The main northwest part of the region is flat, a rarity in Kyrgyzstan. This is the valley of the Chu River. The valley’s black soil is very fertile and is largely irrigated with water diverted from the Chu River. The region’s Agricultural production includes wheat, maize, sugar beets, potatoes, lucerne, and various vegetables and fruits.
The Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountains form the southern border of the region, and the northern border of Talas Region. There are many hiking and trekking routes accessible from the towns in the valley. The southwestern heel of the region over the Kirgiz Alatau is geographically more like Naryn Region.
The northeast panhandle is the Chong Kemin Valley
Ala-Archa Gorge – Ala Archa National Park
The Ala Archa National Park in the Tian Shan mountains is less than an hour drive from Bishkek, and is a wild, beautiful place. Public transport is sparse, and it is most convenient to hire a taxi from Bishkek for about $60 for 2 people.
If you get a local minibus it will drop you 7 kilometers from the main entrance at the first car park where private vehicles have to pay ($6 for two people) to go in. People are kind though and will pick you up if you wave them down. Once you get to the main entrance there is a hotel where you can stay for 2000 som a night.
Alternatively you can camp or stay in the miriad of kirghiz yurts and small homes scattered around. Main trails are well marked and it is easy to get away from the bustle of the main entrance.
Ala Archa National Park has over 200 square kilometers of beautiful mountains, snowed peaks, dry river bed. A must go place.
There is lots of great hiking to be done at Ala-Archa Gorge and all throughout the region. The stunning landscape speaks for itself and the fresh air and friendly but not crowded trails are a joy to hike.
Every level of excellent hiking, treking and mountaineering is available. It is approximately 3 kilometers from the parking lot to the waterfall, is a medium difficulty level trekking (4 hours there and back). 7 kilometers to the ratzek hut requires mountaineering level and can be done in 4-5 hours to get there and 3-4 hours to return.
Ala Archa Gorge is an mazing place to wander beside a river, climb up into unspoilt hills, have a picnic, or do some serious hiking.