I spent 3 summers residing and dealing in Jyrgalan and personally have walked each single path within the valley. Right here’s my information to one of the best day hikes from Jyrgalan.
Jyrgalan is a small village within the far east of Kyrgyzstan, on the foot of the Tian Shan Mountain vary.
Throughout Soviet instances the village was very affluent as a result of its coal mine, which offered many roles to the native inhabitants.
Whereas among the locals nonetheless affectionately consult with the village as “Shaktar” (Russian phrase for “mine”), the mine has been closed for the reason that fall of the Soviet Union, inflicting many to desert the village looking for new work.
In the present day Jyrgalan is a sleepy village, stuffed with attraction and pleasant welcoming folks. The type of place folks go to spend just a few days and find yourself staying every week.
Surrounded by mountains and spectacular valleys, it’s not stunning this village has grew to become a hidden gem for these on the lookout for out of doors actions (trekking, mountain biking, horse driving, and snowboarding).
Jyrgalan has developed a popularity for providing some of one of the best multi-day treks in Kyrgyzstan, together with the Keskenkija Loop, Boz-Uchuk Lakes, and most not too long ago Bulak-Ashuu Lakes.
The Greatest Jyrgalan Day Hikes
Thankfully for these with out the time or inclination for a multi-day trek, the village presents a variety of fantastically scenic one-day hikes appropriate for all talents.
These Jyrgalan day hikes are additionally glorious for acclimatising previous to tackling among the high-altitude treks within the space.
READ MORE: Take a look at our complete information to travelling to Kyrgyzstan!
Char Jon Panorama
- Distance: 16km (approx 6-7 hours)
- Altitude acquire/loss: 800m
Char Jon is the height to the north of Jyrgalan. Whereas it’s a fairly strenuous hike up it presents among the best views within the native space.
It’s the excellent selection for these on the lookout for one of many tougher Jyrgalan day hikes.
This trek begins from the higher part of the Jyrgalan Village.
From the homes right here you will notice a ridge with some electrical energy poles going up in the direction of a small constructing (cell tower).
Head up the ridge, which after an preliminary climb eases to a extra mild stroll alongside undulating hills.
Maintain going alongside the ridge previous the cell tower and you ultimately come to a last steeper part.
After round 150m climbing this steep part flattens out, congratulations you have got reached the summit!
On the peak you should have 360-degree panoramic views. To the north, you will notice over into Kazakhstan.
To the east is Kok Bel go and Black Nostril Peak. To the south, Jyrgalan Valley and village.
If the climate could be very clear you’ll be able to even see Issyk Kul on the horizon to the west.
From the height, the quickest approach again to Jyrgalan village is through the ridge you got here up.
Nevertheless, a extra scenic and fulfilling route is to descend through a small lake known as Turnaluu Kol.
From the height head down alongside the ridge to the north.
The lake is to the east, however hidden behind some bushes and can solely become visible when you get a bit of additional down the ridge.
You’re aiming for the path going by way of the parting within the bushes to the lake.
NOMADasaurus Word: Certainly one of our readers Lena has identified the next instructions to us: Once I was standing on the summit, I seen your article suggests heading down north and that the lake might be to the east. Nevertheless, I downloaded a compass for this hike beforehand and seen that truly you must head down in the direction of the west and you then’ll already be capable of see the lake (which can also be to the west).
There are various doable routes right down to the lake from the ridge.
Essentially the most direct route is commonly very moist and boggy, notably within the early a part of the trekking season.
It’s usually extra snug, though barely longer, to take the path looping round to the appropriate.
On the west finish of the lake, one can find some large logs that can be utilized as benches.
This makes a pleasant place to cease for lunch (higher than the height which could be a little uncomfortable as a result of wind).
From this picnic space proceed alongside the paths going away from the lake.
These trails work their approach again to the village, and a few pink arrows have been painted on rocks and bushes to assist direct you.
- Distance: 11km (roughly 4-5 hours)
- Altitude acquire/loss: 4500m
Whereas we suggest combining Turnaluu Kol with Char Jon Panorama for one of the best day mountaineering expertise, if you’re on the lookout for a shorter and simpler hike it’s doable to simply go to the lake.
From the college take the highway heading out the village towards the primary highway.
Cross over the bridge and go as much as the highway and switch left.
After round 30m strolling on the highway take the paths in your proper going away from the village in a north-easterly course.
Comply with the paths, steadily gaining elevation. Look out for pink arrows which were painted on rocks and bushes to mark the route.
Many shepherds carry their animals to graze on this space so you’ll most likely see horses, sheep, and goats.
Finally, after round 3 hours, you’ll attain Turnaluu Kol which interprets as “Crane Lake”, named after the birds that migrate by way of this space every spring.
Whereas one of the best alternatives to see the cranes are in Spring, typically they are often nonetheless be seen in July.
Different birds, together with eagles, might be seen at any time.
It’s value persevering with alongside the path to the east finish of the lake. Right here the path rises a bit of offering a pleasant viewpoint.
If you wish to eat lunch on the lake there are some logs on the west finish of the lake which can be utilized as benches.
Return to Jyrgalan through the identical route taken to the lake.
Eki-Chat Yurt Camp
- Distance: 14km (roughly 5 hours)
- Altitude acquire/loss: 500m
Eki-Chat yurt camp is one of the best Jyrgalan day hike for these seeking to see Kyrgyz tradition and expertise the gorgeous Jyrgalan Valley.
Bear in mind that this route is identical as the primary 1/2 day of many of the multi-day treks, so in case you plan to do one in all them it’s best to most likely choose one of many different day hikes from Jyrgalan.
The trek begins on the southern finish of Jyrgalan village.
Cross the bridge over to the east aspect of the Jyrgalan River and take the steep dust trails heading up in the direction of the electrical energy pylon.
From these trails, it is possible for you to to see a wood stage used for J-Fest, the annual summer season competition held every August in Jyrgalan.
Close to to the stage, you can also make out two massive black stacks of tractor tyres.
These tyres kind the Kazan (objectives) for Kok-Boru, the conventional Kyrgyz horse sport performed with a headless goat carcass.
On the prime of the paths you’ll be able to see a giant rock to the south. This rock is known as Tulpar Tash (Horse Rock).
This rock is known as a result of being talked about within the legendary story of the Kyrgyz hero, Manas.
There’s little visitors on this highway. It’s primarily simply used for transporting yurts to and from the jailoos (excessive pasture areas) at first and finish of summer season.
Sometimes the native milk truck makes use of this observe to carry kumys – the favored Kyrgyz drink of fermented mare’s milk – right down to promote within the village.
After 7km strolling from Jyrgalan, you’ll attain Eki-Chat, a small jailoo with a group of yurts.
Right here you’ll be able to loosen up watching conventional nomadic life and having fun with the gorgeous surroundings.
In case you are fortunate you could be invited right into a yurt for some tea and kumys.
This yurt camp is the ultimate level of the trek and most of the people flip round right here.
Nevertheless, in case you arrive early and would love an extended trek you’ll be able to proceed additional up the Jyrgalan Valley.
Simply cross the bridge and persevering with alongside the jeep observe, turning round whenever you get drained.
Return through the identical route you got here.
It’s doable to return off the jeep observe and observe horse tracks subsequent to the river, nevertheless these might be very moist and boggy so if unsure keep on the observe.
After passing Tulpar Tash head in the direction of the electrical energy pylon.
Beneath this pylon is the steep dust trails you started the day on.
Watch out, if the climate has been moist these trails might be slippery, and a greater choice is to proceed on the jeep highway which can take you a barely longer, however flatter, and extra snug route again to the village.
- Distance: 12km (roughly 3.5-4 hours)
- Altitude acquire/loss: 450m
That is maybe the best Jyrgalan day hike. The route is effectively marked and straightforward to observe, and there may be little uphill with no steep sections.
Watch out if utilizing maps.me as there are two Kok-Bel waterfalls on the map. The proper one is east of the village.
To get to the waterfall take the primary highway heading out of Jyrgalan.
After seeing the “Welcome to Jyrgalan” signal and crossing the river take the highway to the appropriate heading east.
From right here you should have view of the previous coal mine.
This mine was an necessary supply of coal throughout the Soviet instances, when roughly 5000 folks lived in Jyrgalan, however has not been in use since.
Maintain following the highway, which ultimately crosses again throughout the river, and right into a small valley with one other coal mine.
The coal mine right here continues to be in use right this moment, operated as a really small scale operation by just a few of the villagers.
After passing the mine the highway begins to fade. Proceed alongside the appropriate aspect of the river, choosing the obvious path.
As you proceed alongside the river the valley narrows right into a canyon and the floor turns into rockier.
At some factors it’s essential to cross the river, which is definitely executed, to get on higher trails.
Proceed up the canyon till you attain the waterfall.
The waterfall is 20m excessive, making it the most important within the native space.
It’s doable to go all the way in which to the bottom of the waterfall, nevertheless the final part requires some very straightforward scrambling.
Bear in mind that this waterfall is seasonal, and by the top of August could also be dry.
You’ll be able to examine present situations within the Vacation spot Jyrgalan Workplace previous to setting off.
Day Hikes from Jyrgalan – Suggestions and Data
Right here’s a bit extra info that will help you plan your travels and mountaineering in Jyrgalan village.
How Do I Get to Jyrgalan?
Marshrutka quantity 331 leaves 3 instances per day from Ak-Tilek Bazaar in Karakol (08:30, 11:30, and 17:30).
It’s best to reach round 30mins previous to departure because the bus is often full, with these arriving later having to face.
Marshrutka quantity 331 returns to Karakol from Jyrgalan at 07:30, 11:30, and 16:30.
The journey takes roughly 1.45 hours in every course and prices 90-150som relying on the scale of the baggage.
A taxi prices round $25 every approach and takes round 1.15 hours.
Lodging in Jyrgalan
It’s doable to do any of the treks on this article as a day journey from Karakol.
You will want to take the primary marshrutka from Karakol, providing you with round 6 hours to finish the hike earlier than the final marshrutka returning to Karakol departs.
For a extra relaxed expertise, or for these seeking to do a couple of hike, there’s a vary of lodging.
Costs and availability of all of the lodging might be discovered on the Reserving.com web site, which may also be used to make reservations.
There isn’t a café or restaurant within the village, only a few small retailers promoting some staple items.
Any guesthouse within the village can put together scorching meals or lunchboxes however would possibly want an hour or two discover.
There isn’t a ATM, so you must carry money (Kyrgyz Som, Euros, USD). For bigger transactions Vacation spot Jyrgalan can settle for card funds
Impartial vs Guided Hikes
The entire Jyrgalan day hikes on this article might be accomplished independently.
Whereas among the hikes have small sections with no clear path, typically route-finding is straight ahead, and there are some painted arrows marking the way in which.
In the event you would like to finish the hike with a information you’ll be able to organize this by way of Vacation spot Jyrgalan ([email protected]).
Horse Trekking in Jyrgalan
Aside from the Kok Bel waterfall hike, these routes may also be executed on horseback.
To organise horse driving contact Vacation spot Jyrgalan no less than 24 hours prematurely.
What Do I Want for the Day Hikes in Jyrgalan?
There are not any permits or technical gear wanted for any of those specific treks in Jyrgalan.
Nevertheless, just a few issues are beneficial:
Appropriate footwear (e.g. strolling boots or path trainers)
- Sunscreen and sun shades
- Waterproof jacket/trousers
- Map (both digital or paper copy).
When to Go to Jyrgalan
These hikes are often executed from June to September, with the climate being most persistently heat and dry in July and August.
The hikes might be executed in winter utilizing snowshoes, which might be rented in Jyrgalan.
Temperatures beneath 0 levels Celsius are widespread, so appropriate clothes for very chilly climate is critical.
As trails are lined by snow, it’s best to take a information to indicate you the route.
Issues to Know Earlier than You Go
Climate within the mountains can change shortly, even throughout summer season storms are doable.
Forecasts for this space are usually not all the time correct. Be ready for any sort of climate.
A few of these mountaineering routes might be seen on the maps.me app.
Whereas this can be a good device for common navigation, among the routes are usually not 100% right.
How Tough are the Jyrgalan Day Hikes?
All of the treks listed beneath have all been accomplished by a variety of individuals, none require any technical expertise or excessive ranges of health.
That stated from the treks listed beneath Char Jon Panorama is probably the most difficult and Kok-Bel Waterfall the best.
Approximate instances to finish every hike are listed primarily based on the velocity of a mean hiker.
In case you are a quick or sluggish hiker you could want to alter the time accordingly.
If in case you have additional questions on day hikes within the space you’ll be able to contact Vacation spot Jyrgalan by e mail ([email protected]).
In case you are already in Jyrgalan you’ll be able to go to their workplace inside Ala Kol Guesthouse.