Naryn Adventure Experience

Naryn region is less developed than other parts of Kyrgyzstan and has spectacular mountains to visit if you really want to get off the beaten track including

  • Köl Suu Lake
  • Song Kul Lake

l Suu Lake

Köl-Suu  is a spectacular glacial lake set in a high alpine rocky canyon whose shear sides drop almost straight down into the lake. It’s difficult to get to, but is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Kyrgyzstan. It is located in the southeast of Naryn Oblast, n At-Bashi District  near the Chinese border. (you need special border zone permit in order to pass a checkpoint.)

It is high up at 3500 meters (11,500 feet) elevation in the Tian Shan mountains and is fed and drained by the Kurumduk River, a left tributary of the Kök-Kyya River, which is a right tributary of the Toshkan River

Kol Suu MapKol Suu Global Earth

To get to Lake Kol Suu from Naryn, you can take the road via At Bashy and Ak Mus.  The drive takes 5 hours and offers amazing views of an inhospitable nature, which with its inaccessible mountains and sweeping rivers hardly allows the thought that anyone could live here.

However, shepherds are living here, grazing their herds.

The road is very rough and there are several river crossings, where there is no bridge and where the water level may be above the floorboards on even a four-wheel drive vehicle.  Getting there without a driver who knows the route and knows where and how to cross the river would be a great adventure.

Not far from the lake, 2-3 kilometers, are yurts, where you can spend the night. If you like you can explore the cave on the right hand side, just about 50 meters before the lake. It is possible to arrange a boat to explore the lake, it goes on for several kilometers which are not visible from the shore. On foot you can only stand at the very beginning of the lake. You will likely be the only one there, which makes the experience even greater. Highly recommended to any mountains lover!



Song Kol Lake

At an altitude little over 3 000 meters, Song Kul is what Kyrgyz people call “Djailoo”, a highland pasture where horses, sheep, cows and goats are brought during summertime,

Song Kul is one of those places where you are reminded that the best moments in life are connected to simple things. Close to our roots and the nature around us. It is where you find the humans and animals in a perfect balance and you are, literally, overwhelmed by the sound of silence.

You can hike, camp, sleep in a yurt and enjoy a wonderful horseback riding experience.  While the main and constant activity is still centered around lifestock, tourism around the lake is developed and many families living here during the summer offer yurt accomodation, food and horse riding tours.

Song Kol Lake 9

Horseback riding at Song Kol Lake can be an unforgettable experience in your life.   Even beginner horse rider are welcome with professional, helpful English speaking guides to help.   Mainly it is uphill and rocky so walking is the only pace to go, but with some simple persuasion you can get a trot and a canter.  Walking through the rolling green fields, it is so peaceful and truly wonderful to see wild horses running free.   The horses are healthy and well looked after, as are most of the the horses  in Kyrgyzstan.

Song Kol Lake 10

You can stay at a yurt camp at Song Kul lake.  It is so peaceful and the scenery is gorgeous, surrounded by snow capped mountains and a green lake. If you like horse back riding, this is the place to take a trek.

The pass to Song Kul Lake is challenging part for the horses. It is steep and rocky, but the horses will be okay if you let them navigate their way slowly. The view at the top is incredible.   After the climb to the pass, the terrain is down hill and soon levels out to flattish surface.    After about a two hour ride further along the lake is a small family yurt camp, where you can share a yurt with your guide.   Kyrgyzs love their horses and will unsaddle themon the evening and let them go free. In the morning your guide will go get up early and go and round them up.

At night you can see a swath of the Milky Way, as there is no light pollution here. It was serene. The following morning, you can watch the sunrise near the lake’s edge, and  eventually be joined by some horses who came for breakfast. It is serene and quiet—the only sound, the nearby horse munching on the grass.   Enjoyed watching the reflection of Song Kol Lake and feeling like all was well with the world.

Song Kol Lake 11Song Kol Lake 12

Don’t overpack,  bring a rain jacket and long pants to ride the horses and one change of t-shirt. Trainers are the best to ride in. It may be hot or cold, there is obviously a chance of rain.  Bring suncream, tooth brush, and babywipes. Your hotel or hostel can keep your big bags for you. Best to pack light as you’ll be carrying it on your back the whole time. Bring some water, but you can fill up at he first and second yurt camp.

(I wonder which month they biked up the pass?!!!)


Learn More

Yurt Camp

Lake Song Kul and Tash Rabat – The Backback Way World

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