Ala Kul also called Ala Köl is a lovely altitude glacial lake in Kyrgyzstan. It is situated at an altitude of 3,560 metres between the Karakol and Altyn Arashan valleys, in the Terskey Alatau mountain range. This natural lake is a highly sought-after attraction for hike lovers who come to explore the region.
The name Ala Kul means "Motley Lake". Putimtsoff, a Russian explorer, was first to visit the lake in 1811. Following this discovery, he was then able to establish a beautiful description of the place including the different colors of the water and also the names of the winds blowing around the lake. It was only 30 years later that the famous German naturist Alexander Schrenk travelled to the site to attest to the explorer's stories. Since then, the lake has become a popular hiking site.
Ala Kul Lake
Nestled in the mountains, the magnificent **Ala Kul glacial lake ** justifies a hike between the Karakol and Altyn Arashan valleys. Its beauty is revealed to the world, it has become a popular destination for hikers. The lake is relatively small with an area of about 1.5 km² and a depth not exceeding the 70 meters. It is possible to make a quick tour of it and enjoy all its reflections which reveal a little more of its splendor in every point of view.
The beauty of the lake is all the same deserved. Perched at 3560 meters of altitude, the access to the lake is done by a long ascent which can present some difficulties in particular once passed the Kurgar Tor. Nevertheless, on your way, you will have the opportunity to meet some wild animals, herds of yaks or sheep and some yurts camps, also families who will invite you to drink tea, enough to make small appreciable breaks. From the Ala Kul Pass, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the peaks of Karakol, Djiguit and Oguz Bashi peaks. The unspoiled surrounding nature will leave you speechless and meditative while your mind runs free.
Keep in mind that an altitude close to 4,000 meters high is likely to cause some pain from 3,000 meters and up. Try to slowly get used to altitude conditions before attempting to conquer the lake ; some portions of the climb are particularly steep and difficult, as mentioned earlier.
How to get there?
The Ala Kul lake is easily joined from the Karakol base camp. The path is well traced and easily found. Head east towards the west forest then follow the valley to the Ala Kul lake. The hike to the Ala Kul lake can take between 1 and 3 days depending on the route and your walking speed. Other departures can be done from the Altyn Arashan valley.