Route: Almaty – Big Almaty Gorge – Mountain Resort «Alpine Rose» – Shukur Gorge – Moon Glade – Shukur Waterfall – Big Almaty Lake – Almaty
Best Period: June-September
Route Complexity: 11 km simple hiking route which does not require special training, suitable for both adults and children
Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours
Heights Difference: +635 meters/-260 meters, maximum altitude – 2670 m a.s.l.
Shukur gorge is located not far from “Alpine Rose” mountain resort between Ozyornoye (Lake) and Kumbelsu gorges. Popular among hikers who like one-day and multiple days routes, because through this gorge you can go to the glacier of Soviet peak, move to the neighboring gorges – Kumbelsu and Tuyuksu. Gorge is famous for the picturesque Moon Glade – popular place among citizens and guests of Almaty. There is a small waterfall in the gorge, where you can swim after a walk on a hot summer day, mountain ice cold water will immediately refresh and give strength. From Shukur gorge you can go to the neighboring Ozyornoye (Lake) gorge, where one of the pearls of Trans-Ili Alatau mountains is located – impressive Big Almaty Lake, changing its color depending on the time of the year.
Departure from Almaty to “Alpine Rose” mountain resort at 09:00, where hiking route starts. Following very good pathway, you will overcome a long ascent and then, after moving downhill, you will find yourself in the middle of wide valley of the gorge, which is called Moon Glade. The way to the glade will take about 30 minutes. Then, you will cross the river and begin to climb up along the rocky path (about 30 minutes) to the waterfall, where you will have a rest, enjoy your snacks and can also swim in the waterfall. Further you will descend to the Moon Glade, from where you will take a serpentine pathway, steeply going up. After reaching top of the ridge, you can relax on a bench, have a picnic and admire the slopes of Rocky peak, located nearby. Next you have to cross two more small ridges, after that you will see panorama of charming Big Almaty Lake. Here you can have a rest and take amazing pictures. Further your path will lay along the road, running from the border with neighboring Kyrgyzstan Republic. About half an hour and you will be at the dam, where border guard officers are usually on duty, because the lake is a strategic object and its water is used to supply Almaty city by drinking water. In the parking lot in front of the dam you will find the car, which will deliver you back to Almaty city.
* This program requires to have your passport with you, as part of the route passes in the border area with Kyrgyz Republic
Recommendations for Clothing:
For comfortable hiking you need clothing that will not restrict movement – pants and jacket. The shoes should be without high heels: tourist trekking boots or similar, with a good sole and high lacing or sneakers. It is also desirable to bring warm clothes, warmer than you normally wear; during the cold season – a hat and gloves. Water container, or thermos with hot tea. Don’t forget sunglasses!