Kaiyndy lake

Kolsai Lake

Kolsai Lakes are called “the pearl of the Northern Tien Shan”. The lakes of the Tien-Shan Spruce are surrounded by lakes. The depth of the lakes reaches 50 m. Among the fauna – rainbow trout. Kolsai lakes include 3 lakes: The third lake is at an altitude of 1818 m, its length is 1 km, the width is 400 m, the depth is 80 m.

kolsay tour

There are guest-houses and campsites in the nearby village of Saty. There is a 25 km hiking route that begins at the lower lake, progresses by the Kolsai lakes, and moves over the Sary-Bulak pass (3,278 m). The route takes three days by foot, or one day by horse. Kolsai Lakes are a popular mountain tourism destination in the region. Hiking trails to Kolsai Lakes are relatively accessible for beginners. Popular activities in the area include picnics, horse riding, and mountain biking. April to late September are standard periods for camping in the area.

Hiking and Trekking: One of the best ways to experience Kolsay Lakes is by hiking or trekking through the surrounding wilderness. There are well-marked trails leading to each of the lakes, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. The hike to Kolsay-1 is relatively short and suitable for beginners, while reaching Kolsay-2 and Kolsay-3 requires a more challenging trek through forested terrain and steep slopes.

Climate: Overall, the climate around Kolsay Lakes offers distinct seasonal variations, with cold winters, mild summers, and transitional spring and autumn months. Regardless of the time of year, the area’s stunning natural beauty makes it a captivating destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Spring and Autumn Transitions: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are transitional seasons characterized by fluctuating temperatures and changing weather patterns. During these months, temperatures gradually warm up in spring and cool down in autumn. Spring brings melting snow and blooming flowers, while autumn offers stunning foliage as the leaves change colors.

Private Vehicle: Renting a car or hiring a private driver is one of the most convenient ways to reach Kolsay Lakes, especially if you prefer flexibility and independence. The drive from Almaty, the nearest major city, takes approximately 4 to 5 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic.

Public Transport: From Almaty, you can take a bus or shared taxi (known as marshrutka) to Saty village, the gateway to Kolsay Lakes. Buses and marshrutkas depart from the Sayakhat bus station in Almaty. From Saty village, you can arrange transportation to the trailhead leading to Kolsay Lakes.

Organized Tours: Joining an organized tour or excursion to Kolsay Lakes is a popular option for travelers who prefer a hassle-free experience. Many tour operators in Almaty offer day trips or multi-day tours to Kolsay Lakes, including transportation, guides, and sometimes accommodation and meals.

Taxi: You can also hire a taxi from Almaty to Saty village, although this option can be more expensive than public transport. Negotiate the fare with the driver before starting your journey, and be prepared for a longer, more scenic route through mountainous terrain.

Self-Driving: If you have your own vehicle, you can drive from Almaty to Saty village and then continue to the trailhead leading to Kolsay Lakes. Be aware that road conditions may vary, especially in rural areas and during inclement weather, so exercise caution and check local road conditions before traveling.

Regardless of the transportation option you choose, it’s essential to plan your trip to Kolsay Lakes in advance, especially if you’re traveling independently. Consider factors such as weather conditions, road closures, and the availability of accommodation and supplies in Saty village. Additionally, make sure to obtain any necessary permits or permissions for visiting the Kolsay-Keldyke National Park.


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