Trek to Son Kul Lake

Trek to Son Kul Lake

Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Season: June – September
Route: Kochkor village – Kyzart village –  Kilemche jailoo – Djalgyz Karagay pass – Son Kul Lake  – Kochkor village
Level of difficulty: moderate trekking

Moderate horse riding or trekking by foot to the Son Kul Lake (3016m).
One night will be at the nomad yurt camp at Kilemche Jailoo (summer pasture). Full immersion into the real atmosphere of Nomads’ life. The camp is small. It consists of 3-4 yurts. One of the yurt has a dining room with low tables. Guests are located on “jer toshoks” (Kyrgyz traditional quilt cover, it uses for many purposes) around the table on the floor. There is an opportunity to come at any time to drink tea. On the table there are always sweets, nuts, special bread. There are no beds at the sleeping yurt. Guests are accommodated on “jer toshoks” with a full set of bedding. The hosts are very hospitable. On the second day of the trekking we overcome the Djalgyz Karagay pass. From the top there will be a beautiful panoramic view of the Lake surrounded by two ridges, endless pastures. On the way there will be yurts of nomads, grazing herds of horses, cows, rams. Smooth descent to the Northern shore of the Lake. Overnight at the yurt camp. This camp is adapted to all tourist’s needs. In the dining yurt there are ordinary tables with chairs. There are small beds in the sleeping yurts. Accommodation are for up to five people in one yurt. It is possible to organize a shower. Also, there is home yak (ox) at the camp territory. Kyrgyz traditional swings are installed. You may try on traditional Kyrgyz clothes and take photos for a keepsake.


Day 1.
Kochkor village – Kyzart village – trek to Kilemche

Meeting in Kochkor village and transfer to Kyzart village passing over Kyzart pass. Meeting with trekking team and start hiking or horse-riding from the village. Way follows by country road along Bazar Turuk River. Then moderate ascent to Boordy pass. View from the pass opens beautiful panorama of Kilemche jailoo (summer pasture) and surrounding mountains. Following short hike from the pass brings us to yurt camp at the footstep of Djalgyz Karagai pass. Optionally, it is possible to make extra hike to nearest hills to see how sun hide behind endless mountain ranges. Dinner and overnight in yurts.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Kyzart pass – 2665m, Kyzart village – 2235m, Boordy pass – 2605m, Yurt camp – 2615m
Elevation:  600m, -200m
Distance and travel time: Kochkor – Kyzart 75km by car, 2 hours; 10-15km, 4-5 hours by foot.

Day 2.
Trek from Kilemche to Son Kul Lake

Meet morning and sunrise in yurt camp. After breakfast start ascent towards Djalgyz Karagai pass. Trail is moderate difficulty, wide and safe, however slope get steep from the middle part of ascent. Every climbed step gives you a new view and excellent panorama to Kyrgyz Range Mountains in the South.  Top of the pass is nicely decorated with granite rock ribs. Slopes on the other side slowly runs down to Son Kul Lake. Chain of smooth mountain range surround blue mirror of the lake creating unforgettable picture. Many nomad camps come across along the way. End of the way in Jaman Echki area. Dinner and overnight in yurts.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Djalgyz Karagai pass – 3325m, Yurt camp – 3050m
Elevation:  870m, -510m
Distance and travel time: 13-15km, 5-6 hours by foot.
Day 3.
Son Kul Lake – Kochkor village 

Spend last morning hours on Son Kul Lake and leave towards Kochkor past having lunch. Drive along North shore of the Lake and over Kalmak Ashuu. Take a last view to Son Kul Lake from the pass and descent to the Valley of Tulok River. Serpentine of the road twist along steep slopes and descent into the deep mountain valley with crystal clear river and green grassy fields. On the way you may see semi wild herds of yak grazing in high mountains. Last part of the way lies along Chu river and pretty good quality asphalt road. Arrival to Kochkor village. Farewell.
Altitudes during the day (above sea level): Kalmak Ashuu pass – 3445m, Kochkor village – 1800m
Distance and travel time: 110 km by car, 3 hours.

Recommended clothing and equipment:
Sunscreen (at least 20SPF);
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 & 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);
Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex);
Thin gloves for trekking and overnight;    
Sun hat or scarf;
Warm fleece hat or light balaclava; 
Trekking/Hiking boots; 
Footwear for around camp.