Sary-Chelek

Sary-Chelek - mountain lake (state biosphere reserve)

Sary-Chelek - mountain lake (state biosphere reserve). It is an extraordinary beautiful lake hidden in the depths of the western Tien-Shan at an altitude of about 1900 m above sea level. Surrounded by high ridges, it has unspeakable beauty, reflecting the blue sky and the green slopes of the mountains. In some places almost sheer cliffs go deep into the water. The depth of this natural creation is 234 m, it is the 3rd deepest lake in Central Asia and 2nd in Kyrgyzstan. The Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve with a territory of 23900 hectares is located on its shores. Its flora and fauna are unique: 40 species of mammals, 157 species of birds and 1000 species of grassy plants can be found in these places. Many of these species are listed in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan and are on the verge of extinction, which is why the reserve is protected from poachers day and night. The reserve is also created to preserve walnut-fruit forests, almost no where found in such numbers.

The lake arose as a result of a strong earthquake that led to a landslide blocking a mountain river, as a result of which, a mountain lake was formed. Sary-Chelek means “Yellow Bucket”; it justifies this name, because it looks like a kind of vessel, though the yellow color can be present here only in autumn, when the trees around are painted in different colors from bright red to amber color.

More Info

  • Activities


    • Terrain features

      • Rivers
      • Mountains
      • Alpine meadows
      • Lakes
      • Endemic plants
      • Forest
      • Panoramic view
      • Nature reserve
    • Wildlife
      • Mountain goats
      • Marmots
      • Birds
      • Predator birds
      • Rodents
      • Hares
      • Snakes
      • Boars
      • Brown bears
      • Wolves
      • Foxes

    Available trips in this area

    Тюльпан у озера Сары Челек / Tulip at Sary Chelek Lake

    Trekking to Lake Sary-Chelek - In the southwestern Tien-Shan

    Duration: 12 Days
    Season: Summer, Autumn

    The trekking to Sary-Chelek Lake is unique as you will meet moraine lakes, petroglyphs, relict forests , waterfalls, breaking down from steep slopes and rushing to the bottom. The route will run over mountain passes, from which you will observe beautiful views of surrounding…

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    Тюльпан в горах Киргизии / Tulip in Kyrgyz Mountains

    Spring tour to Kyrgyzstan - Tulips Of The Tien Shan

    Duration: 14 Days
    Season: Summer, Autumn

    Life of a tulip can be compared with human life: wild flower requires from 12 to 15 years to gain traction for flowering, then it blooms for several decades, and then the bulb fades away; at this point there is disruption in blooming. In total the whole life of a tulip goes…

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    Катание на лодке / Boat ride

    A trip to the lake Sary-Chelek - Three-days adventure in Kyrgyzstan

    Duration: 3 Days
    Length: 1100+ км
    Season: Spring, Autumn, Summer

    A trip to Sary-Chelek Lake is available to any traveler. You will see a unique biosphere reserve, lakes, rivers, perhaps you will meet mountain goats and deer. Horseback riding and boat ride are available. This trip is suitable for a family with children, most of the route…

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    «Asia Mountains»
    720021, Kyrgyzstan
    Bishkek, Lineinaya str. 1a