Sary Chelek Lake
Sary-Chelek is an alpine lake, the largest in the western Tien Shan and the nature reserve. It is located at an altitude of 1940 meters in the western part of the Jalal-Abad Region.
Sary-Chelek is a landslide lake. The area of the lake is about 50 square kilometers and in length, it stretched for 7.5 kilometers. Sary-Chelek is the second deepest lake in Kyrgyzstan and the third in Central Asia. Its depth in some places reaches 234 meters and due to this fact the lake does not warm up more than 20 degrees in summer and in winter it barely cools down to 0.
The shores of Sary-Chelek are densely covered with fir, and spruce forests grow literally from the water’s edge and to the tops of the surrounding mountains. From the southern shore of the lake begins the territory of the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve, it was created to preserve the unique natural diversity of this region. Within the reserve, there are four more lakes, besides Sary-Chelek, as well as large forest areas consisting of walnut and fruit-berry trees. The largest of the other lakes in this area are the Iri-Kel and Kyla-Kel lakes, lakes are inferior in size to Sary-Chelek, but are not inferior in beauty. At the bottom of these lakes, it is possible to see the trunks of fallen trees and see schools of fish.
There are winding hiking trails for trekking and horse tourism, leading to the shores of the five Sary-Chelek lakes through small but rather steep passes. The tourist base of the lake is the village of Arkyt, located several kilometers below the lake Sary-Chelek.
Also in Sary-Chelek, it is possible to rent a motorboat and see the far part of the lake. This part is practically not visible from the shore.