Charyn Canyon – Asy Plateau

Asy-Turgen mountain Plateau

There is a beautiful corner of nature – Turgen gorge in the national park of Ile-Alatau.

The distance is 90 km from Almaty. Gorge goes deep into 44 km to the huge plateau of Asy (2560 m). In ancient times, there were caravans from Europe to the East – to China and India. Turgen gorge is famous among the waterfalls and relict Chin-Turgen moss spruce trees, growing on permafrost, coniferous and mixed forests, alpine and subalpine meadows, lakes and springs, medicinal plants and berries.

In the Turgen gorge there are dry-cheeks In a significant amount: Semenov’s maple, wild apricot, Mushketov’s mound. Once spruce covers the slopes entirely from 1350-1400 m in the Issyk gorge, then the spruce belt begins in the Turgen gorge at an altitude of 1650 m.

The plateau of Asy, known since ancient times as a summer pasture, originates from the Kishi-Turgen river. The plateau is located within the heights of 2800-3200 meters. Here are found signs of a habitability more than 5000 years old, both nomadic and sedentary life.

An astrophysical observatory is built at the top of the plateau with one of the world’s largest telescopes. High-altitude plateau goes to the East along the river Assy and based on relief importance has great sporting prospects in terms of creating a ski resort world level.

The plateau runs across 30-kilometer mountain plain of an amazing landscape.

The total run on the off-road is about 100 km + 150 km of return road by the asphalt road.

You can drive to a local yurt and drink fresh milk. Milk in this neighborhood is the most delicious milk on Earth due to location and climate.

When you route to the Bartogai reservoir or back, this becomes one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan where you could compare only the Swiss mountains but its beauty will be completely different. The landscape on this route will change at least three times.

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon is one of the most unique places in Kazakhstan. It’s takes one of the first places in the rating of the best tours in Kazakhstan!

The canyon is located at 190 km from Almaty and takes 3-4-hours driving from the city. It is very amazing place on the Earth planet. It is similar to the world Grand Canyon which is located in the USA and has second place by the size but its beauty conquers the hearts of thousands of tourists who visit this fabulous place every year.

Charyn is a monument of nature and 12 million years old.

The Natural Park was established on February 23, 2004. The park area is 93150 ha and locates in the Ili intermountain hollow. Charyn Canyon is one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Kazakhstan. Water, wind and sun built a quaint clay-stone city here. It’s unique monument of nature – a relic ash-tree grove, has the age about 5 million years. The fauna includes 24 species of mammals, 48 bird species, 3 species of amphibians, 14 species of reptiles. In order to fully enjoy the beauty of these places you need to visit here personally.

The length of the canyon is 154 km. The depth is about 250-300m.

The most attractive route is the valley of the castles, which makes up the total walking route about 2 km and the width of 15-90 meters. The valley of the castles is a wide dried canyon adjacent to the main river bed. The river now flows itself along a different path and millions of years ago this place was simply a gulf of a giant ancient sea stretching from the modern lake Alakol to the Caspian Sea. This explains the rather mild the structure of the walls of the canyon which consist the stones, firmly pressed with clay, but easily changing their shape under the influence of wind and water. The great sculptor – Nature creates fantastic giants and very small sculptures from this material.

Now this place is very popular in the movie industry. People come here to make the movies from different countries both neighboring states and far abroad.

There are observation platforms at the top of the canyon from which you can take the photograph of a good panorama. There is an amazing beauty both from above and from below that you must see with your own eyes.

It is possible to walk in the valley of the castles both on foot and on a bicycle.

Inside the castle valley there are cafes, yurts, bungalows. It is possible both to spend the night and taste national dishes.

Day 1:

07:00departure from Almaty City
11:00arrival – Charyn Canyon “Valley of Castles”
13:00light lunch at the Charyn River
Next we’ll drive to the beautiful “Bartogai” lake
walk around
transfer to the lodging place (bottom of the Asy plateau)
Camp, free time, campfire, lodging for the night.

Day 2:

07:00wake up, breakfast
09:00Travel arrangements
Ascend to the Assy Plateau with stops for the photo session
Descent to the Turgen gorge and “Bear” waterfall
walking tour within 1.5 hours to the waterfall, lunch
20:00Return to Almaty city