The Ala Kul Lake, a hidden gem
At about a four-hour walk from Ayu Tor Ryce Camp lies the mountain lake Ala Kul at an altitude of 3560m. A hidden gem that is worth visiting if your in for a long hike.
The hike to the Ala Kul lake
The journey to the lake is tough and varied. Along the way you pass through wooded, rocky and open areas. After crossing the river, you walk the first part through the forest. Then the path starts to rise rapidly and you will probably encounter wild horses. A wooden cabin along the road is a nice place for a rest. In the wild wooden cabin, you can note various carved animals and creatures in de wood of the cabin.
At almost 3000m altitude you will come across a small yurt camp. The people there are more than happy to provide you with a drink or snack. After this stop there’s a steep ascent. You will follow a narrow path along the river. Now you are above the tree line and have a nice view of the Ayu Tor valley. Rounding the peak and you will be rewarded with the view of the azure blue mountain lake. Stunning
Lake Ala Kul is surrounded by rough, snow-capped mountains (four-thousand meters) and the Takur Tor Glacier. It’s impressive. After you have looked around, you can choose to pitch your tent here, return to the Ayu Tor Ryce Camp, or continue on to Altyn Arashan (the valley on the other side of the mountains). On the left, a path goes along the lake up to the Ala Kul pass (3900m). Here, you can feel the air getting thinner with every step. Prepare well, because that will even be a tougher hike.