If you are staying longer than 1 night in Toktogul, the following day hike into the Kyzyl-Too hills directly north of town gives you an opportunity to get out of town, get some great panoramic views of the lake and the city, and experience the typical fauna and flora of the Tien Shan, like eg. tulips, eagles and rock thrushes. The total hike takes around 5-6 hours at a leisurely pace with stops. There is little shade along the way, so watch out if you plan to do this in summer.
- Gpx track (made from waypoints, contact me if you have a more accurate version please!) – sign up to download.
- Length: +/-15 km
- Height difference: 500m up, 700m down
To get to the start of the hike, a local taxi might be appropriate as it would be a long, boring walk to get there from town. Follow the road into the valley northeast as it gradually narrows. Local shepherds use the area to graze their livestock, and you are sure to meet some horses, cows and sheep along the way.
After 45 minutes, leave the valley and hike up to a wall on your left, a seemingly perfect fit for adventurous climbers.
From here, we turn west and start to cross over several ridges along the flank of the mountain. A panoramic view on Toktogul starts to open.
The Eagle’s Head is a good place for a pick-nick around half-way.
After the Eagle, the trail leads down and you can basically pick any ridge you want to lead you back to town, or walk in a valley in between. To get back home, call a taxi or hitch a ride from the main road.