Mountain Biking Around Jyrgalan
Explore the mountains by bike.
With 65 percent of the country occupied by mountain ranges, it makes sense that Kyrgyzstan is home to some of the best mountain biking in Central Asia. The Tian Shan and Pamir ranges both offer mountain cyclists hundreds of miles of trail and off-trail paths to lakes, valleys, and historical sites. For travelers looking for unique adventures a bit off the beaten path, the Jyrgalan Valley has a fast-growing adventure tourism scene. Trekking and horseback riding are the two most popular activities in the area, and mountain biking is quickly emerging as another favorite activity in the Lake Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan.
Mountain biking in the Jyrgalan Valley is suited for everyone, from casual cyclists hoping to explore local sights on two wheels, to beginner mountain bikers, to those who are well-experienced in off-trail riding on rough, rugged terrain. Check out our fully supported half- and full-day mountain bike tours that suit mountain bikes of all levels.
Thanks to a USAID BGI tourism project in 2017, two guesthouses in Jyrgalan village now offer high-quality mountain bikes and gear for rent. Additionally, mountain bikers will have access to miles of trails in the coming years as Destination Jyrgalan continues to map and add new mountain bike routes. This is an ongoing project, so inquire directly about our expanding number of marked mountain biking trails. We expect to add new ones each summer season!
If you’re an independent traveler hoping for a full- or half-day exploring the valley on two wheels, the following information will help you rent a bike and use our free maps to easily ride along well-marked paths to visit the beautiful lakes, rivers, waterfalls near Jyrgalan village.
You can also download a catalog of popular mountain bike trails throughout Kyrgyzstan here.
Be sure to check out our most popular mountain bike tours. These tours provide you with a local guide, mountain bike, helmet and protective gear, and picnic lunch food. This allows you to focus your attention on the experience rather than logistics and trying to find the right trail.
Jyrgalan is a full-service destination, catering to travelers at every skill level. If you are looking for some soft-adventure, consider our day-long mountain bike trails. These are well-marked trails ideal for independent travelers who want a unique and interesting way to explore the area.
If you are a mountain biker interested in rugged, off-road routes through the hills and mountains around Jyrgalan, please get in touch with Destination Jyrgalan directly to discuss the trails and routes best suited to your individual skills and preferences. We offer independent mountain biking (we will supply a map and route details before you leave), or guided mountain bike tours with one of our qualified guides.
Our gorgeous summer months are high season for outdoor adventures in the Jyrgalan Valley. The weather is often sunny with a cool breeze from June through September, creating optimal conditions for outdoor adventures, whether it’s trekking, horseback riding, or even mountain biking. In some cases, lower-altitude routes and nearby sights are open earlier and later in the year, weather permitting. If you’re traveling in the shoulder season, contact Destination Jyrgalan to plan an outdoor adventure suited to the season — we’ll help you avoid inclement weather and harsh temperatures so you have a smooth and memorable experience.
Salamat Guesthouse and Rahat Guesthouse in Jyrgalan each rent high-quality mountain bikes and gear. You can easily book a day-rental directly through the guesthouse once you’re in town, or contact Destination Jyrgalan ahead of time to arrange bike rentals, mapped routes, and/or guided tours.
Mountain bike rentals include a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and free advice on routes to the local sights. Or, you can book one of our mountain bike tours that includes a local guide, mountain bike, protective gear and picnic lunch.
Mountain bike rental price: 800 KGS/day or 400 KGS/half day
Note: If you’re visiting as a group larger than 10 and would like to rent mountain bikes services, please notify Destination Jyrgalan at least three days in advance.
Kok-Bell Waterfall Loop
This light-adventure mountain biking destination is one of the prettiest spots around and is accessible for mountain bikers or independent travelers of any skill level. You’ll enjoy a 13 km round-trip bike ride along well-marked paths, through a narrow canyon, and along paths affording sweeping panoramic views of the Jyrgalan Valley. Bring a boxed lunch from your guesthouse and you can dine with views of the impressive 20-meter Kok-Bel waterfall. This is a favorite spot with locals and makes for a perfect day-trip on a warm summer day.
A half-day leisurely ride of just over 7km serves as a perfect opportunity to explore the landscapes and nature outside the village of Jyrgalan itself. Depart Jyrgalan and cross the river to ascend the hillside, following the marked dirt road on the way to Eki Chat. As a local landmark, Tulpar Tash allows for fantastic photo opportunities, and take time for panoramic views over Jyrgalan Valley and the village itself.
Birch Grove Trail
This mountain bike destination is one of the lightest among our bike tours. It is also beautiful route where you will see the legendary Tulpar Tash stone, then enjoy a forest of beautiful birch trees. You’ll ride on the old, abandoned road and see how Mother Nature transformed this old road into forest. You will see in distance three canyons of Kyzyl Jar, as well as herds of horses, cows, and sheep. Ride to the sounds of Jyrgalan River, and take a lunch box from your guesthouse so you can dine in the open air. This will be unforgettable trip — don’t forget to take a camera with you to enjoy a summer day in Jyrgalan!
Temirlan Stones Trail
Temirlan Stones is one of the more mysterious destinations in Jyrgalan. Located 30 km from Jyrgalan village, the stones are from the Temirlan — the ruler of Samarkand during the medieval ages. As he went war to China, he ordered to every soldier in his army to place a stone in the middle of the pasture. When they returned from the war, he ordered his soldiers to once again find a stone and make another hill of stones — one hill is larger than another, perhaps showing the price the war took on the men in his army. This trail starts at a tough intermediate level as you gain elevation to the Kok-Bel pass at 2,445 meters. After that, it’s an easier ride through the wildflower strewn mountains, and along the way you will see the Tiup river, herds, and herdsman.
Eki Chat Gorge
Eki Chat Gorge is a beautiful spot located at the juncture of two valleys. Colorful wildflowers blanket the green slopes and fresh breezes cool the gorge even on the warmest of days. With 16.6 round-trip kilometers of marked trail, this is a long but rewarding day trip from the Jyrgalan Valley. Alternatively, because of the extensive mountain pastures nearby, it’s also the home of a nomadic herder during the summer months. Danik and his family offer travelers the opportunity to join them for lunch, or stay overnight at the Eki Chat Yurt Camp and make the return trip in the morning, after a hearty breakfast to see you on your way.
Advanced Mountain Biking Trails
The Jyrgalan Valley is a fast-growing destination for outdoor adventure tourism. We are currently developing new mountain biking routes, slated for release in the summer tourist season. Please enquire directly if you’d like to learn how our skilled, knowledgeable guides can help you plan the mountain biking adventure of your dreams in the many miles of rugged trails and peaks nearby.