Ala-Archa National Park
Ala-Archa translated from Kyrgyz language as variegated archa. Archa is local name of juniper. The gorge got its name because of numerous bushes of archa, covering the slopes. Because there is a great diversity of archa in the gorge, of different colors and shapes, it gives a feeling that the gorge is varicolored. The national park, located at an altitude of 1500-4895 meters above sea level, 41 km from the city Bishkek and occupying an area of about 20 thousand hectares, includes all the landscape and climatic zones. The same name river flows in the gorge. The beautiful landscape and richness of flora and fauna in the park allows used for hiking, recreation, and leisure all year round.
The Boom Gorge is located in 112 km from Bishkek. It is natural gateway connecting the Issyk-Kul basin with Chui valley. The length of the gorge is 22 km. The section of the Chu River in the Boom gorge is a very attractive destination for fans of rafting and kayaking.
Chunkurchak Ski Resort
Ski Resort Chunkurchak is a young and developing ski resort, located 30 km from Bishkek, in the picturesque Chunkurchak gorge. The main advantages of the ski resort are proximity to the city, a compact arrangement of service facilities on the territory and comfortable ski runs (piste) for beginners, making it an ideal destination for family holidays. There are four different chairlifts. Guests can benefit from facilities such as the cafe, sports equipment rental, medical center, and parking lot, all of which are available on the premises of the resort.
There is an amazingly beautiful valley called Chong-Kemin between Kungey Ala-Too and Ile Alatau ranges that stretches more than 100 km from east to west. The river in the valley also called Chong-Kemin and it flows into the Chu River where the Boom Gorge starts. It is a well-known destination among white water rafting and kayaking enthusiasts. The valley covers the territory of Chong-Kemin State Nature Park. The park is the habitat of animals such as roe deer, alpine ibex, argali, martens, ermines, rock partridges, snow leopards, deer, Turkestan lynx, golden eagles, saker falcon, and bearded vultures. There is also the mausoleum of Shabdan Baatyr in the park.
The well-known Alamedin Gorge is located 30 km from Bishkek, at an altitude of 1800-2000 meters above sea level. Juniper, birch, black currant, common cockle, rose hips, and sea buckthorn are just some examples of the area’s rich flora. The river that flows through the gorge also called Alamedin. Going farther up through the gorge, you can see steep cliffs that look like ruins of ancient fortresses. There are also the peaks Aitmatov (4650 meters) and Kyrgyzstan (4860 meters) which always attract tourists’ attention. The gorge Alamedin is famous for its hot mineralized springs, and there is a small spa resort based on.
Konorchek сanyons are on the eastern part of Kyrgyz Ala-Too range. These are magnificent monuments of nature, formed over several million years by natural forces such as the sun, wind, and waters. These huge lumpy boulders take on forms that resemble ancient castles, churches, modern buildings, and animals. The altitudes of some canyons reach 300 meters. An extinct volcano called Segizhan Shokny (about 2.5-3 million years old) is another attraction that compliments the canyons
Kol-Tor Gorge is an offshoot of Kegety Gorge, with a river of the same name and amazing landscape. It is located 90 km from Bishkek. At the end of the gorge, a small lake characterized by its turquoise color, is the main attraction. The gorge is rich in spruce forests, herbs (sage, Saint-John's-wort, and thyme) and varieties of berries (mountain ash, honeysuckle, wild rose and barberry).
Too-Ashu is a high mountain pass 135 km from Bishkek city, on the main highway, linking the northern and southern regions of Kyrgyzstan. The altitude of the pass is 3400 meters above sea level. The road is serpentine and views from it are truly breathtaking. There is the ski resort on the southern slope of the Too-Ashu, which is popular among skiers and snowboarders in winter season. Beyond the pass begins Suusamyr Valley.
Burana Tower is located near Tokmok in the medieval city of Balasagun (9th-14th century), the capital of the Qarakhanid Dynasty, also spelled Karakhanid, Turkic dynasty and the birthplace of the famous poet of the Middle Ages Yusuf Balasaguni, author of the poem "Blessed Knowledge." The tower built in the first half of the 11th century as a minaret of the mosque. The mosque destroyed in time, and the minaret partially destroyed by the earthquake in the 15th century: today the height of the tower is about 25 m, although its original height reached 45 meters. The archaeological and architectural museum created in the open air based on the legendary Balasagun.
Kegety gorge stretches for 30 km along the northern slope of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Mountain range, 75 km from the city of Bishkek and has rich flora. Tall grasslands, barberry, mountain ash, (Rosa) brier and fir forests largely contribute to the beauty of the gorge. The river Kegety, which flows through the gorge, has many streams. The largest of them is the river Kol-Tor (the right stream) which flows down through a smaller gorge with beautiful landscape. The main source of the river Kol-Tor flows through moraine passes under the ground and breaks out roaring at a certain point in a forested area. Natural and climatic features of the Kegety gorge are favorable for hiking and trekking, as well as picnics.
ZiL Ski Base
Ski base ZIL is located 35 km from Bishkek in a beautiful scenic location at an altitude of 1850 above sea level. The base is well developed and is one of the favorite places for skiing for both Kyrgyz citizens and visitors. There are five operating ropeways (for chairlift) on base today. In addition, there are three cafés for 135 seats, well-developed infrastructure hotel with 19 rooms, ski equipment rental and medical center for the guests. Ski season: December - March. There is the Cantor Glacier 5 km from the ski base, located at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. It is to get to Cantor Glacier by all-wheel drive car. In the future on the glacier is planned installation of ropeway, and then it is possible to ski all year round.
Korona (Crown) Peak
Korona (Crown) Peak is one of the most picturesque peaks of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range. It is popular with climbers from all around the world. The peak is located at the top of the glacier Ak-Sai, in Ala-Archa gorge. Its height is 4860 m. The name of the peak Korona is not casual: six mountain towers resemble the majestic crown of a medieval ruler if view from afar, that gave the mountain its name (crown in Russian). The towers are so steep that snow does not stay on their tops and walls, which gives a special splendor to the landscape opening to the tourist.
Suusamyr is one of the largest alpine valleys, located at an altitude of 2000-3200 meters between the Kyrgyz Ala-Too, Suusamyr-Too, and Djumgal-Too ranges. It stretches more than 150 km from the west, starting from the Ala-Bel Pass to the east, up to the Kokomeren River. The entire surface of the valley covered by thick lush green meadows. Being the birthplace of Kojomkul, the greatest kyrgyz wrestler of the 20th century, Suusamyr is one of those places in Kyrgyzstan which come to mind when one thinks of jailoo, kymys (made from mare's milk), paragliding, skiing, and heli-skiing.
Issyk-Ata gorge with the same name river is located on the northern slopes of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range, in 77 km to the east from Bishkek. Distinction of the gorge is not only for its gorgeous climatic conditions, but also for its excellent balneal therapy resources. Issyk-Ata Resort built in the middle of the gorge, in 1928, based on the more than fifty thermal and mineral springs found here. The healing properties of these waters have been known since ancient times, as evidenced by the picture of Buddha-the- Healer carved on a huge stone dating back to 8th century. Mountain slopes above 2800 meters covered with juniper forests. Surrounded by high slopes and cliffs, the gorge has spectacular landscape.