the yurt-dotted camp of Altyn Arashan. Here you can bathe in the relaxing natural hot springs. You can even buy beer from the local guesthouses.

Day 8: Hike back to the road for collection by car to Karakol town, transfer to Bishkek 

A short hike of no more than a few hours brings you back down out of the mountains where you will be collected. After picking up any gear you may have left behind in Karakol town, you will be sped back to the capital for dinner and drinks before your final night in your hotel.

Day 9: Fly out of Bishkek


We will camp on the shores of the beautiful lake Alakol, its waters chameleon-like in the way they change colour from turquoise to silver to slate green –  freezing yet refreshing if you want to take a dip! There is the opportunity to do a radial walk to have lunch in the valley with fantastic views of the glacier at the foot of Mt Karakol; one of the higher peaks in the range.

After we have climbed the last and steepest pass with 360 degree views of the range we will bathe in the natural hot springs of the yurt-dotted encampment at Altyn-Arashan (Golden Spring), where you can recount your tales of the road. This is Kyrgyzstan’s most popular hiking route – and for very good reason – it still has not lost any of its appeal as a journey of adventure and great beauty in this remote corner of the world.

Dates not fit? Contact us for a bespoke adventure:

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Flight Information:

International flights are not included in the adventure price. No national flights are required for this adventure.