Spring is a wonderful time of the year, a time when everything blossoms in a wild, flowering kaleidoscope of flora. Due to its unique microclimate, the month of May is an especially good time to visit the canyons of Konorchek and witness the fullness of the season as everything returns to life. Water flows and flowers sprout forth, shooting out from amongst the red clay and sandstone rock of the canyons. Birds twitter and the landscape tends to dazzle viewers with its variant of colors during the three months before the calm of the colder seasons returns.
The beauty of Konorchek canyons lies in their formidable rock formations, the crisp, clear air and the long shadows stretching out from these natural sculptures as they are illuminated by the sunsets over the Tien-Shan Mountains.
Millions of years ago there was an ocean here. Over time the ocean floor rose and created a plateau. Later, water and wind completed nature’s work to sculpt these bizarre forms which often remind one of cities, or even the figures of animals or people.
The Konorchek canyons take up the eastern part of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too and stretch out across a large area. The canyons covered in drought-withered vegetation and colored red from mineral oxidation, almost seem to resemble the ruins of ancient castles, churches, skyscrapers, pillars and towering spires.
The unusual forms which these masterpieces of nature have taken on also have fitting names, such as Cliff Palace for an impressive, serrated pewter-crowned 300 m peak, or others such as Bobsled Canyon, Grand Canyon, Fairytale Canyon and many others.
The deep fissures of the canyon’s rugged cliffs reveal the hidden chronic of a past epoch. Through the power of erosion, the canyons were formed over millions of years. At the points where the movement of the earth’s crust created cracks, rain and wind wore away the underlying sandstone thus leaving the landscape decorated with bizarre pillars.
The water which has flowed into the cracks during regular summer storms has transformed the surrounding slopes into a labyrinth of chambers, domes, chambers, pyramids and towers.
Thus time, water and wind carved the magnificent forms into the city of Konorchek
From a distance this landscape perhaps looks like the expansive, scattered ruins of an ancient city more than anything else.
The vertical walls of the canyon shimmer in shades anywhere from a deep raspberry red to sepia and orange. Sunrises and sunsets are especially beautiful when the pillars and domes are aflame with unusually red and purples.
Best time of the year: April-May
Duration: 9 days
|Day 1||Arrival in Bishkek. Manas International Airport.||Hotel||-/L/D|
|Day 2||Excursion to the Ala-Archa Nature Reserve.||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 3||Transfer from Bishkek to the Boom Gorge, trekking in the Konorchek Canyons.||Tents||B/L/D|
|Day 4||Trekking through the canyons.||Tents||B/L/D|
|Day 5||Ascent to Sagyzkhan-Choku Peak.||Tents||B/L/D|
|Day 6||Trekking to the Kyzyl-Suu Gorge.||Tents||B/L/D|
|Day 7||Trekking in the Kel-Tor - Shamsinsky Gorge.||Tents||B/L/D|
|Day 8||Trekking to the Shamsy gorge, transfer to Bishkek||Hotel||B/L/D|
Transfer to the airport, return home.
Dates: 21 - 29.05.2018
1. Meeting/seeing off at the airport.
2. Accommodation in 3*hotels according to the program (twin accommodation).
3. Trekking tents for accommodation.
4. Three meals a day during the program, including trekking days.
5. Kitchen tent.
5. Transport according to the program.
6. Trekking guide and cook during the trek.
7. Porters for carrying things, and the camp property. (Porter is 7-8 kg of the things the client. If you exceed this weight, you need to hire additional porters, advance notice to our company).
8. Entrance fee for all excursion according to the program.
Price does NOT include:
1. International air flight to and from Bishkek.
2. Equipment rental.
3. Excess baggage charges.
4. Cost of visa and consular services (for Russian citizens there is no need for international passport / visa).
5. Personal expenses in hotels: bar, international calls, etc.
6. Single supplement.
8. Any changes in the program.
Best season: April-May
Activity: Not difficult trekking
Duration: 9 days
Day 1: Arrival in Bishkek. We will meet you at the airport and bring you to a fantastic hotel.
After a rest break we will make a sightseeing excursion in Bishkek, the nation’s capital. At the Ala-Too square the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan becomes instantly apparent with the snow capped peaks clearly visible in the distance. As we continue our tour you will be able to get an impression of the city’s architecture as we visit the local landmarks, green city parks, open-air painting gallery, historical museum and much more. (-/ L / D).
Day 2. Transfer to the Ala-Archa Nature Reserve (40 km), where we will take a hike to acclimatize for trekking. The Ala-Archa Gorge is one of the most beloved recreation areas for city-dwellers and travelers alike. Here one can also see the highest point of the Kyrgyz Mountains –Semjonova-Tjanshanskogo Peak (4,895 m). Return to Bishkek. Hotel accommodations. (B/ L / D).
Day 3. Transfer to the Boom Gorge to the point of trekking.
Our path leads through a narrow, rocky labyrinth with steep walls at the end of which we will find ourselves in a broad valley basin full of bizarre castle-looking formations of clay and sandstone which have been shaped by erosion over millions of years. Our cook will prepare a snack as we wander these famous Aeolian palace ruins.
We will then climb to the Sulu-Terek Mountain pass (2,320 m) which provides a panoramic view of the Konorchek Canyon as well as others. We will return to our campsite located at the convergence of the Momortschek and Kokschar-Suu rivers (7-8 hours). Overnight camping in tents. 10-11km, 1,790 m) (B/ L/ D)
Day 4. Today we will be scouting and exploring the labyrinth of various canyons with names like Grand Canyon, Bobsled Canyon and Skyscraper Canyon - amongst others. In some canyons you’ll really have to strain to measure the true dimension whereas in others one comes face-to-face with the tight passages, some of which you will even have to turn sideways to pass through. Furthermore, it is sometimes necessary to climb the cliffs a bit in order to see the most interesting things. Overnight camping in tents. (B/ L/ D)
Day 5. The legendary overview of the canyons awaits us today after we climb the Sagyskhan- Choku Mountain (2,925 m). This area was the floor of the bay of an ancient sea, the evidence of which is even readily apparent since one can still find fossilized muscles which lived here millions of years ago.
Anyone who would like to enjoy a bit of alone time can wander around the area or return to the canyon again. Descent into the campsite. Overnight camping in tents. (B/ L/ D)
Day 6. Today trekking continues in the Kyzyl-Suu Valley over the Kok-Djar Mountain pass (2,367 m) where we will catch one last glance of the canyons. Along the way we will have to wade over the small Kok-Djar river a few times. Overnight camping in tents. 13-14 km, 2,170 m. (B/ L/ D)
Day 7. Trekking over boundless mountain pastures in the Kul-Tor Shamsinsky Gorge. Here the spring doesn’t really get started until the first grass and flower sprouts timidly break their way through the surface of the soil. Towards the end of May and the beginning of June, however, the colors break out in force. Overnight camping in tents. 13 km, 2,170 m. (B/ L/ D)
Day 8. On the last day of our trek we will explore the Schamsy Gorge. Our path will lead us through vallies full of honeysuckle thickets, blackcurrant bushes, berberis, and other vegetation. We will climb to the seabed of what was once a lake and then continue through the Schamsy Gorge (11 km, 2,110 m). We will be picked up by a car and transfered back to Bishkek for overnight in a hotel (B/ L/ D).
Day 9. Transfer to the airport and return home.(B/-/-)
1. Visa to Kyrgyzstan. For information on obtaining a visa in Kyrgyzstan, see helpful information
Gear and personal belongings:
- sunscreen (at least SPF 20 or more)
- chapstick or equivalent cold weather lip balm
- water flask
- trekking shoes
- mountain sunglasses with good protection
- backpack with a minimum of 45-liter capacity
- backpack for use as a daypack for personal things, approximate size: 25 liters
- sleeping bag (temperature range -10˚ to -15˚)
- sleeping mat
- trekking poles (essential!)
- forehead lantern and extra batteries
- clothes for hot weather, in the valley and for Issyk-Kul Lake
- lightweight shoes for trekking and cities (sneakers, sandals)
- trekking pants
- thin thermal underwear or something for sleeping in tents
- windbreaker or any other thin jacket
- waterproof jacket (Gore-Тех is preferable) with hood or waterproof coat
- waterproof pants (Gore-Тех is preferable)
- T-shirts – 2 pieces
- T-shirt with long sleeves
- polar jacket or jacket of wind stopper material
- woolen socks – at least 2 pairs (for sleeping in tents) cotton socks – at least 3 pairs
- a woolen or polar cap
- cap with a brim from sunlight