Kolsay lakes, the Pearl of Kazakhstan.
Excursion to Kolsay lakes.
The Kolsay Lakes are three mountain lakes lying inside the mountain range of the Kungei Alatau (east of Almaty). Lower Kolsai Lake is located at an altitude of 1,818 m above sea level. The greatest depth of the lake is 80 m. The lake has an elongated shape from south to north, the length of the reservoir is 1 km, width is up to 500 m, and a trail passes along the left bank of the lake.
Information about Kolsay lakes.
5 km above is the second lake, called Kolsay-2 (2 252 above sea level). The greatest depth of the lake is about 50 m, its length is more than 1 km and its width is up to 900 m. Kolsay-3 is located 5 km above the second lake (height above sea level is 2,900). The lake is oval, with shores overgrown with juniper. The lakes are flowing, interconnected by the river Kolsay.
Recreation areas of Kolsay lakes.
Recreation areas are provided on the lower lake. There is a camping, conditions for recreation and fishing. To see the second and third lakes, you will have to walk more than one kilometer. The residence of the administration on the lower lake. Sauna, housing, cafes, fishing, horse rental and all other issues are solved here.
Flora and fauna Kolsay lakes.
The lakes are surrounded by rocks, spruces and alpine meadows. There are several plants listed in the Red Book - the Kungei feather grass, Adonis gold, Cossack archa, Schrenk spruce, edelweiss and others.
The water in the lakes is cold and clean. There are rainbow trout - fish that live only in clean running water, as well as four more fish species, two amphibian species, 197 bird species and 29 mammal species, including deer, ibex, wolves, lynx, bears and leopards. In the mountains, there are more than 200 species of animals.
When is it better to go to Kolsay lakes.
July, August and September are the best months to visit these places, but you need to carefully monitor the weather - it is changeable in the mountains. However, you can ride to the lake all year round. It may seem strange, but even in January there are a lot of tourists on Kolsay.
In principle, almost any passenger car will reach the lower lake, but only on the condition of careful driving style. If you go "for all the money," the suspension will give up very quickly and you are guaranteed serious repairs. On the last eighty broken kilometers of the road, something all-wheel drive with a ground clearance of more than 180 mm will feel best. A good option is a jeep (even if it is a “SUV”). In winter, the lake is covered with a thick layer of ice that you can walk on. But be careful - polynyas are not rare near the coast!
Road to Kolsat lakes.
Lake Kolsay is located 275 km east of Almaty. In winter, the road to Kolsay is much better than in summer. Snow smooths out all the bumps
To go to the lake on average 5 hours. It all depends on the car and driver experience. By car to drive longer, because the last 70 km the road is very bad. On average, it takes almost 3 hours to overcome these kilometers on a passenger car, you can meet a half and a half on an SUV.
A few kilometers after Saty village you will drive to the barrier and the huntsman’s house. There, you have to pay 662 tenge per person for visiting the park, 200 tenge for one car and 750 tenge if you plan to spend the night in a tent. It is worth noting that the checks received are valid for 24 hours not only at Kolsay, but also when traveling to Kaindy Lake, located 12 km (in azimuth) east of (the route to Kaindy Lake can be read here).