The Big Almaty Lake is a natural alpine reserve located in the National Park of the AlaToo Island, only 15 km (9.3 miles) south of Almaty city center in Kazakhstan. This mountain lake is located 2,511 m (7,910 ft) above sea level and offers a great opportunity for a short trip out of the city.
Its wilderness, its bright blue water, its pine forest and its bordering summits are for the most refreshing, and will brighten your stay in Kazakhstan.
The Big Almaty Lake appeared around ten thousand years ago after a large earthquake in the region. The surprising landscape of the lake clearly shows the aftermath of the earthquake still today.
The Big Almaty Lake is a real marvel with its landscape made of snowcapped mountains and deep forests. From the North shore of the lake, you’ll be able to have a glance at the majestic Sovetov Peak (4,317 m or 14,163 ft) at the south-west, the Ozyorny Peak at the south (4,110 m or 13,484 ft) and the Turist Peak at the south-west (3,954 m or 12,972 ft). These summits stand tall in the Kazakh Tian Shan mountain range.
The Big Almaty Lake gets its source from melting glaciers. It is 1.6 km (1 mile) long, almost 1 km (0.6 miles) wide and has a maximum depth of 40 m (131 ft). Its turquoise water and the dark green of the surrounding forests make a beautiful mix of color, ideal for your photos.
The access to the lake is controlled, since it is the major water holder for Almaty. There is a big dam on the lake, but it does not spoil the landscape. Local authorities also make sure that there is no pollution or contamination in the water, which is an important resource for the city and the region.
The Big Almaty Lake is a major attraction for locals too, who love going there on the weekends to get some fresh air. You can go for a hike near the lake and climb up to beautiful panoramic views on the mountains. You might see some of the wild animals roaming around the area or some rare plants, too.
If you want to extend your stay at the Big Almaty Lake, you can grab a bite at the observatory or even spend the night there under a starry sky.
You can easily get to the Big Almaty Lake from the city center. Touristic buses leave the center of the city from the Almaty Stadium to the lake every morning. The journey takes around one hour on the mountain road. You can also take a taxi to get there.