kegety gorge and
Kegety gorge is an ideal place for hiking adventures whether you want to do it alone or with a group. The gorge is about 80 to 90 km drive away southeast from Bishkek, depending on the road you take and it takes about takes about 2 hours to drive. If you wish to take a marshrutka, go to the Bishkek East Bus Station towards the village of Kegety for 50 som per person one way. Tell to the driver that you would like to go to Kol-Tor or Kegety waterfall and he will drop you off at the right place.
The Kegety gorge divides into two separate gorges along the way and along the western path there is a nice 14 meter high waterfall and on the eastern path there is the lake Kol-Tor (or Kel-Tor) that requires a 14 km hike to reach. The Kegety gorge (Dunga river) waterfall on the west side can be reached easily without much hiking also in the winter time when the waterfall is partly frozen.
After visiting the waterfall you can continue the road all the way to the Kegety pass ((3832 m) if you are looking for more extreme adventures. The road used to go all the way to Kochkor but does not have much asphalt left nowadays. It is therefore only possible to hike this road as landslides, rock slides and avalanches have destroyed the road in many parts. Never travel this further part of the Kegety Valley alone or if you have heart or respiratory issues. After the descend from the pass, the road joins the road between Kochkor and Suusamur.
While proceeding towards Kol-Tor (or Kel Tor) you can park the car next to the guest house of Kegeti (a red bricked house). That is where the road ends anyway. From that place you have 14 kilometers and about 3-4 hours to hike to the lake.
The Lake Kel Tor is one of Kyrgyzstan’s numerous alpine lakes that feature a natural turquoise color that sparkles in bright sunlight and that changes according to the weather conditions. Take your time to admire the lake and you can see how the color constantly changes according to lighting. Lake Kol-Tor is one of the several locations in Kyrgyzstan that can only be reached by foot, therefore the place is not populated. Locals also mostly want to mostly visit places where you can park your SUV next to the destination.
Kel-Tor is surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna of Kegeti gorge, where you can find a variety of forest berries and medicinal herbs. The lake lies at the altitude of 2752 m above sea level.
The way to lake is rather intensive and at one point the trail heads steeply upwards for few hundred meters before leading to a single-track path through an alpine forest. You will pass some paths where you must dodge gigantic cow patties, cross streams, and walk through some wispy green meadows. If you are physically not used to high altitudes or steep climbs you might struggle somewhat on the way since the path will take you quite straight up but it is worth the effort. The best time to go Kol Tor is from March to November but for the best views it best to visit in July or August when the lake is fully unfrozen.
Travel to KEGETY
Kegeti can be reached by taxi from Ivanovka or Tokmok. Plenty of marshrutkas pass through Ivanovka from Bishkek East Bus Station. From Ivanovka take a taxi to the beginning of the gorge. If you are going alone, make sure that you also arrange your transportation back as there might not be any transportation available.