1. Various landscapes, smooth ascents. Turgen gorge is one of the longest in North Tien Shan: have started in the area of deep spruce forests, you then enter the zone of alpine meadows which ends at a foot of the glaciers, surrounded by the snow peaks over 4.000m. The valley of Turgen is wide: while trekking up you see the beautiful panoramas of Tien Shan mountains in the south and famous Asy plateau in the east. You camp at a shore of moraine lake and see the stars as close as astronomers do in Assy observatory (that is located on the pass).
2. Nature and wildlife. The region of Turgen is a wild place; it doesn’t look like mecca for tourists. There are no trails or huts. Most possibly, you will meet no one when trekking here. Thanks to this silence, you can enjoy the wildlife: the Turgen forest is home to many animals like Siberian ibex, Asian lynx, marmots, local deer “elik”, wolfs, golden eagles and blue birds. The luxuriant vegetation feast the eyes… The upper part of a gorge is famous for its relict Chin-Turgen spruce forest that still keeps the secrets of the last Ice Age inside the mossy grass that covers the slopes in the thicket. The moss can be up to 1 meter thick and keeps inside 0C degrees temperature in any season.
Turgen valley is also known for its waterfalls: there are 7 big waterfalls in this area but 2 of them are definitely “must visit” places: a Bear waterfall (30min of hiking from AkBulak café) – is 30 meters tall and located a height of 1450asl, and Kairak waterfall – the gem of Turgen collection.
3. Turgen is a land of nomads. The main canyon of Turgen is as long as 45 km: it starts as a wide green valley and turns into a deep rocky cliff that leads to the foot of Asy pass. Asy (Assy) plateau – one of the biggest and most popular dzhailau place (summer pasture) in Almaty area, 70 km long and located at a height of 2100-2800m above sea level. A great view appears when you reach the Asy pass: an incredibly huge green valley with pearls of white yurta and remote flocks of sheep and horses. This is a place with rich and long history: the nomads use this plateau for the hundreds of years. Different cultures and époques are closely interwoven and you can see the Bronze or Stone Age dolmens facing the giant burial mound of Saki (Scythe) era. There are places with amazing rock engravings, sacrificial altars made of stones (used in shaman’s rituals) and burial pyramid still wait to be discovered by archaeologists. Assy is the best place to discover the life of nomads.
4. Comfort. It is definitely comfortable to trek by Turgen: there are plenty of sources with clean water; there are good camping places on different heights. Turgen provides with great opportunities for the hikers of different levels: either you run for 5-6 hours a day, or prefer the moderate itinerary and speed – you’ll find the same perfect views and wild nature around. You can find a route that matches best your needs in terms of difficulty and duration: there are nice radial 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-day options available in this area. Another advantage is a location of a basecamp: since all the routes start here, then you may enjoy the “glamping” luxury like riverside buffet and Scythe sauna before and after a trek. Or you may even accommodate here and plan day trips on your own!
5. Safety. All the treks start at a Trekking Club basecamp located at a height of 1600m asl. Your safety is guaranteed: we use GPS-monitoring system, satellite phones and qualified staff. We maintain the connection between the trekking groups, basecamp and city office all the time. All the groups are provided with up-to-date camping gear and trekking equipment.
More info on trekking in Turgen you can find here