Ust-Yurt National Park, Mangystau

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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eurasiaoverland
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Ust-Yurt National Park, Mangystau

Postby eurasiaoverland » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:04 pm

The Ust-Yurt National Park is seriously remote, even by normal Kazakhstan standards.

There are no roads running to the park. Just endless tracks across the steppe. I spent a lot of time researching the route. The park is quite large and is centred on the Karynzharyk Depression, which is around 65 metres below sea level, and contains Lake Kendirlisor, which in June this year was just a blinding white expanse of salt with some touches of greenery. The place to head for is the 'Three Brothers'; three islands which 'float' in this expanse.

I spent a lot of time researching my proposed route, and a backup. Certain areas of the region are sandy, and as I am alone, I wanted to take the safest route possible.

I started in Zhanaozen, stopping by the pilgrimage sites of Sopan Ata and Beket Ata, which are fascinating and rewarding destinations to visit, offering rare insights into Kazakh spirituality.

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After spending the night at Beket Ata, I headed back a few kilometres on the track leading back to Zhanaozen, then dropped off the Ust-Yurt Plateau.

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From here it was around 170 km through totally unpopulated territory to the lookout on the eastern rim of the escarpment above the depression. The views were simply sublime and other-worldly.

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The tracks were horrifically dusty, with deep sections of bull-dust and some (farily firm) sandy sections. A high clearance 4x4 is absolutely required. The temperature was also brutal - pushing 45ºC in the shade. It was still 40ºC at sunset...

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The Three Brothers

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Overall, a deelpy rewarding experience, though a risky one. A breakdown out here could have been very costly. There were signs up around the perimeter of the park stating no entry (in Kazakh only), but I ignored them. I wasn't hunting or littering, so felt no reason not to enjoy the scenery.

More photos of Mangystau and western Turkmenistan here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 409&type=3
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Daiki
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Re: Ust-Yurt National Park, Mangystau

Postby Daiki » Tue May 16, 2017 7:08 am

I am planning to go to Ustyurt National Park middle of July. I don't have any vehicle like 4×4 jeep. So I guess it's very hard to reach there because there is no public transportation. Does anybody have an idea like the cheapest way to go there ? If somebody want to go there, let me know it. Thank you.
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steven
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Re: Ust-Yurt National Park, Mangystau

Postby steven » Thu May 18, 2017 10:15 am

You will need to rent a car. It is not cheap.
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Re: Ust-Yurt National Park, Mangystau

Postby Daiki » Fri May 26, 2017 3:20 pm

Thanks Steven.
I will discuss the plan with my budget.
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