Altyn Arashan Valley
Kyrgyzstan mountain ranges and passes. Kyrgyzstan recreation
This is probably the most visited site by foreign travelers visiting Karakol and is reknowned for its beauty. The Altyn Arashan ("Golden Spa") valley leads up from the Ak Suu valley, just South of the village of Teplokluenchka, to a Spartan "hot spring" complex. The road is not an easy one, very steep in places.
It passes through pine forests which contain many hidden springs (both hot and cold). Bears are known to frequent the area. There is a small museum with stuffed animals, typical of the region. The area includes the Arashan State Nature Reserve which is a special botanical research preserve.
Above the resort are resort are the Kyzyl Tash Cave and the peaks of the Ak Suu range which rise to 5022 m. asl. Nearby are the Tergen Ak Suu, Djergalan, Koi Djailoo and other ravines.
Permits are needed for hiking in the region, which can be issued for 3 days or 10 days, and are easy to obtain. From Altyn Arashan there are a number of trekking routes, including one across the Karakol, (via the Ala Kul Lake) and Djety Orguz valleys - but the path can be blocked by snow until mid-summer.