The valley of the Ala-Archa River is one the most picturesque sights of Bishkek surroundings. Here, in the narrow valley of ordinary small river you may see a concentration of wonderful, stunning landscapes, waterfalls and amazing rocks. Here is unexpectedly rich flora and fauna, so that many people suppose this region to be a symbol of Kyrgyz ridge (Ala-Too).
The Ala-Archa Gorge is located in a central part of the Kyrgyz Ridge in 30 km to the south of Bishkek. Its length is over 35 km. It is the huge gorge among all gorges of the Kyrgyz Ridge.
There is the Kyrgyz National park called Ala-Archa on the territory of the gorge. It was founded in 1976 on the north slope of central part of the Kyrgyz Ridge. This place is attracting first of all because of its accessibility. There is a good asphalted road going to the park. It allows to leave noisy city and to reach this wonderful place in 40 min. In summer time you can hide here from city’s heat and vanity in a shadow of tienshan fir trees, enjoying snow tops. In winter time you can plunge into real winter fairytale.
Ala-Archa is translated from Kyrgyz language as varicolored archa. Archa is local name of juniper. The gorge got its name because of numerous bushes of archa, covering the slopes. Because there is a great diversity of archa in the gorge, of different colors and shapes, it gives a feeling that the gorge is varicolored.
Almost all walks and ascents in Ala-Archa start from the alpine camping with hotel of same name Ala-Archa located at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level in the area of fur trees. The camp first time appeared as tent camping in 1951. Later it grew to modern sizes. In its popularity in USSR it took second place after Caucuses. It was an alpine Mecca in Central Asia. Many honored alpinists started their alpine career here. The alpine camp is located not far away from well-known Ak-Sai glacier. In its circus there are lots of summits of various category of difficulty, which are quite interesting for climbing.
Just above alpine camp on the right side there is a beautiful gorge called Ak-Sai. Its north slope is covered with Tien-Shan fur trees. There is a beautiful path leading to the Ak-Sai Glacier with its stunning icefall. Further it goes to the Ratsek Hut (station) – a base camp of numerous alpine expeditions.
Second, which can be recommended for visiting is a larch grove on the northern slope of the Adygene Gorge. Many years ago an alpine memorial cemetery appeared in this place. Here you may honor people who left their hearts in the mountains forever. En-route to the memorial cemetery you will see wonderful panorama of shining snow tops of Aksai circus: Korona peak(4860 m), Teke-Tor peak (4480 m) and highest point of the ridge – Semenov-Tienshansky Peak (4895 m). Walking in the Adygene Gorge will give lots of pleasure. Moreover, you have a possibility to make two-day long climb of Adygene Peak (4393 m).
For those who are not interested in climbing of mountain summits the Ala-Archa Gorge can also offer a lot of interesting things. For example, a wonderful hiking to the waterfall which will give you lots of emotions. Lovers of horseback riding trips may enjoy horse riding in the upper of the gorge along the bank of crystal-clean river. Those who don’t like activities can simply enjoy a picnic in a beautiful valley with a view of shining tops covered with snow and glaciers.
Price to be calculated case by case.
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One day excursions
- Hiking in the upper head of the Ala-Archa River,
- Hiking to the waterfall of the Ak-Sai Gorge,
- Hiking to the Adygene Gorge with visiting of alpine memorial cemetery,
- Hiking to the Ratsek Hut (station) which affords fantastic view of the magnificent peaks of Ak-Sai circus: Semenov Tienshansky peak (4895m), Korona peak, Baichechekei peak and may others,
- Excursion to the Ala-Archa National Park, including visit of museum of flora and fauna.
- Hiking to Uchitel glacier with night staying in a mountain hut or tent,
- Climbing of Uchitel Peak (4540 m) with accommodation in Ratsek Hut or in tents,
- climbing of Adygene Peak (4393 m) with accommodation in tents.
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