Trekking to Kok-Zhailau and Kumbel Peak

Kok-Zhailau is the natural boundary in the territory of the Ile-Alatau State National natural park, located from East to West between the Small and Big Almaty gorges, 10 km away from Almaty city in Kazakhstan. The absolute height of the tract is 1450-1740 m above sea level.

This plateau rests under the Kumbel Peak with a view of Almaty, the ski resort “Chimbulak”, the tract “Medeu”, and the Big Almaty Peak.

You can find there the butterflies: white Apollo (Parnassius apollo), Tien Shan and mountain Apollo (Parnassius tiansdhanicus, P. delphius), rare type of Karanasa Dublitzkyi carnase satyr, brilliant pigeon (Tersamolycaena splendens), and others. Also you can find there coleopterans, which are rare and endemic species (that only inhabit in the Trans-Ili Alatau and nowhere else) such as: Carabus lindemanni Ball., C. hiekei Kabak et Kryzh., Dorcadion grande B. Jak., Coccinella tianschanica Dobzh., Chilocorus bipustulatus L., Stethorus punctillum Wse. Thus, 252 species of ground beetles were studied from the order of beetles, 180 – staphylinide, 102 – leaf beetles; from the order of Lepidoptera, or butterflies – 145 species of daytime butterflies; from the beetle of the Hymenoptera – 110 species of bees, 97 – digging wasps, 33 – ants and 30 riders. Of all this diversity, only 24 species are included in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan among which 3 species of mollusks persists (bradibena senestrorza, pseudonadaveus Shnitkova and turkomilaks Tsvetkova). The rest belongs to the other class of insects: it is notable the bulwabrych, black-winged damselfly (the odonatan of a dragonfly), Bolivaria short-winged (mantis), steppole, beautician Semyonova, jaundice Ershova, hromromilius, and patricians.

The territory of Kok-Zhailau is inhabited by insects, plants, animals and birds, including those which included into the “List of rare and endangered species of animals and plants of the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

You can find the Tien Shan shrew, the rocky white tooth, the red pika, the gray marmot, the Tien Shan mouse, the silver vole, the mountain goat, the maral, the roe deer, the wild boar, the fox and the squirrel on the territory that covers the basins of the Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka rivers. There also live the animals which are listed in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan – the Tien Shan brown bear, the stone marten, the Central Asian river otter, the manul, the Turkestan lynx, and the Indian porcupine. Another inhabitant of the park is the snow leopard or ounce – the symbol of Almaty.

Being a large predatory mammal from the cat order, it represents the majestic world of the mountains of Asia. At present, the number of these animals is catastrophically small. Hunting area of one leopard is about 160 km?. In recent years, it’s tracks have been seen in the upper reaches of the Small Almaty Gorge and in the vicinity of Mount Kumbel. 

Berkut and snow leopard are included in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan and in the Red List of threatened species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN.

Hybrid populations of tulips of Ostrovsky and Zinaida grow on the territory of Kok-Zhailau as well as saffron Alatava (Crocus alatavicus), elecampane, and medicinal plants – oregano, peppermint and others. The Kok-Zhailyu tract is one of the few places where the famous apple tree of Sivers still grow, which is the ancestor of many modern varieties of cultivated apple trees and threatened with extinction. The main species of relic coniferous forests is the Tien Shan fir or the Schrenk spruce (Latin Pizla Schrenkiana). Also you can find such trees as pines, mountain ash, birch and aspen in the tract.