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Highlands of Kyrgyzstan
Biking in Kyrgyzstan. Mountain biking tour in Kyrgyzstan

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Tour Duration: 15 Days
Season: end of June - middle of September
Tien-Shan Mountains are of great interest for touring by bicycle. It is possible to see a great variety of territory in a short period of time. Roads that have been constructed for geologists and shepherds are conducive to touring. As a rule there's very little traffic on these roads yet they take you into the heart of the mountains.

This itinerary is divided into two parts. The first section takes you to the eastern spurs of Terskey Ala-Too range to the Karkara canyon. You will spend 3 days exploring the spectacular canyons and the high passes of this region. Crossing passes of 3500 m or more and descending to valleys below makes for fun and pretty cycling. The first section finishes on the shores of a lake where you will rest up in a guest house.

The second part of the trips takes you to Lake Son-Kul (3016 m). To arrive there you start at Tosor gorge and follow old roads that are now used only by nomads. On the way you will get the chance to stop off at some of the traditional yurts in the region. From here you continue through more gorges and canyons, camping on the shoes of cool mountain springs and crossing high mountain passes.

Travel itinerary: Bishkek - Issyk-Kul Lake - Karakol - Son-Kul Lake - Bishkek

Map of tour

Day 1. Arrive in Bishkek, go on a city tour and stay overnight in a guest house.

Day 2. Transfer to Karakol (420 km) along the Northern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake the second-largest mountain lake in the world - 1609 m above sea level. On the way you visit the Burana Tower (11th century) the remains of Karakhanid's empire in Central Asia. Excursion to an open air petroglyph museum in Cholpon-Ata. Family run accommodation in Karakol (1700 m).

Day 3. Drive to the eastern spurs of Terskey Ala-Too range to the Karkara canyon (90 km). After lunch start of cycling up along Karkara River (distance around 25 km). Overnight in tents (2450 m).

Day 4. Cycling up along Karkara River (35 km). Here you will climb to Kyzyl- Moinok Pass (3370 m). Downhill to the Sary-Jaz River (20 km). Overnight in tents (2900 m).

Day 5. A fantastic descent on a gravel road along the Sary-Jaz river brings us to the join Ottuk river. Total distance of around 20 km. From here way uphill (around 30 km) to the Chon-Ashu pass (3825 m.). Descend to the forest zone (around 20 km). Transfer by truck to Karakol (70 km). Stay overnight in family run accommodation.

Day 6. Drive to the guest house on the shore of the lake by car (90 km). Here you can go for swimming or just stay on the sunny beach of Issyk-Kul Lake. Overnight in guest house.

Day 7. Cycling to Tosor gorge and follow old roads that are now used only by nomads. This day crossing Tosor Pass (3876 m) and descending to the Uch-Emchek River. Total distance of around 40 km on an unmade road. Overnight in tents (3320 m).

Day 8. Cycle down along Uch-Emchek Riverbank to the confluence of the Kara-Saz and Kichi-Naryn Rivers, a total distance of around 60 km. Camp overnight in tents (2900 m).

Day 9. Cycle up Jalpak-Bel Pass (3340 m), then descend to the Kara-Kujur Riverbank. A total distance of around 65 km on a good unmade road. Camp overnight in tents (2600 m).

Day 10. Cycle to Tolok village on an unmade road along the Kara-Kujur Riverbank (50 km). Camp overnight in tents on a Tolok Riverbank (2400 m).

Day 11. Cycle ride to Son-Kul Lake (distance around 50 km), crossing the Kalmak-Ashuu Pass (3450 m) and camp on the shore of Son-Kul Lake, the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan (3016 m). Surrounded by dramatic snow-covered mountain peaks, it is hidden in a flat, plate-like valley. Day distance around 70 km. This lake is the summer pasture for local shepherds and livestock breeders. Camp overnight in yurta (3020 m).

Day 12. Free day on the shore of Son-Kul Lake. Camp overnight in yurta (3020 m).

Day 13. In the morning cycle across the Kara-Keche Pass (3384 m) and after winding your way down from the pass, you will be able to see the open cast coalmines of Kara-Keche, then cycle through fields to Chaek. This last descent on a small, but good, earth road is a breathtaking experience as the road drops about 600m along its 15km length. Total distance around 75 km. Stay in family run accommodation in Chaek (1700 m).

Day 14. Transfer by car to Bishkek (around 250 km) through the tunnel on the Too-Ashuu Pass (3586 m) and stay overnight in a guest house.

Day 15. Fly home.

Altitudes

Average daily distances

We hope you like the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the entire satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.

You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visits by adding one of the extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.

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