Kazakhstan Hiking Trails

25th February 2024

18 Epic Kazakhstan Hiking Trails: Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit (2023)

Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through Kazakhstan hiking trails? If so, get your hiking boots ready because in this blog post, we’ll be uncovering the hidden gems!

From our last visit to this place, we learned that Kazakhstan is a hiker’s paradise, offering a myriad of trails that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty.

Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a nature enthusiast, these trails are bound to leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the raw wilderness of Kazakhstan.

So, let’s dive right into the world of Kazakhstan’s hiking trails and ignite your adventurous spirit!

Best Kazakhstan Hiking Trails

1. Kokzhailau Camp Trail

The Kokzhailau Camp Trail is a captivating hiking route nestled in the Ile-Alatau National Park near Almaty, Kazakhstan. This trail offers a fantastic blend of picturesque landscapes and cultural encounters.

As you trek through verdant meadows, dense forests, and babbling streams, you’ll witness the enchanting beauty of the Tien Shan Mountains.

The highlight of this trail is reaching the Kokzhailau campsite, a serene spot where you can rest and soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Along the way, you may encounter local nomads tending to their herds, providing a glimpse into the traditional Kazakh way of life.

The Kokzhailau Camp Trail is an ideal choice for hikers seeking a moderate challenge and a chance to connect with nature and local culture.

  • Length: 8.5 KM
  • Estimates Time: 4 Hours

2. Akbulak to Kok Jailau

The Akbulak to Kok Jailau trail is a breathtaking hiking route that takes you through the spectacular Zailiyskiy Alatau mountain range in Kazakhstan.

Starting from the Akbulak Gorge, the trail winds its way up through lush forests, alpine meadows, and rocky terrains, offering stunning views at every turn. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks and the tranquil beauty of the Kok Jailau Valley.

This challenging trail is perfect for experienced hikers who crave an adrenaline rush and seek to conquer the rugged terrain of the Zailiyskiy Alatau Mountains.

Prepare to be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring natural landscapes and the sense of accomplishment as you reach the Kok Jailau Valley.

  • Length: 14.8 KM
  • Estimates Time: 6 Hours

3. Kolsai Lake Short Trail

The Kolsai Lake Short Trail is a captivating hiking route that leads you to the mesmerizing turquoise lakes nestled in the Kolsai Lakes National Park, Kazakhstan.

This relatively easy trail offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and tranquility. As you meander through fragrant pine forests, vibrant alpine meadows, and picturesque valleys, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking sights of the Kolsai Lakes.

These pristine lakes, reflecting the surrounding snow-capped peaks, create a postcard-perfect scenery that will leave you in awe.

The Kolsai Lake Short Trail is a must-do for nature enthusiasts and photographers looking to capture the mesmerizing beauty of Kazakhstan’s mountainous landscapes.

  • Length: 4.8 KM
  • Estimates Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

4. Boutakovski Vadopad

Boutakovski Vadopad, also known as Boutak Waterfall, is a hidden gem tucked away in the Burabay National Park, Kazakhstan.

This picturesque waterfall offers a serene and enchanting setting for nature lovers and hikers seeking a short yet rewarding adventure. As you trek through the lush forest, the sound of cascading water grows louder, indicating your arrival at Boutakovski Vadopad.

The waterfall’s crystal-clear waters plunge into a serene pool, surrounded by moss-covered rocks and verdant vegetation. Take a moment to marvel at the natural beauty and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this tranquil spot.

The Boutakovski Vadopad hike is a delightful excursion that showcases the hidden wonders of Kazakhstan’s wilderness.

  • Length: 4.3 KM
  • Estimates Time: 2 Hours

5. Medeo – Furmanov Swing

The Medeo-Furmanov Swing is a thrilling hiking trail located near Almaty, Kazakhstan. It offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventurous opportunities.

Starting from the famous Medeo ice-skating rink, the trail takes you through picturesque landscapes and alpine meadows. As you hike further, you’ll encounter the Furmanov Swing, a towering swing suspended over a breathtaking gorge.

This unique attraction allows you to swing high above the stunning mountain scenery, providing an exhilarating experience.

The Medeo-Furmanov Swing trail is ideal for both nature lovers and thrill-seekers, offering a memorable adventure in the heart of Kazakhstan.

  • Length: 6.8 KM
  • Estimates Time: 4 Hours

6. Mynjylky Plateau

The Mynjylky Plateau is a mesmerizing hiking destination nestled in the Tien Shan Mountains of southeastern Kazakhstan.

This expansive plateau offers a serene escape from bustling city life, immersing you in a world of untouched natural beauty. As you hike through the plateau, you’ll be greeted by rolling meadows, vibrant wildflowers, and majestic peaks.

The Mynjylky Plateau is also known for its diverse wildlife, including ibex, marmots, and golden eagles.

This hiking trail provides a tranquil setting for nature enthusiasts to explore, unwind, and reconnect with the stunning landscapes of Kazakhstan.

  • Length: 11.7KM
  • Estimates Time: 5 Hours

7. Kolsai Lake 1 Trail

The Kolsai Lake 1 Trail is a breathtaking hiking route that takes you to the pristine Kolsai Lake 1 in the southeastern region of Kazakhstan.

This trail is renowned for its turquoise alpine lake, surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests. As you traverse the path, you’ll be captivated by the scenic beauty of the Kolsai National Park, with its crystal-clear streams and diverse flora and fauna.

The Kolsai Lake 1 Trail offers a moderate hiking experience suitable for all skill levels, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and witness the awe-inspiring landscapes that Kazakhstan has to offer.

  • Length: 14.8 KM
  • Estimates Time: 5 Hours

8. Kolsai Lake 2 Trail

The Kolsai Lake 2 Trail is a continuation of the Kolsai Lake 1 Trail, leading you deeper into the enchanting Kolsai National Park.

This trail offers a more challenging hiking experience, rewarding you with mesmerizing vistas and the opportunity to explore the stunning Kolsai Lake 2.

The lake, known for its pristine emerald waters, is nestled amidst the rugged mountains, creating a picturesque setting that feels like a scene from a fairytale.

As you navigate the trail, you’ll be surrounded by alpine meadows, dense forests, and the melodious songs of birds. The Kolsai Lake 2 Trail is a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure in Kazakhstan.

  • Length: 25.6 KM
  • Estimates Time: 9 Hour 37 Minutes

9. Charyan Canyon – Valley of Castles

The Charyn Canyon, often referred to as the Valley of Castles, is a geological wonder located in southeastern Kazakhstan.

This dramatic hiking destination boasts towering red rock formations, sculpted by the forces of nature over millions of years. As you explore the Charyn Canyon, you’ll be awe-struck by the intricate patterns and shapes that resemble an ancient castle city.

The hiking trail takes you through rugged terrain, offering panoramic views of the canyon’s sheer cliffs and deep gorges.

This extraordinary natural phenomenon is a paradise for photographers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers, providing a unique opportunity to witness the captivating beauty of Kazakhstan’s landscapes.

  • Length: 5.6 KM
  • Estimates Time: 2 Hours

10. Shymbulak Peak Panorama Trail

The Shymbulak Peak Panorama Trail is a hiking trail that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the majestic Tien Shan mountain range.

The trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including alpine meadows, rugged terrain, and serene forests. Along the way, you might encounter wildlife such as marmots and rare bird species.

The highlight of the hike is reaching the Shymbulak Peak, where you can stand in awe of the expansive panorama stretching before you.

This trail is perfect for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking an unforgettable hiking experience in Kazakhstan.

  • Length: 2.9 KM
  • Estimates Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

11. Gorelnik Gorge

Gorelnik Gorge is a hidden gem nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Kazakhstan. This hiking trail offers a serene and picturesque journey through lush greenery, towering cliffs, and a crystal-clear river.

As you explore the gorge, you’ll be surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature, making it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The trail offers various levels of difficulty, allowing both seasoned hikers and beginners to enjoy its beauty.

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to spot diverse flora and fauna, including wildflowers, birds, and possibly even some elusive wildlife. Gorelnik Gorge is a peaceful retreat that promises a rejuvenating experience for nature enthusiasts.

  • Length: 13.5 KM
  • Estimates Time: 7 Hours

12. Big Almaty Lake Loop

The Big Almaty Lake Loop is a mesmerizing hiking trail that takes you around the stunning Big Almaty Lake. Situated in the picturesque Ile-Alatau National Park, this trail offers breathtaking views of the turquoise lake surrounded by majestic peaks.

As you embark on the loop, you’ll traverse through lush forests, gentle slopes, and rocky terrains. The ever-changing scenery along the trail captivates hikers with its natural beauty.

Take in the fresh mountain air, listen to the sounds of nature, and enjoy the tranquility of this enchanting setting.

The Big Almaty Lake Loop is a must-visit for hikers seeking to immerse themselves in the pristine landscapes of Kazakhstan.

  • Length: 10.3 KM
  • Estimates Time: 4 Hours

13. Furmanovka Campsites

The Furmanovka Campsites offer a unique camping and hiking experience in the picturesque mountains of Kazakhstan. Nestled in a scenic valley, these campsites provide an opportunity to disconnect from the hustle of modern life and reconnect with nature.

Set up your tent amidst the stunning landscapes, and wake up to breathtaking views each morning.

From the campsites, you can embark on various hiking trails that lead you deeper into the mountains, allowing you to explore hidden valleys, cascading waterfalls, and untouched wilderness.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, the Furmanovka Campsites promise an unforgettable outdoor adventure in the heart of Kazakhstan’s natural wonders.

  • Lenght: 16.1 KM
  • Estimates Time: 7 Hours 22 Minutes

14. Kairak Waterfall Trails

The Kairak Waterfall Trails offer an exhilarating journey through the untamed beauty of Kazakhstan’s wilderness. As you follow the trails, you’ll be treated to the sight and sound of cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery.

The trek takes you along meandering paths, crossing crystal-clear streams and dense forests. The trails are suitable for hikers of various skill levels, with options for both shorter and more challenging routes.

Feel the mist of the waterfall on your face, listen to the soothing sounds of rushing water, and immerse yourself in the serenity of this natural oasis.

The Kairak Waterfall Trails provide a refreshing escape for nature enthusiasts and a chance to witness the power and beauty of these magnificent waterfalls.

  • Length: 8.4 KM
  • Estimates Time: 3 Hours

15. Lake Kaindy

Kaindy Lake is a mesmerizing natural wonder located in Kazakhstan. This breathtaking destination has gained popularity among hikers and nature enthusiasts for its unique and surreal appearance.

What sets Kaindy Lake apart is the submerged forest that lies beneath its crystal-clear waters. The lake was formed due to a natural landslide that occurred in the region, creating a dam and submerging a dense forest.

As a result, the underwater forest remains intact, with the tips of the trees peeking above the water’s surface, creating an ethereal sight.

Visitors can hike through the surrounding trails, immersing themselves in the serene beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

  • Length: 3.2 KM
  • Estimates Time: 1 Hour

16. Terrenkur Trail

The Terrenkur Trail is a thrilling hiking route nestled in the picturesque Tian Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan. This trail offers a challenging and rewarding experience for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

As you hike along the Terrenkur Trail, you’ll encounter diverse landscapes, including lush forests, alpine meadows, and sparkling streams. The trail takes you to breathtaking viewpoints where you can admire panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Along the way, keep an eye out for the rich wildlife that inhabits the area, such as marmots, ibex, and various bird species.

The Terrenkur Trail promises an exhilarating journey through the untamed beauty of Kazakhstan’s mountainous terrain.

  • Length: 9 KM
  • Estimates Time: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

17. Sairan Lake Loop

The Sairan Lake Loop is a captivating hiking trail that encircles the pristine Sairan Lake in southeastern Kazakhstan.

This scenic loop trail offers a serene and immersive experience in nature, allowing hikers to explore the beauty of the lake and its surrounding landscapes.

As you traverse the trail, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the turquoise lake, framed by rolling hills and picturesque meadows.

The Sairan Lake Loop provides opportunities for bird-watching, as the area is home to various bird species, including swans and ducks.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a longer hike, the Sairan Lake Loop offers a tranquil retreat where you can connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

  • Length: 3.9 KM
  • Estimates Time: 1 Hour

18. Atakent Loop

Nestled in the heart of the Tien Shan Mountains, the Atakent Loop is a remarkable hiking trail that showcases the natural beauty of Kazakhstan. This loop trail takes you through a diverse landscape, from alpine meadows and lush forests to rugged mountain passes.

As you hike along the Atakent Loop, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vibrant wildflowers.

The trail offers a chance to encounter wildlife, including marmots, mountain goats, and elusive snow leopards.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, the Atakent Loop provides an unforgettable adventure filled with natural wonders and a deep sense of tranquility in the heart of Kazakhstan’s mountainous region.

  • Length: 3.5 KM
  • Estimates Time: 52 Minutes

Conclusion – Kazakhstan Hiking Trails

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Kazakhstan’s hiking trails?

From hidden gems and turquoise lakes to majestic peaks and rugged canyons, this diverse landscape offers an unforgettable adventure for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Explore the raw wilderness of the Tien Shan Mountains, witness the enchanting beauty of hidden waterfalls, and connect with the traditional Kazakh way of life. Whether you’re seeking moderate challenges or tranquil escapes, Kazakhstan’s hiking trails promise to leave you in awe of its natural wonders.

Embark on this exhilarating journey and create unforgettable memories in this hiker’s paradise.

FAQs – Kazakhstan Hiking Trails

What are the best hiking trails in Kazakhstan?

When it comes to hiking in Kazakhstan, there are plenty of incredible trails to choose from. Some of the top-rated ones include the Kokzhailau Camp Trail, Akbulak to Kok Jailau, and the Kolsai Lake Short Trail. These trails offer a mix of stunning landscapes, panoramic views, and opportunities to connect with nature and local culture.

Are the hiking trails suitable for beginners?

Yes, there are hiking trails in Kazakhstan that cater to beginners. The Kolsai Lake Short Trail and Sairan Lake Loop are great options for those who are new to hiking. These trails offer relatively easy terrain and shorter distances, allowing beginners to enjoy the beauty of Kazakhstan’s landscapes without too much difficulty.

What is the best time to go hiking in Kazakhstan?

The best time to go hiking in Kazakhstan is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally pleasant, with mild temperatures and less chance of rainfall. However, it’s important to check the specific weather conditions and trail accessibility before planning your hike.

Are there any guided hiking tours available?

Yes, there are guided hiking tours available in Kazakhstan. These tours can be a great option for those who want a hassle-free experience and expert guidance. Local tour operators offer various packages that cater to different skill levels and preferences, ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking adventure.

Are there camping options along the hiking trails?

Yes, many hiking trails in Kazakhstan offer camping options. Furmanovka Campsites and the Big Almaty Lake Loop are popular choices for camping enthusiasts. These campsites provide a chance to immerse yourself in the wilderness and wake up to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Are the hiking trails suitable for families with children?

Yes, there are hiking trails in Kazakhstan that are suitable for families with children. The Kolsai Lake Short Trail and Gorelnik Gorge offer family-friendly experiences with manageable distances and scenic beauty. It’s important to consider the children’s age and hiking abilities when choosing a trail and make necessary preparations.

What safety precautions should I take while hiking in Kazakhstan?

While hiking in Kazakhstan, it’s important to prioritize safety. Make sure to pack essential items such as a first aid kit, sufficient water, and proper hiking gear. Check the weather forecast before heading out and inform someone about your hiking plans. It’s also advisable to hike with a buddy or in a group and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

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