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Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:40 am
by thl989
Thoughts on this loop for 3-4 days in Charyn Canyon? I have all required trekking supplies

First: get to the turn off for Charyn Canyon and hitch or walk the rest of the way. Alternatively, pay 6000 tenge to join a day tour from Almaty then have them leave you there. (e.g.

Second: Camp/explore the area, but eventually make my way south using this route: ... 15-9395724 and end up on the A-351

Third: Flag down a marashutka or hitch along the A-351 back to Almaty

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:18 am
by steven
Yup, I think this should be fine.

I had a look at that route before. I'd be very interested to read yuor opinion on it.

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:48 am
by Richard Smits
We'd like to do something similar, but would like to visit some of the other canyons than Valley of Castles that are described on Caravanistan. However, from the description it's not clear to me exactly where they are. Can someone give some GPS locations of the other canyons, so I can add them on Openstreetmap (I just added Valley of Castles there)? Info on how to get to the other canyons on foot would also be welcome (trails in addition to the ones on Wikiloc, locations where to cross the Charyn river, etc.).

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:58 am
by thl989
Richard I haven't been yet but I believe they are roughly east/north of the start of this trail. You can click "Nearby Maps" on the page to find some routes in that area.

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:48 am
by ikari
From my research, there are GPS locations for treks to the valley of castles on shared resources but nothing for any of the other canyons. We went to Yellow Canyon with a guide via 4WD who navigated without GPS or map. He commented that virtually none of the other canyons (Bestamak, Termelik, Yellow etc) are marked on online maps and most locals don't even know these trails exist. Physical signage is also non-existent in the whole area.

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:15 pm
by thl989
I got around to attempting this trip.

Marshrutka at Sayakhat bus terminal in Almaty to Kegen is 3000 tenge per person. Ask to be dropped off at Charyn canyon turn (use a map or your best Russian, they understood well enough). This leaves you 10km to the canyon.

On a Sunday we got a ride within 5 minutes for the last 10km to the canyon. Lots of cars coming in. Passport is requested at the entrance gate.

Walked down to the canyon following signage, then to the river to follow the GPS tracks in OP leading up Charyn River back to the main road. This will take you through the Eco-lodge and a sign marks 'danger' after that to go further upriver (south), however the trail is pretty tame to start. Within 1km it becomes a scramble along rocks and I wasn't too interested in continuing further, although the GPS tracks suggest someone found a way around this. It's hard to say if someone hiked this with a tent or did it more as a one-day rock climb/scramble. Anyway there were a couple of nice campsites here, <1km upriver from the eco-lodge, with access to water (the river). We set up camp here.

Then left the way we came. Monday morning it was harder to find a ride out. Still enough cars coming in to have hitchiked in if we arrived at this time. After 5km on the road out we got a ride back to Almaty, to our doorstep even, thanks to the German guy and his Kazakh driver.

All around success, encourages me to use a marshrutka + hitchiking combo more in the future.Total trip time 2 days, cost 7500 tenge for two people (6000 marshutka + 1500 park entrance fees)

Re: Charyn Canyon loop itinerary

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:29 pm
by Lovetheworld
We went there last year with our own 4x4. We went also to the other canyons. Simply said, the other canyons are on the other side (East side) of the river. From charyn canyon, you go back to main road A351, take east direction, go accross the river and at some point turn left. There are many tracks. We probably turned left before the first shop in Aksay.
From there it is a bit hard to find, but once you found it, there are in fact signs :D

I used some basic information from the iOverlander app, pointing to the yellow canyon. We camped there, had the whole place to ourselves of course.
There are several camping spots / canyons.
Some of the narrow points the car only just fit through :)

This east side is pretty rough.
Came across one hiker. I thought he was maybe lost, but he was well prepared.
It gets quite hot there, and no sources for water. Also no people there.
Some partially abandoned buildings, sometimes with aggressive dogs chasing our car.