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Big Almaty Lake

Photo tour to the Big Almaty Lake (BAO)Mountain Hike in the Big Almaty gorge

The Big Almaty Lake is an incredible, beautiful mountain lake with turquoise water, located at an altitude of 2497 meters above sea level in the mountains of the Trans-Ili Alatau in the Ile Alatau Mountain Park. The lake is fed by glacial water and is surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks, peak of the Soviets (4174 m.), Lake Peak (4131 m.), Big Almaty BAP peak (3681 m.). An asphalt road leads to the lake. At the moment, the passage to the lake is closed as repairs are being carried out on the road, and in order to preserve the biodiversity of the region.

How to get there

The Big Almaty Lake is located in the mountains of Almaty at a distance of 15 kilometers from the city in the Big Almaty mountain gorge.
GPS coordinates: 43.0506°N 76.9850°E


The lake is located at the end of a vast valley and is formed by the waters of glaciers. The length of the lake is 1.6 km, width 0.75-1 km. The length of the coastline is 3 km, the depth is 30-40 m. The maximum water level is observed in August, the minimum in February. Fluctuations in the level reach 20 m, the shores of the lake are steep. The Bolshaya Almaty River flows into the lake from the south. Like the vast majority of the Tien Shan lakes, they were formed as a result of earthquakes. Depending on the time of year, the lake changes color - from light green to turquoise blue. Officially, the area around the lake belongs to the Ile-Alatau National Park. The lake is the main source of drinking water for the region. People can get to the lake by car (about 1 hour drive from the city center), by bike or on foot (the trip takes about half an hour). The lake is located 15 km from the city. The entrance to the lake requires payment for the entrance to the national park. Since the lake is the main source of drinking water for Almaty, it is forbidden to swim in it.

BAO Big Almaty lake in the Big Almaty gorge

Tour itinerary:


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