Ala-Archa National Park

Ala-Archa National Park

Ala-Archa gorge is one of the most visited gorges around Bishkek. It attracts many tourists both beginners and experienced trekkers as well. And also Ala-Archa gorge is very popular among mountaineers and climbers. This is the most popular place for climbing in ex-soviet countries.
The Ala-Archa gorge is located in a central part of Kyrgyz ridge in 30 km to the south of Bishkek. Its length is over 35 km. This is the biggest gorge among all gorges of the Kyrgyz ridge.

In Kyrgyz, the archa, which gives the park its name, is a multicolored juniper which the Kyrgyz people have traditionally held in special esteem, using smoke from its burning wood to chase away evil spirits. However, the archa is not supposed to be planted near the home, because it is believed gradually to sap the energy from human beings living close-by.

The park covers about 200 square kilometers, and its altitude ranges from about 1,500 meters at the entrance to a maximum of 4,895 meters at Peak Semenova Tian-Shanski, the highest peak in the Kyrgyz Ala-tau range of the Tian Shan. There are more than 20 small and large glaciers and some 50 mountain peaks within the park. Two smaller rivers, the Adygene and the Ak-Sai, originate from these glaciers' melting waters. The Adygene gorge is a beautifully wooded valley, with waterfalls, springs and abundant trout. A small reservoir on the Kargay-Bulak river was built to study the Amu Darya trout. Other wildlife includes the very rare snow leopard on the alpine meadows and snowfields above 2,500 m elevation, wild goats, roe deer and marmots. Many plants can be found in the park including crocus alatavicus.
Here we can organize hiking or trekking tours for you. Horse riding. And so on.

One day excursions

Hiking to the upper reaches of Ala-Archa River

Hiking to the Ak-Sai waterfall

Drive: Bishkek – Ala-Archa National Park, 50km, +1400m, 1-1,5 hours

Hiking to Ak-Sai waterfall, 10km, +500m – 500m, 6-7 hours

Meeting with guide and transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park (50 km). Excursion starts at the former mountaineering camp “Alplager Ala-Archa”. The path goes through the fir forest and lead us to the mountain plateau called “Tepshe” which is half way to the waterfall. From plateau we continue with narrow path above the gorge, crossing over “Sharkaratma” river and finally get to small forest island. Have lunch in shadow of fir trees. Then we make short ascent to Ak-Sai waterfall (it takes about half an hour). Return the same way to car and drive to Bishkek.

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 800m, “Alplager” – 2200m,

Ak-Sai waterfall – 2700m.

Hiking to the Adygene gorge and visiting the Mountaineering memorial

Hiking to the Ratsek hut where all the mountaineering routes begin. There is a fantastic view of the magnificent peaks of Ak-Sai circus: Semenov Tienshansky peak (4895m), Korona peak, Baichechekei peak and others.
Sightseeng excursion to Ala-Archa National park, including visit of museum of flora and fauna

Two-days excursions

Adygene gorge

Duration: 2 days

Season: May - October

Route: Bishkek – Ala-Archa National park – Adygene glacier – Bishkek.

Day 1

Bishkek – Ala-Archa National Park– Adygene glacier (4-5 hours of hiking)
In the morning transfer to the National Park Ala-Archa (40 km). Excursion starts at the former mountaineering camp “Alplager Ala-Archa” (2200 m). The path goes through the fir forest and lead us up to the mountaineering memorial and further to Adygene glacier. The way takes around 3-4 hours (3000). Picnic. Overnight in a tent at the glacier.

Day 2

Adugene glacier - Bishkek (7-8 hours of hiking)
After breakfast you will hike to Adygene glacier (3200 m). The path goes along mountains lakes, alpine meadows, picturesque high peaks covered by snow. Picnic. Return back to the alpine camp. Transfer back to Bishkek.

Trekking to Ak-Sai glacier

Duration: 3 days

Season: May - October

Route: Bishkek – Ala-Archa National park – Ak-Sai glacier – Bishkek.

Day 1

Transfer: Bishkek – Ala-Archa National Park, 50km, +1400m, 1-1,5 hours

Hiking to “Razek” mountain hut, 5-6km, +1150m, 4-5 hours

Meeting with guide and transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park (50 km). Excursion starts at the former mountaineering camp “Alplager Ala-Archa”. The path goes through the fir forest and lead us to the mountain plateau. On the half way we stop for a rest at Ak-Sai waterfall. Then continue ascending steep moraines to the “Ratzek” mountain hut. Night in the hut.

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 800m, “Alplager” – 2200m,

Ratzek mountain hut – 3350m.

Day 2

Hiking to the glacier, 5-6km, +400m – 400m, 3-4 hours

During the day we can hike to the upper reaches of Ak-Sai glacier and come closer to the famous peaks of Ak-Sai glacier – “Free Korea” peak, “Teke-Tor” peak, “Box” peak, “Korona” peak. After excursion, return to Ratcek hut. Night in the hut.

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Korona hut – 3800m

Day 3

Hiking to “Alplager”, 5-6km, -1150m, 3-4 hours

Transfer: Ala-Archa National Park – Bishkek, 50km, +1400m, 1-1,5 hours

Descend to the beginning of the excursion. Drive back to Bishkek.

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Ratzek mountain hut – 3350m, “Alplager” – 2200m, Bishkek – 800m.

Transport:

- vehicle for 5 seats - 80 USD 

- vehicle for 18 seats - 100 USD

Picnic

8 USD per person

Guide

60 USD per day

Entrance fee to the park - 2 USD per person

Actual items for ascents and two-days programs:

1. Mountain guide - 70 USD per day

2. Rent of tent (for 2 people) - 8 USD per day

3. Meals - 30 USD per person per day

4. Porter - 40 USD per day

5. Accommodation in mountain hut - from 12 to 22 USD per person per night depending on the room 

6. Entrance fee to the park  - 2 USD per person

Clothing and Equipment for two-days trips

- Personal hygiene products
- Sunscreen (at least 20SPF)
- Chapstik or equivalent lip balm
- Sunglasses with good UV protection
- At least a 25 Liter backpack for personal items
- Sleeping bag (for temperatures -10 ˚ -15 ˚C)
-  Sleeping mat
- Telescopic trekking sticks poles (optional)
- Trekking shoes
- Trekking pants
- Thermal underwear or something else to sleep overnight in the tent
- Windproof or other lightweight jacket
- Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex) with hood
- Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex)
- Polar or “Windstopper”-material jacket 
- Wool socks - 2 pairs (for sleeping in tents cotton socks - 3 pairs
- Beanie/stocking cap 
- Thin gloves for trekking and overnight    
- Headlamp with a set of extra batteries
- T-Shirts, long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts