Boom Gorges are located in the north of Kyrgyzstan, in the provinces of Issyk-Kul and Chuy. The gorge, which stretches for about 30km in length, is crossed by a road and railway from the capital to the jewel of Kyrgyzstan, Issyk Kul Lake. During your stay in Kyrgyzstan, you will be able to make a magnificent hike and enjoy this fabulous arid scenery up to the Konorchek canyon.
A little bit of history
Canyons were formed between 1.5 and 2 million years ago.
The name "Boom" means "evil spirit". The gorge has acquired this name in recognition of the trials and misadventures that it presented to anyone who tried to pass through. In 1850, a Russian explorer called Pyotr Semyenov was the first to succeed. It took 21 days to cover the whole gorge.
It took 22 years but a road was finally built in the explorer’s tracks in 1871-73. Then, a path was cut out following the contours and the sinuous course of the river Chu.
A monument was erected in memory of the 1916 exodus victims near the entrance to the Boom Gorge. That year, tens of thousands of Kyrgyz people perished in the gorge.
Discovery of Boom gorge
The Boom gorge, pronounced boh-ohm, offers superb walks to the Konorchek Canyon.
At the entrance of the gorge, the only source of water is a perfect place to rest from the long trip before exploring the gorge and discovering its mysteries. You cannot miss the bird-eye view onto the river Chu which has made its way through this arid, almost desert landscape. With no obvious dwelling and cultural reference, the region could unquestionably be used for filming western movies or even science fictions.
Don't be surprised to come across walls during your hike. These walls were indeed installed in order to protect and limit the risk of landslides on the road. Nevertheless, despite these precautions, the road may be closed and blocked for several hours.
The river also gives adrenalin lovers an opportunity to try out rafting. Moreover, this section of the river downstream from Krasniy Most to Kemin is to many one of the best rafting spots in the country.
How to get there?
To get to the Boom gorge, there are buses going to the canyon. There are also shared taxis that leave from Bishkek to Cholpon-Ata. The journey can last 3 hours.