Assy plateau — Kaindy lake — Kolsay lake


4 days




700 km

total distance
длина велочасти

125 km

cycling distance

Route description

The route runs through picturesque areas of Ile-Alatau National Park.

We will drive up the Turgen gorge to the top, i.e. Assy astronomical observatory. Here the cycling route starts. The cycling route passes through the high-mountain Assy plateau. Assy plateau reaches a height of up to 3000 meters above sea level. It is famous for rich landscape and photo enthusiasts can enlarge their collections with excellent shots! The plateau is steeped in history: we will see the ancient mounds, and eagle-eyed viewers might notice the rock paintings. In summer, the plateau is used by shepherds as a pasture for cattle. Here you can see a lot of nomads’ tents (yurts) and huge herds of domestic animals. Assy plateau is beautiful in its own way at any time of the year!

Further, we will travel to the most famous Kazakhstan lakes!

Lake Kaindy is a popular tourist destination in one of the gorges of Kungoy Ala-Too, formed in the early 20th century as a result of an earthquake, when a large limestone landslide blocked the gorge. Despite the low water temperature, Lake Kaindy is popular among diving enthusiasts. The main attraction of the lake are Picea schrenkiana trees that rise above the surface of the lake. The lake is often called dead, as there are no fish in it. The maximum depth of the reservoir reaches 21 meters.

Kolsay Lakes is a system of three lakes on the north slope of the Tian Shan Mountains, in the Kolsay gorge, that is in the bridge connecting the Kungoy Ala-Too and Zailiyskiy Alatau ranges. The lakes are located 10 km to the north of the border with Kyrgyzstan, 330 km southeastward of Almaty. The lakes are called Pearls of Tien Shan. The lakes are surrounded by a pine-wood of Schrenk’s spruce. The depth of the lakes reaches 50 m. It even has rainbow trout. We will visit the third lower lake Kolsay.


Day one
Almaty — Turgen gorge — Assy plateau

On a bicycle: up to 40 km
Vertical climb: 500 meters
Descent: 1,400 meters
Terrain — plateau, one mountain crossing

06:00-09:00: Travel by car from Almaty to Assy astronomical observatory
09:00-11:00: Breakfast, preparation for the cycling route
11:00: Start of the cycling route, cycling along Assy plateau and high-mountain summer pasture
17:00: Approximate arrival time to the field camp
17:00-19:00: Installation of the field camp. Leisure activities
19:00-20:00: Dinner

Day two
Assy plateau — Bartogay lake — Charyn Canyon — Saty village

On a bicycle: up to 25 km
Vertical climb: 700 meters
Descent: 1,300 meters
Terrain — plateau, one mountain crossing

07:00-08:00: Breakfast
08:00-09:00: Decamp and preparation for the cycling route
09:00-13:00: Cycling route from the camp to the Bartogay lake
13:00-14:00: Loading of bicycles, lunch.
14:00-17:00: Travel by car to Saty village and check-in at a guest house
19:00-20:00: Dinner
20:00-22:00: Refreshment time, a chance to take a shower

If you wish, after the finish of the cycling route, we can briefly visit the Charyn canyon. In this case, we will arrive at the guest house three hours later.

Day three
Kaindy lake

Cycling distance of 30 km
Vertical climb: 750 meters
Descent: 750 meters.
Terrain: smooth ascent to the lake and descent to the guest house

08:00-09:00 — Breakfast
09:00-11:00: Cycling route to Lake Kaindy
11:00-13:00: Walk around the lake
13:00-14:30: Descent to the guest house
14:30-15:30: Lunch at the guest house
15:30-19:00: Leisure activities, you can either walk along the Chilik river, or order a horse ride walk along the Chilik river. Either ascend on foot or by bicycle to the Satinskoye gorge
20:00: Dinner at the guest house

Day four
Kolsay lake — Almaty

Cycling distance of 30 km
Vertical climb: 500 meters
Descent: 500 meters
Terrain: smooth ascent to the lake and descent to the guest house

07:00-08:00: Breakfast
08:00-09:00: Travel by car to the third lower lake Kolsay
09:00-11:00: Walk along the lake
11:00-13:00: Descending on bicycles to Saty village
13:00-14:00: Lunch, a chance to take a shower, packing for a return journey,
14:00-20:00: Returning to Almaty. We will make a stopover for dinner in Baiseit or Chilik village


  • Lead car

    1 470 €
    Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus (4 WD) with six seats in the passenger compartment, equipped with THULE bike racks
  • Additional car

    970 €
    Mitsubishi Delica minibus (4 WD) with seven seats in the passenger compartment, equipped with THULE bike racks


  • Transportation of participants and bicycles to the start of the cycling route and back to the city
  • Full car support along the route
  • Bicycle mechanic with an extended set of tools
  • Cycling guide accompanying the participants along the cycling part of the route
  • Cook’s services and meals along the route (except for cafes)
  • Environmental fees at the entrance to the national parks
  • General tourist equipment: tables, chairs, dishes, tent, canteen tent, washbasin, gas burners
  • Two-person tents (double occupancy), sleeping pads (to be placed in tents)
  • Accommodation in guest houses and recreation camps that are included in some routes
  • Meals in cafes during scheduled stops
  • Services not provided along the route, such as horseback riding, which is available at certain stops along the routes
  • Bike rent in case you do not have your own bike

You can rent a bike with us. You can also travel along the entire route in a minibus. It’s a bit more boring than on a bike, but you will see all the same places and landmarks.

Bike rental price:

  • Hardtail

    100 €
  • Full suspension

    150 €
  • Bicycle
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Helmet, cycling gloves and other safety equipment if you like
  • Individual medical kit (if you have any diseases)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Cycling backpack
  • Windbreaker, raincoat
  • Clothes according to the weather for the active part of the route and for evening hours in the camp
  • Proper shoes for the active part of the route and another pair of shoes for the camp
  • Passport or other ID (you should always have one at hand, as many routes run across border areas, and there may be random checks)
  • Simple carbohydrates to consume while cycling