The sky-blue Kolasy lakes are located in the Kazakh part
of the Kungey Alatau Range of the Central Tien-Shan in
the far south-east the country some 250 km from Almaty.
There are excellent trekking and hiking option around
and between these fascinating mountain lakes.
are three different lakes at 1,818, 2,252 and 2,700 m.
The lakes are considered some of the most beautiful lakes
of the Northern Tien-Shan, surrounded by Alpine meadows
The surrounding mountains
are the Sarydjaz, Katta-Ashutor and Meridian ridges, with
the highest point of Kazakhstan - Khan-Tengri peak (7,010
m). In the Meridian ridge lies Kazakhstan's second peak
- Marble Wall (6,400 m). Also
some of the the biggest glaciers of Central Tien-Shan
are concentrated there: Southern Inylchek, Semenova glacier.
3-4 hours from Almaty the first Kolsay lake is accessible
by road with any normal vehicle. A small fee is applicable
for vehicles and passengers to the local Zakaznik staff.
Zhibek Zholy runs a very nice but pricey guesthouse and
sauna on the Eastern slopes of the first lake, there are
simple huts, guides and horses available from the local
staff, but wekends should be avoided.
relatively tough hike to the 2nd lake takes about 3-5
hours depending on the weather conditions. Season to visit
for hiking is Mid May through October. Lake Kolsay is
the starting point for most Kazakhstan-based organised
horseback riding across the passes to lake Issyk Kul in