Kazakhstan rivers and lakes. The Biggest rivers in Kazakhstan
The lowest lake, at 1,818m, stretches for 1 km. It is accessible by road and there are comfortable guesthouses and campsites. The middle Kolsai Lake (2,252 m) the largest and the most beautiful, is 5 km from the first lake.
The highest of the Kolsais is 4 km further and 600 m higher up. After another 6 km you reach the Sary-Bulak Pass (3,278m) on the Kyrgyzstan border, with superb views over the blue Lake Issyk-Kul. The whole 25-km trek can be covered in a day on horseback or three days on foot.
The two lower lakes are surrounded by fir trees, alpine meadows and mountain pastures. The upper lake is situated among rocks. The shortest and least difficult path to Lake Issyk-Kul runs through the Kolsay lakes. The Kolsay Lakes are the goal of many visitors.
The system of lakes is situated approximately 300 km to the east of Almaty on the Kungei Alatau ridge. The road leads from Almaty to Chilik, then to Kegen and proceeds to Saty, a small village (it is possible to reach Saty by bus from Almaly).
The route begins from the lower Kolsay Lake (1,100 m), then the path to the middle Kolsay Lake (2,250 m), up to the upper Kolsay Lake (2,700 m) and further, through the Sarybulak Crossing (3,275 m) to the Sarybulak village valley. The landscape is, mainly, of forests, lake valleys and grassy slopes.
Camp can be set up on the lake, and the route through the lakes usually takes three days. Horses can be rented in Saty village from a local forester. Hiking trails have been developed there and there are operating guesthouses.
The dark blue color of the water, and the silence and calmness of the area are the unique features of Kolsai. The trekking amateur will admire a fascinating panorama of lakes, surrounded by rocks, forests of broad-leaved trees, fir-trees and mountain alpine meadows.
An abundance of trout is found in every lake except the third one - the coldest lake among the others. The Kolsai lakes are very deep: the deepest point of the first lake is 80 m, of the second lake is about 50 m.
Guesthouses are located on the shore; they are always ready to accept those wishing to stay at the crystal-clear lakes, reflecting unattainable peaks and mountainsides, covered with native Tien-Shan firs.
The Zhibek Zholy Ltd. six-room guesthouse is designed for 16 persons; the unusually beautiful landscape can be seen from its windows; and the evenings, spent by a fireplace, will be remembered for a long time.
The trail to the Kolsay Lakes is very easy. You can enjoy this rural beauty and natural diversity while traveling to Lake Issyk-kul from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan.