What to Do in Jyrgalan Valley
Experience adventure throughout winter and summer.
Perhaps you’ve seen photos of our mountains — crystal-clear alpine lakes ringed by snow-capped peaks. Or perhaps you’ve read about our deep, pristine snowfall in the winter — a blank canvas of paths and adventures for freeride skiers. Maybe you’ve even heard whispers about a small community in eastern Kyrgyzstan just opening to tourism — a community steeped in Kyrgyz culture and traditions.
Everything you’ve heard? It’s true. The Jyrgalan Valley offers adventurous travelers miles of marked trails suitable for trekking, horseback riding, and even mountain biking — we offer maps for independent travelers interested in self-guided adventures, or a range of guided tours that will support you every step of the way. Our trails visit some of Kyrgyzstan's most remarkable natural attractions and you can even combine your experiences with yurt stays and other opportunities to immerse in the nomadic traditions that have been a part of Kyrgyz culture for millennia.
Jyrgalan village is a gateway to the natural beauty and outdoor adventures located throughout the Jyrgalan Valley. With ample guesthouses designed to meet the needs of independent travelers, knowledgeable local guides at the ready to serve you, and adventure on your doorstep, sink into the experience and discover why Jyrgalan just might be Kyrgyzstan's best kept secret.
Outdoor Adventure Tours
If you're interested in heading into the mountains on foot, horseback, or mountain bike, Destination Jyrgalan's range of tours fit every type of adventure. Each tour is organized to highlight the best sites in the Jyrgalan Valley that fit your skill level, interests, and time (we offer half-, full-, or multi-day experiences). Even more, our tours take care of every detail so you can truly immerse yourself in the environment, soak up the natural beauty, enjoy every moment — you'll have a knowledgable local mountain guide, access to gear appropriate to your trek, delicious Kyrgyz food, and more.
Trekking in Jyrgalan Valley
Be among the first travelers in the world to enjoy the trails and treks that spread from Jyrgalan village far into the Tian Shan Mountains. Once known only to locals and shepherds, these marked trails offer the opportunity to embark on everything from light-adventure treks to nearby waterfalls, to epic multi-day adventures scaling the mountain peaks and seeking the best vantages and views for thousands of miles around. Take a look at our treks; we promise we have one just right for you.
With world-class trekking nearly synonymous with Kyrgyzstan, it makes sense that these same mountains also afford adventurers numerous horse treks, too. It’s easy to plan a range of outdoor activities that leave from Jyrgalan and immediately immerse you in nature. And while you’re horseback riding in the mountains (and enjoying your comfortable and new western-style saddle), plan a yurt stay on the jailoo and eat with nomadic shepherds, or hike to a gorgeous alpine lake. Both are experiences you won’t soon forget.
Although off-the-beaten-path, Jyrgalan is accessible and features surprisingly solid infrastructure for tourism. This includes mountain biking. Several guesthouses in Jyrgalan offer high quality mountain bikes and gear for rent if you’re keen to explore the mountain paths on two wheels. Strap on your helmet and follow the paths to a nearby waterfall, follow the road toward Eki Chat (a summer pasture for nomadic shepherds), or inquire about our expanding number of marked mountain biking trails — we add new ones each summer season!
Winter is a remarkable time to visit Jyrgalan village. Positioned in the Terskey Ala-Too mountain range, the region and its climate conspire to offer skiers and snowboarders the perfect circumstances for backcountry winter sports. There’s little wind, it’s cold but not brutally so, and you just might have the entire mountain to yourself. That’s right, not a crowd in sight. Advanced freeride skiing and snowboarding is the most popular winter sport in Jyrgalan, but gentle mountain slopes nearby provide an ideal location for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and other fun outdoor adventures, too!
Picturesque throughout the year, but particularly stunning in the summer, beautiful alpine lakes, rivers, and waterfalls fill the Jyrgalan Valley. Some of these natural wonders are an easy day hike from the village, others invite you to earn the right to view their splendor. And a few are even imbued with historic and cultural significance for the locals. Here are the sights you won’t want to miss when you venture into the Jyrgalan Valley.
Cultural Activities and Festivals
The Jyrgalan Valley is more than adventure and beauty, it’s also an ideal place to immerse in the Kyrgyz traditions passed down for generations. In the village’s idyllic setting you can undergo a kymyz treatment with fermented mare’s milk or participate in a felt crafts workshop and take home a hand-made souvenir. You could also head outdoors for a rousing game of kok-boru and cheer alongside the locals for your favorite horse and riders, or stay indoors and join local musicians for a memorable folklore shore filled with music, dancing, and more. Join one of the Jyrgalan community’s cultural activities and you’ll step right into our Kyrgyz traditions.