Kok Zhailau Plateau
Kok Zhailau Plateau
Kok-Zhailau is a plateau situated at the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park. The plateau lies between the Big and Small Almaty gorges 10 km Southeast from Almaty at the elevation of 1600m-2200 m above the sea level. Previously this area served as a pasture for animals, today it mostly serves locals and tourists as a recreation area where Almaty residents come for a picnic due to its convenient location and beautiful sceneries.
The the park is inhabited by a vast amount of endangered species of insects and plants. These include 145 species of diurnal butterflies Parnassius apollo, Mountain Apollo, Karanasa dublitzkyi carnase, Karins dublitzkyi etc. 252 species of ground beetles, 110 species of bees, 97 species of burrowing wasps and 33 species of ants. It is also home to 105 bird species, including the black stork, dwarf eagle, golden eagle, kumai, shahin, eagle owl, peregrine falcon and others. Mammals living in the area include the Tien Shan shrew, red lance, gray marmot, Tien Shan mouse, silver vole, mountain goat, roe deer, wild boar, foxes and squirrels.
Kok Zhailau is also a favorite spot for the downhill biking recreationists. The area is perfect for ski touring and climbing as well. In the Kazakh medias there were recently several scandals or stories of unclear happenings related to the construction of a new mountain resort in the area. The local community “Let’s Save Kok-Zhailau” is acting against the project.
HOW TO GET TO Kok Zhailau Plateau
To get to Kok-Zhailau you can take a bus 12 (this bus also runs to Medeo) at any stop on Dostyk Avenue (former Lenin) next to the intersection with Kurmangazy in Almaty. The bus ticket will cost you about 80 to 150 tenge. Usually a lot of tourists take this bus to get to Medeo and its surroundings so after the stop of Medeo the bus empties a lot. You need to get out of the bus when you reach the Prosveschenets stop. It is the stop in front of the cable car.