Bishkek is the capital city of Kyrgyzstan and it is located in the Chui valley. Known for lush greenery and gorgeous nature; as the city is famous for its position and greenest city in the world. It has number of parks and gardens which makes it a must visit place in summers to enjoy the bliss of its true essence. Ala Archa National Park is one such precious destination to visit in Bishkek.

Ala Archa National Park

Ala Archa National Park is just 40kms away from Bishkek. It is a one stop destination for trekkers, picnickers, hikers, skiers as well as mountain climbers. Established in 1976, the park is located in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The park surrounds the gorge of the Ala Archa River and the mountains around it. It spread over 200 square kilometres with 20 small and large glaciers and approx. 50 mountain peaks within the park. There are two small rivers too: the Adygene and the Ak-Sai which originate from glaciers.

How to Reach Ala Archa National Park

To reach the park it is would be best to hire a taxi from Bishkek. Otherwise you can take a Marshrutkas (number 265) from Osh Bazaar which leaves at 0800 and 1050. As from the park entrance the trailhead is another 12kms, commuting through taxi becomes a more comforting option. But if you don’t mind walking 12 km, you can skip the vehicle part and just start trekking your way through it. There is a chargeable fee for entering the park: 80som/person and 200som for vehicle but it is worth it!

Destination Information on Ala Archa National Park

Upon reaching the main point of the park, a guesthouse and some small cafes will be seen where you can rest for few minutes if you have walked down all the way through the main gate. The trail has a very informative display which includes the descriptions and directions for the hikers. The information is also present in English which will guide you to two itineraries. One is a 3.75km trail to the Ak Sai waterfall and other is additional 2kms to Ratsek Hut. The river trail moves along the Ala archa river basin which passes through an Alpinist cemetery.

Advice How to Visit Ala Archa National Park

  1. If you plan to visit the park it is highly advised to pack some warm clothing and hiking shoes otherwise it will get really difficult to walk around comfortably. As Bishkek is quite warm in summers, the mountain area is colder is comparison to Bishkek. If you visit during late summers you might even get to see snowfall. It is also suggested to keep your water bottles and plenty of food stored with you for the whole journey as you will frequently get tired and famished due to long walks and steep trails.
  2. As they say, “life is a climb, but the view is great”. Once you reach the destination, gorgeous views and splendid beauty of nature welcomes you with open arms. The mesmerising sceneries will feed on your mind forever and you will get engrossed in the charm of the waterfall surrounded by the high mountains. You won’t be able to resist yourself from going near to the river and splash the cold water on your face. It will surely sooth your body and takes away the weariness of the journey.
  3. The whole trek till waterfall is properly marked and sign boards are present to guide the travellers but, if you are seeking to go beyond the waterfall towards the glaciers then there are no well-marked paths and the trek becomes quite tough for a beginner. No matter where you head to in the Ala Archa you are surely going to witness some of the most breath taking views and scenes. They will leave you speechless at one point and content at other.

Conclusion

Ala Archa has range of trails of various levels of difficulty which has something to offer to everyone. The journey through the mountains will surely bring closer to yourself and will make you stronger to deal with various difficulties and challenging circumstances. If you go alone it is possible that you might return back with lots of new friends. This place is a must visit if you travel to Bishkek and you will return with lots of good memories and stories to tell. I hereby recommended you the best of Bishkek Tour Packages for family, group or individual traveller by TravelsMantra.com from India.