Chunkurchak Gorge is one of nearest gorges to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan being only 40 km away. Chunkurchak is located between the larger Ala-Archa National Park and Alamedin valley and the length of the gorge is only about 30 km. In the southern and higher end of the gorge, there are snowy peaks and glaciers of Kurgak-Tor, Scriabin, Baychichikey, and Komsomolets in the Uchitel mountain range at the height of 3700 – 4700 m. Sharp snow peaks are combined with green meadows, blooming flowers, spruce forests, that are rare in this part of the Tien Shan together with red soil, forming a unique variety of colors especially together with the overwhelming green in the spring time.
The northern part of Chunkurchak is connected to smaller valleys (Tatyr) towards the west which is famous for the large sized royal tulips growing in the area. There is also a small ski base in the lower area of Chunkurchak called Tatyr ski base next to the small Tatyr village at the attitude of 1480 m above the sea level. West of the village, there is a place with rocks along the Chunkurchak river, where climbers train and organize climbing competitions. Rock mountains with high are about 100 to 200 m which makes the rocks charming climbers.
Further to the west, there is a place called Kara-Bulak (black spring in Kyrgyz) where there is a popular waterfall called the Pidgeon Fall. There is also a small spring in a resort that one can swim in.
Ski base Chunkurchak
One of the most popular ski bases within Bishkek residents is the rapidly developing Ski Base Chunkurchak. Chunkurchak skiing resort has five modern chair lifts: double, triple and three four-seater, with a total length of more than 4.5 kilometers. The maximum length of the trails is more than 10 kilometers and the height difference is about 370 meters. For the visitors convenience all lifts have their name, and range in color. The base has a spot to rent sports equipment, a first-aid post, free parking, a bistro cafe, a children’s corner and warm bathrooms (a rarity in Kyrgyzstan, believe us). The base has different levels of trails starting from beginner level to quite steep ones.
There is no public transport frequently going to the Chunkurchak ski base, you need to just take a private taxi or share a one with others. Shared taxi will be about 300-400 som per person from Bishkek. If marshrutka is available then will be about 200-250 som. Rental of skiing equipment is from 600 to 1200 for an adult, lift pass for the entire day during the weekdays is 800 som and during weekends 1200 som. The road to Chunkurchak is better in winter time after it has frozen and is under snow than in the summer times as it has a lot of holes and every spring time there are many places where the water from melting water washes away some parts of the road.