Kok Zhailau plateau in Almaty mountains, Kazakhstan.
Travel to Kok-Zhailau Plateau.
Kok-Zhailau Plateau is one of the most popular routes among Almaty residents. Every weekend, from 100 to 400 people walk along this trail, regardless of the time of year, people go alone, as a couple, with friends, with family, with small children. Age is not a limitation - parents carry their one-year-old children for a walk in a special backpack, and older people give odds to the young, they go slowly, but surely, often arriving earlier than the rest.
The post was written specifically for those who have not yet visited Kok-Zhailau.
Transport to the trail Kok-Zhailau.
You can get to the Kok-Zhailau trail by car or, in the absence of one, by bus.
1) Start from the Small Almaty Gorge: bus number 12, travel 80tg one way. The ultimate bus in the city: st. Kurmangazy - Dostyk Ave., opposite the Kazakhstan Hotel. We get on the bus, the necessary stop: “Ak-Bulak”. Landmarks: there is a spring where many collect water, a stop and a spring in wooden trim.
2) Start from the Big Almaty Gorge: bus number 28, travel 80tg one way. The ultimate bus in the city: st. Dulati - Al-Farabi Ave., next to the park of the first president. We get on the bus, the necessary stop: "Eco-Post". Also, taxi drivers are on duty at the stop, you can agree for 200-300tg per person (if you wish, even to the barrier). Attention! If you are in your car, an eco-post costs 400tg per person, this rule generally does not apply to taxi drivers, they are “your own”.
The beginning of the trail Kok-Zhailau.
1) From the Ak-Bulak stop (formerly Enlightenment) you need to go a little down, you will see a road that goes steeply uphill to the left and up, we follow this road. After walking about 5-10 minutes on the road, you will see residential buildings on the right, asphalt ends a little further and off-road begins, after passing a little, on the right you will see a pipe with spring water. You can get water if you did not bring it with you. Further, there is a slight branching, along the road you need to go right and up and you will leave on the trail. At the beginning, a steep climb to the ridge, then along the ridge, the path cannot be confused with anything, if you went out on it, do not turn off it and you can easily reach Kok-Zhailau. For an average, unprepared person, climbing to a plateau takes 2-3 hours.
2) A little higher than the eco-post, the asphalt road leads to the left. The first stage: We follow the road, do not turn off it, the path along the road takes about an hour. Second stage: The road ends with a barrier, off-road begins, this can be considered the beginning of the trail. The path to the very Kok-Zhailau will be wide, very well trodden, do not turn off it and reach your destination. The path takes another 2-3 hours.
At Kok-Zhailau there are a couple of tables with benches for eating, do not stay too long there, because there are many who wish, a public place.
What to do if you are already at Kok-Zhailau.
• look at the city from the ridge. It is impossible not to notice the path, it traverses the mountain with a traverse and leads straight to the ridge, it offers excellent views of the city, from tables to the top of the ridge you can walk in 5 minutes.
• go to the Battery Falls. The trail begins at the tables and leads up towards the top of the Three Brothers (three rocks at the top of the mountain, perfectly visible in good weather), then the trees end on the left side and there is an inconspicuous path leading to the left, we go along it and go down between the trees to waterfall, from the tables to the waterfall 15-20 minutes.
• Go up Three Brothers and Kumbel.
There are several options for the descent, I will describe the two most popular:
• Descent to the stop "Ak-Bulak" (Enlightener). I use this option mainly in the summer, sometimes in the winter:
1) go close, in time an hour and a half;
2) you can relax longer on the plateau and, without rushing, start the descent;
3) from the Prosveschenets stop it is easier to get into the city, a bus runs regularly (every 15-20 minutes), you can catch a ride.
• Descent towards the Big Almaty Gorge. I use this option mainly in the winter, sometimes in the summer:
1) go very far, but go down on sleds / skis, etc. - bliss;
2) it is better to start the descent early, because walking takes 3-4 hours, legs get tired, you have to make halts;
3) buses run every half an hour on a schedule, you can catch a ride.
4) To climb this way, I got too busy, A VERY long and long climb demoralizes anyone, even me.
For those who go for the first time, the following information will be useful:
How to dress, what to take with you on a day trip?
How to dress in the summer?
• trekking shoes with hard soles;
• tight socks (so as not to rub the corn);
• sweatpants / shorts;
• thermal underwear / t-shirt;
• fleece jacket;
• windbreaker raincoat;
• headdress (cap, panama, bandana);
Things that may come in handy (depending on the season):
• spare socks;
• down jacket or vest;
• interchangeable shirt / t-shirt.
How to dress in the winter?
• insulated trekking shoes with hard soles, high rise;
• shoe covers (flashlights) from snow;
• thick warm socks;
• warm waterproof pants, gaiters / thermal underwear;
• thermal underwear, turtleneck / t-shirt;
• fleece jacket;
• ski jacket (with a warm base);
• down vest / jacket;
• scarf / buff;
• headdress (hat);
• gloves, mittens;
• sunglasses (required, snow blinds);
Things that may come in handy:
• spare socks;
• sweatshirt / sweater;
• interchangeable shirt / t-shirt;
• headlamp (just in case).
Universal nutrition options:
• tea / coffee in a thermos;
• 1 l. drinking water;
• sandwiches (bread / cheese / sausage);
• fresh vegetables / fruits;
• boiled eggs, potatoes + salt;
• nuts / raisins / dried apricots;
• whenever possible - any other goodies.
• spray from ticks (for spring and summer);
• sunblock (mandatory in winter);
• the medicine you need (for example, for allergies);