Hiking tour in Almaty

Adventure

Exploring the Majestic Peaks: A Hiking Tour in Almaty

Nestled against the backdrop of the towering Tien Shan mountains, Almaty is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. The city’s proximity to stunning natural landscapes makes it an ideal starting point for a variety of hiking adventures. From serene lakes to rugged mountain passes, here’s a detailed look at what a hiking tour in Almaty can offer.

1. Big Almaty Lake

Description: Big Almaty Lake is a must-see destination for any hiker visiting Almaty. This stunning alpine lake is known for its turquoise waters, set against a dramatic mountain backdrop.

  • Trailhead: The lake is about 30 kilometers south of Almaty, accessible by a scenic drive.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Hikers can walk around the lake, enjoy picnic spots, and take in the breathtaking views. The area is also a great spot for bird watching and photography.

2. Shymbulak Ski Resort to Talgar Pass

Description: Shymbulak is a popular ski resort in winter, but in summer, it offers excellent hiking trails.

  • Trailhead: Access is via a cable car from the Medeo ice skating rink, which is about 15 kilometers from Almaty.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
  • Highlights: The hike to Talgar Pass provides stunning panoramic views of the Ile Alatau mountain range. The trail winds through alpine meadows and rugged terrain, making it a rewarding challenge for experienced hikers.

3. Medeo Gorge to Shymbulak

Description: This trail starts at the famous Medeo ice rink and climbs up to Shymbulak resort.

  • Trailhead: Medeo, easily reachable from Almaty by car or public transport.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: The path offers a beautiful journey through lush forests and along mountain streams. It’s a popular route, providing ample opportunities to spot local wildlife and enjoy the serene natural environment.

4. Butakovka Gorge

Description: A hidden gem, Butakovka Gorge is perfect for those looking for a tranquil hike.

  • Trailhead: The gorge is a short drive from Almaty, making it easily accessible.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Highlights: The hike to Butakovka Waterfall is relatively easy, making it suitable for families and beginner hikers. The trail is surrounded by dense greenery and offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

5. Peak Furmanov

Description: For those seeking a more challenging hike, Peak Furmanov offers a rigorous climb with spectacular rewards.

  • Trailhead: Accessible from the upper parts of Almaty or via Medeo.
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Highlights: The ascent to Peak Furmanov is steep and demanding, but the summit provides unparalleled views of Almaty and the surrounding mountains. It’s a favorite among local hikers and offers a true test of endurance and stamina.

6. Altyn Emel National Park

Description: Although further from Almaty, Altyn Emel National Park offers unique landscapes and diverse hiking opportunities.

  • Trailhead: Located about 260 kilometers from Almaty, best reached by car.
  • Difficulty: Varies
  • Highlights: The park is home to the famous Singing Dunes, colorful Aktau Mountains, and a rich variety of flora and fauna. Plan for a full-day excursion or an overnight stay to fully explore this natural wonder.

Practical Tips for Hiking in Almaty

  • Best Time to Hike: The ideal hiking season is from late spring to early autumn (May to October) when the weather is mild and the trails are most accessible.
  • Guided Tours: Hiring a local guide or joining a hiking tour can enhance your experience by providing local knowledge, ensuring safety, and offering logistical support.
  • Preparation: Bring plenty of water, snacks, appropriate clothing, and sturdy hiking boots. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in higher altitudes.
  • Safety: Inform someone of your hiking plans and expected return time. Be aware of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions if hiking at higher elevations.

Almaty’s diverse landscapes and scenic beauty make it a paradise for hikers. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a casual walker, the trails around Almaty offer something for everyone, ensuring an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Kok Zhailayu Hiking ( 4 — 5 hours) 8 km

Trekking to Gorelnic Waterfalls ( 3 — 4 hours) 5 km

Trekking to Butakovski Waterfall ( 2 — 3 hours) 4 km

Trekking to Pik Furmanova ( 7 — 9 hours) 15 km

Price per person from 45$ ( group of 10 people)

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