Biking Adventures in the Tien Shan Mountains and around Yssyk-Kul lake, Kyrgyzstan
Biking is a great way of seeing Kyrgyzstan.
What makes it so good is:
• there's not much traffic;
• wilderness camping is safe and easy;
• the scenery is fantastic;
• there is cheap B&B accommodation through the CBT network;
• cycling is a great way of meeting the locals who are very friendly.
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The Inner Tien Shan is an outstanding part of Kyrgyz nature. Here many unique places are hidden, such as the Arabel Valley, Naryn valley and the mountainous pearl of Son-Kul Lake. The Arabel Valley, 3,600-4,000 m above sea level, is a place of permafrost; it is a high mountain tundra zone with plenty of bogs and lakes. There are approximately 50 lakes here. Naryn is a high mountain valley, the largest one in Kyrgyzstan. It is narrow and long, with width is 5-15km and length 470km. A river of the same name flows through the Naryn valley. There are 5 hydroelectric power stations on the Naryn river. Lake Son-Kul (length 29 km, width 18 km), the second biggest lake after Yssyk-Kul, is situated in the inner Tien Shan at 3,016m above sea level.
There are no trees in the Son-Kul Valley being far above the tree line but the surrounding ridges’ slopes are covered by grass. From the very ancient times these places has been used as a pasture. In the valley you can see plenty of burial mounds.
This track is a great opportunity for experienced riders and beginners alike to discover the breathtaking beauty of the Inner Tien Shan and traditional lifestyle of the Kyrgyz people.
Day 1: Arrive in Bishkek, accommodation at hotel, excursion around the city, welcome dinner at restaurant and overnight in Bishkek.
Day 2: Transfer by bus from Bishkek to Tamga village (330 km). First part of the road is along the Kyrgyz range. From the road we will have wonderful views of snowy peaks. Then through the Boom gorge we arrive to the Yssyk-Kul Valley. Annual rainfall here amounts to 100mm (3 in) in average. Passing by Balykchy our route will follow the south shore of Yssyk-Kul Lake. Overnight in guesthouse in Tamga village.
Day 3: Ride (17 km) along the main road to Tosor gorge road. This is a short easy ride along the asphalt road. Transfer (12 km) by bike along the soiled road to the confluence of Tosor and Toguz-Bulak rivers. This road way is simple, with a small ascent. Ride (45 km) from the confluence along the Tosor River to the foot of Tosor pass. In this section the road gets more difficult, there a climb from the confluence to the pass. For those who need a rest a support vehicle will follow the group. Overnight in tents.
Day 4: Transfer by bike over the Tosor pass and descent along the Uchemchek River to hot springs Dzhili-Suu. This day is also challenging one; ascent to the pass is steep and quite complicated. Descent to Dzhli-Suu is easier and less steep. The Uchemchek range is a southern spur of the Terskey Ala-Too range; it is situated in the Naryn river basin. There are several small glaciers nearby which give birth to the Uchemchek and Burkan rivers. Over the Tosor pass we arrive in the Arabel Valley. Overnight in tents.
Day 5: Day of rest. Excursion to Teshik-Kel Lake (3,504m). Overnight in tents.
Day 6: Ride (20 km) from hot spring Dzhili-Suu along Dzhili-Suu river to its confluence with the Burkan river (the confluence of rivers Djili-Suu and Burcan form the Balgart river). This ride is of moderate difficulty, and there are no steep ascents. Soiled road is in satisfactory condition. Ride (25 km) along the Balgart river to the confluence with the Archaly river and then further to the Dzhylangach river (confluence of the Balgart and Dzhylangach rivers forms the Kichi-Naryn river). Peaks Kara-Kaman, Archaly and Burkan, above the valley have old glacial forms - smooth tops and flat slopes. Lower parts, especially along the left bank of the Balgart River, are hilly and covered with loose rocks. Landscape in gorge is similar to tundra. Overnight in tents.
Day 7: Ride (58 km) along the Balgart river and Kichi-Naryn river to Eki-Naryn village (village Eki-Naryn is situated 4km from the confluence of the Kichi-Naryn and Naryn rivers). Easy day. Riding along the soiled road. Overnight in tents.
Day 8: Ride (63 km) along Naryn river to the city of Naryn. Easy day. Riding along the main road. Overnight in yurt-camp.
Day 9: Ride (86 km) from Naryn to Ak-Tal village. This is a ride of moderate difficulty along the Naryn Valley. Asphalt road. Overnight in tents.
Day 10:Ride (60 km) from Ak-Tal village to Son-Kul Lake over the Kurtka Pass. First part of the ride to the beginning of the gorge is simple, with a slight descent. There is a narrow spot where we will enter a gorge with high sharp rocky walls, in some places up to 200 meters (650 feet). From here begins a steep ascent to the pass. Descent is shorter and easier. Overnight in tents.
Day 11: Ride (90 km) from Son-Kul Lake to Sary-Bulak village. Moderate difficulty ride. Straightforward ascent to a low pass and descent to the village. Soiled road. Overnight in tents.
Day 12: Ride (72 km) from Sary-Bulak village to the Boom gorge. Easy day. Riding along the main road. Overnight in tents.
Day 13: Vehicle transfer (150 km) from Boom gorge to Bishkek. Riding along the main road. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 14: Transfer to Bishkek airport for flight to the next destination (according to timetable).
We strongly believe that you will certainly love our 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
Level of difficulty: This tour is recommended for people with an average level of fitness and experience in biking, because tour requires to bike for about 5-7 hours per day
Conditions: If you have some specific sicknesses you need to bring own first aid kit with necessary medicaments.
- Good condition transport for all transfers and excursions;
- Double room accommodation in hotels and guesthouses;
- Family run accommodation;
- Full board during the tour (breakfast, lunch, dinner);
- English / German / French speaking tour guide (upon your request);
- Double tents, mats and kitchen equipment;
- Personal for trek (stableman, cook);
- Folklore program in Jety-Oguz;
- Entry fees to museums;
Service is not included:
- Single room accommodation;
- Single tent during the trek;
- Alcohol and soft drinks;
- International airfare;
- Airport taxes in Bishkek;
- Cost for the Kyrgyz visa;
- Tipping for the porter service at the airport and hotels.