Song Kol lake
Son-Kul lake is an alpine lake in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan which is located in 3000m a.s.l It is surrounded by high mountain pastures called jailoos, where Kyrgyz herdsmen graze their livestock all the year living a semi-nomadic life in yurts. Come to Song Kol, and breathe in deeply. We organize all around Song Kol lake tours
How to get Song Kol lake
Lake Song-Kol is just over 290 kilometers from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and most travel from Bishkek will follow the Bishkek-Naryn highway. This road is generally in very good condition, but you will eventually need to leave the highway to go through Kalmak-Ashuu Pass, which is easily traversed by most vehicles in the summer. Alternatively there is 5 ways to go to the lake by car.
- 1: Kyzart village to the lake through Tuz Ashu Pass, 22km.
- 2: Kochkor to the lake through Kalmak Ashuu Pass 100km.
- 3: From Naryn to 32 Parrot Pass 120km
- 4: From Ak Talaa through Moldo Ashu Pass 90km
- 5: Bolshevik village through Kara Keche Pass 90km
Where to stay
There are about 35 yurt camps all around the lake. Most yurt camps these days have dedicated themselves to tourism. The average price is 11-13$ for a night with breakfast. Dinner 5$ lunch 5$.
The standard sleeping yurt will have between 2 and 4 mattresses on the floor with a stove in the middle. The stove gets refueled in the middle of the night, but the fire goes out near the morning and yurts do go cold quickly. There is one designated dining yurt, which usually requires cross-legged seating around a spread of food on a table cloth on the floor.
If you have own tent and want to built it, Its possible everywhere just you have to be far from the cows, horses. Because at the lake so many animals and they destroy your tent at night.
When to visit Song Kul lake
Above 3000 meters winters are harsh and long and the road from Kochkor or Naryn to Son kol lake is closed, most of the year, because of snow. Therefore the tourist season is short and runs from June till September. Yurt camps open up their doors in the last week of may and close in mid october.
That said, Song kul lake can be visited on the back of a horse throughout the year, even in winter when the lake is frozen and covered in snow. You can read this excellent post about going on a horse trek in winter.
Winter Activities Song Kol lake lake
The slopes surrounding Song Kol are a paradise for backcountry skiers. You can hike up the slopes yourself, or go up on horseback. At the lake possible to sleep in yurt even in winter time.
Horseback riding, cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing are other options. The lake can be used for ice skating, ice fishing and curling matches.
It’s really a magnificent place to be in winter, and we’d love for more people to experience Song Kol this way. Let us know if you are interested.
Is it safe to visit Song Kul in winter
Trekking to Song Kol in winter is relatively safe as long as you have a good guide, proper equipment, and warm clothes. That could be very dangerous. Temperatures during winter can drop to -30 C (-22 F) in the evening in the mountains that surround the lake.
Song Kol lake Horse Riding
Any of the hiking trails above can also be done on a horse. If you are not experienced its not a problem we have horses special for beginner and professionals. Most of the tour starts from Jumgal and Kyzart.
What to bring
If you travelling independently you should take:
Warm clothes: it can get very cold in song kul lake, even in summer. During the day can see 4 season. Raining, snowing, hailing, windy, storm, windy and sunny. The whether quikly changing.
Snacks and water: there are no shops in song kul lake and although you are fed well at the yurt camps it is a good idea to bring some snacks and enough water with you. Consider bringing a water filter so you can refill your own bottle.
Toilet paper: toilet facilities are very basic. Bring some toilet paper and wet wipes.
Sunscreen: remember that at higher altitudes the sun is more strong and you get sunburn more easily.
Money: There is no ATM at the lake, so bring enough money in Kyrgyz som to pay for your yurt stay.