1-day easy trek to a beautiful mountain lake “Kol-Tor” close to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

If you are looking for a 1-day easy trek to mountain lake close to Karakol there is one good option. Everyone knows about Ala-Kul lake, but it is harder to reach and you need to spend at least 1-2 nights over there in high altitudes. Kol-Tor is a good option for those seeking easy trek and who has only one day for treking. You don’t need any special equipment as tents or sleeping bags. You can take just comfortable shoes and clothes, some snacks for lunch and that is it!

Here is the plan for your ideal day of treking to mountain lake Kol-Tor:

So, let’s say you had a great night at my place Happy Nomads Yurt Camp in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan.  So, please wake up early. Have a breakfast at 8 A.M. At 8.30 comes a guide. You can go without guide too if you wish.  At 8.30 we will order you and your guide a taxi to bazaar. Taxi costs 70 soms (about $1) There taxi driver will drop you at taxi place. Tell to taxi drivers that you are heading to Kaiyrma-Aryk village. Shared taxi costs 50 soms per person. But it means you will share this taxi with other 3 persons. If you pay 200 soms, than this taxi will be yours. I’ve pointed taxi place on the google maps below and Kaiyrma Aryk village. It is 26,5 km and takes about 20-30 minutes to get there by car.


So, at 9.30 you will be at starting poit. From there you need to go on foot. Or rent a horse. Below is the map. So you have an idea. The altitude at the start is 1883 meters, the lake itself is in 3084 meters above sea level. It takes 2.5-3 hours to get to the lake on foot. lakeIn 30 minutes of walking, you will be here. You know which direction to go from picture below:pointedIMG_2444You will see the path. It is almost impossible to get lost. IMG_2446View to the Ak-Suu valley. IMG_2449IMG_2450Going up and up. It is easy to find the lake, because the small rivers that you see comes from the lake. So, you just follow the river. IMG_2459IMG_2461Even in summer you will be able to see the snow. IMG_2462Hobbit movie could be filmed here. Am I right? 🙂IMG_2463IMG_2464Finally we will see the lake by 12.30 PM. IMG_2465Lake is 408 meters long and 180 meters wide. Water is super cold. You can actually drink its water. It is crystal clear. IMG_2466View from the lake. IMG_2467IMG_2468Lunch time. Take your snacks. Don’t forget to share with friends 🙂 You can lie and look for 4,000 meters peaks and glaciers. IMG_2469IMG_2470IMG_2471That’s it! It will take 1,5 hours to come back to Kaiyrma Aryk village. So you can stop here and rest till let’s say 4 PM. By 5.50 PM you will be at village where taxi driver will be waiting for you. So negotiate with a driver who took you here in the morning. Don’t forget to have a cell phone with local sim card. And in 30 min by 6 PM you will come to Karakol. Have a shower and have dinner. We had a great day! So, this is the ideal 1-day plan.

Thanks for your time reading this article!



If you have questions or wanted to book accomodation at our place, please contact us:

Happy Nomads Yurt Camp
Toktogul/Elebaev streets intersection
Karakol, Ysyk Kol province, Kyrgyzstan
tel: +996 770 521138
+996 706 521138 (whatsup number)


2 thoughts on “1-day easy trek to a beautiful mountain lake “Kol-Tor” close to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

  1. Very nice blog! Thank you for sharing. I’m in Karakol right now and trying to decide where to trek next, having finished the Ala Kol lake trek today.


  2. Thanks Tynchtyk!
    We did this trek following your post. It was really beautiful and easy in some ways—but hard if you are not used to hiking at altitude, and the elevation gain is serious! It took us a bit longer than you; about 6 hours for the ~18km.
    Also, we did get a little lost, so two pieces of advice for hikers:
    —at the trailhead, cross the river and go right and uphill on the dirt road. Don’t go left!
    —When you get to the meadow with the photo, be sure to bear quite far right to catch the trail as you go uphill. We thought the trail was going too far to the right so we didn’t take it and just bushwhacked straight up a gully. It worked, but following the proper trail on the way down was much better!
    —Make sure you have Google Maps terrain downloaded before you lose signal, it will really help. Have fun!


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