Hiking to the Kairak waterfall in Turgen gorge

Hiking to the Kairak waterfall

 Hiking to Kairak waterfall

Kairak waterfall is located in the Turgen gorge on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park, 80 km east of Almaty. Turgen gorge is one of the most beautiful and long gorges in Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. Turgen is known for its 7 waterfalls, as well as unique reserve with Sievers apple trees - the genetic ancestor of all the apple trees on earth. 

The hiking part starts at a confluence of Turgen and Kishi Turgen rivers, near Batan place in the upper reaches of Turgen gorge. A good, wide path follows up the Turgen stream: it was initially designed to be used as a National Park’s road but the main bridge in Batan has been washed away by the mudflow, so now everyone can enjoy this nice walk to the Big Kairak waterfall!
There are 8 kilometers in total from Batan (start point) to the waterfall, and there is no significant difference in height thus no any ascents, steep slopes and dangerous points. All you need is to enjoy the amazing wild nature around – deep pine groves (local Schrenk pine) paved with endemic mossy grasses, ash-tree shrubs, colorful meadows full of flowers, dragonflies and butterflies…Having crossed 11 old bridges, you finally come at a confluence of Turgen and Kairak rivers where you should turn left and hike up for another 20 minutes through the spruce grove, following the Kairak river. Even there, inside a forest you can hear the voice of the falling water: Kairak waterfall appears suddenly, just around the last corner.
The Kairak waterfall is one of the biggest in the region: it’s height is more than 55 meters (70 in total) and it never dries. Thanks to the location, it still remains clear and untouched by civilization. Turgen area is also famous for its nature and wildlife - here live deer, wild pigs, lynx and different kinds of birds.
A way to the waterfall takes 2,5-3 hours of walking. Way back takes another 2 hours, so you should consider 5-6 hours of walking in total.

 Season   early May - late October
 Distance one way  8 km
 Ascent/eleveation     430m
 Descent   430m
 Highest point  2130m
 Lowest point   1700m
 Trekking time  6 hours
 Difficulty  easy

Kairak waterfall hiking map