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WildTicket Asia » Kazakhstan tours and excursions » Sights Almaty region » Charyn Canyon, Valley of Magic Castles

Charyn Canyon, Valley of Magic Castles

Interesting places of Almaty regionJeep tour from Almaty to Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon (also known as Sharyn Gorge) is a natural monument, a canyon on the Charyn River, located 200 kilometers from the city of Almaty near the border with the People's Republic of China. The length of the canyon is from 80 to 90 kilometers, the most interesting part of the canyon is the famous Valley of Castles, the length of the canyon is 2.5–3 kilometers, along the canyon you can go to the Charyn River. There are places to relax here, a small yurt camp is open in the summer, here you can have a great rest and spend time. The places here are very beautiful, the canyon is an analogue of the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon) which is located in the USA.

How to get there

Charyn Canyon is located in the Almaty region in the Charyn Nature Reserve Park, 200 kilometers from the city of Almaty, Rayymbek district.
GPS coordinates: 43°21'29"N 79°05'33"E


The canyon is located along the banks of the fast-flowing Charyn River on the northern watershed, which is the Ili River. The total length of the river is 393 kilometers, it flows from the Tien Shan Mountains, which means "Heavenly Mountains". The geological formation of this canyon is "strange and colored formations" in the form of natural sculptures, it is a red sedimentary rock that arose as a result of water erosion and weathering.

Travel from Almaty to Charyn Canyon

You can get to the canyon from Almaty along the main road in the eastern direction, which passes through small villages called Chilik, Bayseit and Kokpek, a distance of about 190 kilometers. There is a road sign on the road to the parking place for tourists who want to visit the canyon. From the parking lot there is a path leading to the canyon. Extreme sports such as rafting and canoeing can be enjoyed on the Charyn River. Fishing is conducted in the river in the area where there is a type of fish called Naked Osman. There are also many panoramic points where you can look at the canyon from a height and admire the views, take photos for memory.

Relict Ash forest in the Charyn Canyon

About 20 kilometers from the canyon there is an Ash forest. This forest is in the shadow of a canyon. In this forest grows a tree known as the Sogdian ash, a tree that is said to have existed since the Ice Age and is one of the unique forest formations in the world. The forest was declared a protected nature reserve in 1964. Currently, the reserve is united with the Charyn National Park. In addition to ash trees, other types of trees such as willow, poplar and barberry grow here. This area can be reached by another road from Almaty, which passes through the villages of Kokpek, Shonzy and Zharkent.

Charyn Canyon in the Charyn Nature Reserve


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