Ala-too is a wide mountain range in the North of the Tian Shan range in Kyrgyzstan. It extends over 354 km between the South and the southeast of the Issyk-Kul lake, up to the extreme northeast of Kyrgyzstan. Its variety of landscapes make for magnificent hikes in the heart of wilderness.
A little bit of history
Ala-too means "snowy mountains". It used to mark the natural boundary between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The “Ala-Too” range nowadays
Ala-too is a mountain range belonging to the Tian Shan stretching from Talas region West of the Boom Gorge to the East. Its highest peak, which is called Semenov, is 4 875 meters (15 994 ft) high and puts it as a top attraction for skilled alpinists.
Ala Too offers very diversified landscapes with its rocky gorges, its sumptuous green valleys, its turquoise lakes, its snow-covered summits, its glaciers and its pine forests. A national park in Ala-Archa was created to preserve this wilderness that you’ll be able to discover through more or less fitted out paths.
Only 40 km away from the Kyrgyz capital, in the North of the country, the Ala-Archa national park, which extends over an area of more than 2 200 ha (5 436 acres), guarantees many discoveries and will satisfy both trekkers and mountaineers. You will be impressed by the view of the stunning heights of Korona's peak (4 860 m or 15 945 ft) and the Adygene peak (4 393 m or 14 413 ft). There is a base camp on the path to one of the glaciers, allowing you to get there quickly and stay overnight.
The Ala Too mountain range is also famous for its high mountain lakes. Go to the Lake Kel-Tor at 2 700 m (8 858 ft) of altitude in a valley of the same name! The view on the lake is just fabulous. You can admire its surprising turquoise water surrounded by majestic mountains. Spruce forests surround the West Bank of the Lake Kel-Tor which makes the scenery even more stunning.
In spring, the valleys of Ala-Too are covered with magnificent flowers that add to the color of the snow-covered mountains in the background. It’s such a beautiful landscape! It makes you feel like you are in heaven.
How to get to Ala-Too?
Ala-Too is located 40 km south from the capital of Kyrgyzstan. From Bishkek, there are minibuses that go to miscellaneous destinations around the city. They can take you to Ala-Too. However, taking a taxi will be the easiest option, as the driver will be able to drop you off directly at the starting point of your hike.