Chon-Kemin Gorge

Chon-Kemin Gorge

The Chon-Kemin Gorge is located in 150 km east of the city of Bishkek along the road leading to the Shabdan village. The Chon-Kemin and Kichi-Kemin rivers flow along the gorge. The valley of the Chon-Kemin River stretching for 100 km from west to east is very beautiful.

Located in the Chon-Kemin Valley National Park is a unique natural complex with a diverse flora and fauna and many picturesque landscapes, from semi-deserts to glaciers.

The Chon-Kemin River starts at the glaciers of the that lie on the pass (4000 m high), between Chilik valley in Kazkhstan and Chon-Kemin gorge in Kyrgyzstan This pass connects the Zaalaysky Range and Kyungey Ala-Too. FurtherChon-Kemin river flows into the Chu River at the very beginning of the Boom gorge. The lower course of the Chon-Kemin River is located in the gorge of Kapchigai, which has steep rocky sides. The floodplain of the river in some places is densely overgrown with bushes, the branches of which tend to the road winding along the river bed.

The upper part of the valley is a big alpine meadow. The surrounding slopes of the Kungei Ala-Too Range are covered with a dark spruce forest. Then the valley narrows. The ridges converge and stretch almost parallel to the east to the Chiliko-Kemin mountain node, where the most powerful center of the Kungei Ala-Too glaciation is located.

Below the Shabdan village there is the Kemin Nature Park. Its area is 500 hectares. The park was mostly created for hare-tolai and pheasants. In the Kapchigai state botanical reserve, located in the tract Kapchygai, the conifers (ephedra) are protected.

The Chon-Kemin Nature Park was established in 1977. The area is 127 thousand hectares. Here grows more than 780 species of plants. From species listed in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan, there live snow leopard, bear, maral, lynx, golden eagle, kumai, balaban, bearded, serpole. The park includes the Kemin Hunting and the Kapchigai Botanical Reserves.

Chon-Kemin in 3 days

Duration: 3 days

Season: May – October

Route: Chui valley, Chon-Kemin valley

Conditions: Easy program, suitable for people of any age, and any hiking experience. Maximum altitude during the trip is around 2500m. Average temperature in mountains of the region in October is +5 … +20 during the day.

Day 1

Bishkek – Chon-Kemin valley (140 km)

Meeting in the morning with driver (or guide) and transfer to Chon-Kemin valley. On the way visiting Burana tower (historical monument on the Great Silk Road, X-XI cc). Accommodation in a guest house. (Lunch, Dinner)

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Bishkek – 700 m, Chon-Kemin valley –  1600m

Day 2

Chon-Kemin valley

Walk in nearest mountains. We recommend round trip to Kalmak-Ashuu gorge (6-8 hours). It is nice walk, first along the gorge and ascent to hill panoramic with view. This trip is possible to make by horse. Accommodation in a guest house. (Breakfast, Lunch-box, Dinner)

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Chon-Kemin valley –  1600m, ascent up to 2500m

Day 3

Chon-Kemin valley – Manas airport (170 km)

Walks in nearest mountains. We recommend trip by car to Djashil-Kel and then walk to the mountains in the region of the lake. Lately after dinner transfer from Chong-Kemin to airport (takes around 3 hours). Or leave earlier and have dinner in Bishkek, on the way to airport. (Breakfast, Lunch-box, Dinner)

Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Chon-Kemin valley –  1600m, ascent up to 2500m

Clothing and Equipment

Sunscreen (at least 20SPF)
Chapstik or equivalent lip balm
Sunglasses with UV protection
At least a 25 Liter backpack for personal items
Sleeping bag 
Sleeping mat
Telescopic trekking sticks poles (optional)
Head lamp (eg Petzl) spare bulbs & batteries 
T-Shirts, long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts
Trekking pants
Fleece jacket or pullover 
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional) 
Down vest and/or jacket (optional) 
Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex) with hood
Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex)
Thick, warm wool hiking socks - 2 pairs (for sleeping in tents cotton socks - 3 pairs)
Thin gloves for trekking and overnight    
Sun hat or scarf 
Warm fleece hat or light balaclava 
Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces 
Footwear for around camp, eg running shoes and/or sandals