Natural Attractions in Jyrgalan Valley
Discover sacred rocks, hidden waterfalls, and more!
Natural beauty fills the Jyrgalan Valley. Turquoise alpine lakes, rivers, and waterfalls sparkle in warm summer sunshine. Mountain peaks glisten in the crisp winter skies and white powder fills every crevice, draping itself over coniferous forests and steep mountain paths. It’s a beauty so deep, so remarkable, that it requires no fancy camera-work and no explanations.
It's just a simple reminder to enjoy nature, to enjoy life.
Once you arrive at these natural attractions, forget for a moment every step of your trek, every push of your mountain bike pedal, and every clop of the horse hooves that brought you there. Let the fresh mountain air envelop you, absorb the peaceful silence all around, and recharge. The Jyrgalan Valley invites you to step into nature so clean, so well preserved that you may never want to return home.
Turnaluu Kol Lake
This picturesque lake is 2,700 meters above sea level and is an easy day-trip distance from Jyrgalan village. Turnaluu Kol means Crane Lake, and you can see these beautiful birds from spring through autumn as they migrate here from their winter breeding grounds. During warm weather, pack a swimsuit and you can cool off — the water is surprisingly warm for a high-altitude lake!
Tucked in a rocky cove, the height of this waterfall impresses. The 20-meter Kok-Bel waterfall is a favorite spot with local shepherds who often water their herds in the clear waters that flow into the Kok-Bel River. If you love the relaxing sound of falling water, you'll enjoy this site, which is easily visited as a day trip from the village.
Visit the waterfall: Grab a map from your guesthouse and take a self-guided day-hike from the village on well-marked trails. Or, rent a mountain bike and pedal to the falls. You can also hire a guide and/or horse for a guided half- or full-day tour.
Eki Chat Gorge
At the crossroads of the Jyrgalan and the Terim Tor valleys, Eki Chat is an area long popular with local herders, who use it as an idyllic mountain pasture, known as a jailoo, throughout the summer months (June through September). Colorful wildflowers of juniper and edelweiss blanket the green slopes as fresh breezes keep the gorge cool even on the warmest of days. Framed by soaring mountain peaks and filled with the sounds of grazing herds and gurgling alpine streams, Eki Chat is both beautiful and peaceful.
Visit the gorge: Grab a map from your guesthouse and take a self-guided day-hike from the village on well-marked trails. Or, rent a mountain bike and pedal along the paths. You can also hire a guide and/or horse for a guided half-, full-, or multi-day tour. For an overnight experience, sleep at the Eki Chat Yurt Camp and dine with Danik and his wife, local shepherds who live in Eki Chat during the summer.
Rising straight from the ground in a mostly flat jailoo (summer pasture), Tulpar Tash is massive rock with deep cultural and historical significance for the Kyrgyz people. The story of Tulpar Tash dates to ancient times and is even mentioned in the Epic of Manas, a 500,000-line poem that shares the legends of Manas, a national hero who united the Kyrgyz tribes during their struggle for independence. According to the fable, Manas’ horse jumped from the tall rock — which is backed by the Chunkur Tor mountain range — and his enemies fled in fear. Local residents have carved two saddles recessed into the stone for easier climbing and the rock still bears Manas’ prints, something you should surely see for yourself firsthand.
Visit the rock: Located along the route to Eki Chat gorge, the rock is very easily visited as a self-guided day-trip from the village via a light hike, a horseback ride, or mountain bike path. You can also hire a guide and/or horse for a guided day tour.
This high alpine lake is located trekking distance from Jyrgalan village. Sitting 3,550 meters above sea level, Ailampa Lake is stunningly pretty and an absolute highlight in the region. Visiting the lake affords you panoramic views far into the distance. The Ailampa Glacier opens before you, and the lake’s shimmering blue water perfectly reflects the beauty that surrounds it. (Photo credit: Snell Media)
Visit the lake: Use the detailed trekking map provided by your guesthouse (or Destination Jyrgalan) to follow the well-marked trail on this self-guided 3-day, 2-night trek. This is also available as a guided trek led by a local guide from the Jyrgalan community.