Yangykala Canyon is a stunning sight and one of the most thrilling natural attractions in Turkmenistan that contains a line of red and yellow rocks across the sides of the valley. Yangykala canyon was formed of limestone 5,5 million years ago by the disappearing Tethys sea. While the Amu Darya ran its course right into the Caspian Sea after some time it produced these majestic landscapes on its way. Canyons and cliffs slash for 25 km towards the Garagogazgol basin and lie approximately 165 km north of Balkanabat and about 160 km east of Turkmenbashi, making it easy to slot the canyon between the two cities.
Truly magnificent canyons extend in the desert and apparently not a popular place among locals. Yet, local travel agencies have some itineraries in their programs. You can stay here for a night with your camping equipment on the plateau above the canyon, although it can get windy here. Walking a few minutes leads you to the “Crocodile’s Mouth” a point of two horizontal extensions that looks like catching jaws, that extends out above the canyon floor. Reaching the top you take majestic pictures, however, you must particularly careful here one wrong step can lead to some serious consequences.
To get here you definitely need off-road driving in the desert, at least two 4×4 vehicles, experienced off-road drivers and plenty of spare petrol and water are important measures. The road here pretty bumpy and takes about 4 hours to get there, and then 4 hours back. The roadside is surpassingly beautiful and interesting. The best to get there before sunrise so you can escape the heat or arrive in the evening and overnights there.
You wish to explore additional canyons following the Yangykala, you can head to Yaangysuw canyons 25 km away. However, it requires an experienced guide hence adds additional time and money certainly. Going there can notice the top of the canyons immediately, its walls and floor carved out of the bright white rock, rather than the pinks and greens predominating at Yangykala. The trail then slopes steeply into the canyon, towards the eastern shores of Garabogazgol, a few kilometers apart along dreadful tracks.