Explore the best of the Alay Mountains on this tour and discover one of the most stunning mountain regions in the world that are still unknown…for now. This off-the-beaten-track tour combines some of the best landscapes, trekking and nomadic cultural experiences in all of Kyrgyzstan, including:
- Incredible mountain vistas at Sary Mogul (4,306 m) and Jiptick (4,185 m) mountain passes where you’ll feel as though you’ve landed on another planet.
- Stunning views of snow- and glacier-covered Lenin Peak (7,134 m), including up close from Lenin Base Camp and Traveler’s Pass (4,100 m).
Diverse landscapes, from turquoise alpine lakes and lush green valleys to high desert moonscapes and the red rock formations of “Three Dragons Gorge”.
- Sleeping in a traditional yurt where you’ll have an opportunity to meet Kyrgyz shepherds, learn about traditional nomadic culture, and enjoy home-cooked meals.
- Community-Based Tourism. Your use of us will contribute to local communities.
- Trekking Distance:106 km
- Max Elevation:4,306 meters
- Min Elevation:2,186 meters
- Total Elevation Gain/Loss:4435m+ / 4827m-
- Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Day 1: Osh city to Sary Mogul Village
Distance: 4 hours driving, Meals: D, Accommodation: Homestay
Arrival in Osh*, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan and once an important trading center along the Silk Road. Meet with your guide for a briefing about the tour and trek. After lunch, drive to Sary Mogul village at 3,000 meters above sea level (approx. 4 hours). Enjoy a home-cooked dinner and overnight at a local family homestay. Enjoy the view of the 7,000+ meter high snow-capped Pamir Mountains in the distance.
Note: If you want to arrive in Osh earlier to explore this 3,000+-year-old city filled with ethnically diverse people and cuisines, we can also arrange walking, market, food or other city tours for you.
*Please let us know if you need transport or a transfer from the airport or bus station.
Day 2: Sary Mogul village – Sary Mogul Pass 4,306m – Campsite
Distance: 12 km trekking, time: 6-7 hours trekking, Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: Camping (tent), Ascent: 1054 m, Descent: 477 m
After a hearty breakfast, drive for 20 minutes from Sary Mogul village to the starting point of the trek. Walk along the stream on a one-person trail all the way up to the first viewpoint (1 hour). Some parts are a bit challenging as the trail is narrow and the terrain is composed mainly of scree and small pebbles. Enjoy a break and views of the Pamir Mountains at the viewpoint before descending into a valley to follow the small stream all the way to a flat meadow. We break for lunch at the riverbank with glacier views all around. After lunch, we head to Sary Mogul Pass at 4,306 meters (1 hour). As you ascend, the glaciated peaks and alpine lakes will begin to appear. Enjoy your accomplishment at the top of the pass with its otherworldly and stunning views. The descent from the pass is steep and covered in loose scree, so consider long sliding strides or “skiing” down in a zigzag motion as you navigate the snaking path. After descending, we walk down to the campsite and set up the tents at 3,934 meters. Enjoy your dinner under the stars.
Day 3. Campsite – Kyzyl Shoro village
Distance: 15 km trekking, time: 4 – 5 hours trekking, Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: homestay. Ascent: 31 m, Descent: 1579 m
Compared to the first day, the beginning of the second day is relatively easy-going and mainly downhill. As the trek progresses through the valley, the trail cuts back and forth across the river several times. With the decline in elevation, the terrain begins to change from high alpine rocky and dry to mid-mountain green punctuated by the alpine lush of juniper bushes. Don’t forget to turn around from time to time to enjoy views of the surrounding glaciers and snow-covered peaks above and behind you. Pass through fields filled with grazing cows and shepherd’s yurts inviting you for a tea. Break for lunch near these yurts. After a few kilometers, you’ll reach the farmlands of the nearby village, Little Sary Mogul village. Pass through the village and walk for 3,5km along the dusty road to Kyzyl Shoro village. Dinner and overnight in a homestay at 2,389 meters.
Day 4: Kyzyl Shoro village – Koshmoinok Pass – Koshmoinok Valley – Kojokelen village
Distance: 22 km trekking, time: 7 – 8 hours trekking. Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: homestay. Ascent: 1303 m, Descent: 1124 m
After breakfast, leave your homestay and walk to the gorge to the east of the village. The trail becomes steep and ascends approximately 860 meters through grass meadows and pastures to Koshmoinok Pass at 3,210 m. After the pass, descend into Koshmoinok Valley (1 hour). There are several shepherd’s yurts and huts in this valley. Break for lunch near one of the shepherd’s yurts. After lunch, cross over the stream and walk up to Sarybell Pass at 3,132 m (1 hour). The magnificent views of the rugged Kichik Alay Mountains open up on top of the pass. From there, follow the path as it winds along the edge of the hills on your left and enjoy the expanse of unusual red rock formations forming the “Three Dragon Gorge.” The diversity of colors and landscapes is something travelers have called “The Best of Kyrgyzstan” where you can see the dramatic and snow-covered Pamir landscapes in the distance with various grades of high-, mid- and low alpine landscapes along the way. Eventually, the trail winds its way down into a small stream through evergreen trees and continues on the edge of the valley until it reaches Kojokelen village (3 hours). Enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal and overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 5: Kojokelen village – Shepherd’s camp
Distance: 10 km trekking, time: 4 hours trekking. Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: yurt stay. Ascent: 833 m, Descent: 69 m
Today is an easy walk on an unpaved road along the river leading up to the foot of Jiptick Pass. Enjoy walking in this beautiful gorge with evergreen trees, and engage along the way with Kyrgyz nomads who are busy with their daily activities, including shepherding their animals. Arrive at the yurt camp. Enjoy a home-cooked meal with a local family and overnight in a yurt.
Day 6: Yurt camp – Jiptick Pass at 4,185 meters – down to Darbazatash Valley
Distance: 16 km trekking, time: 7 – 8 hours trekking. Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: yurt stay. Ascent: 1150 m, Descent: 931 m
From the yurt camp, the trail goes easily up along the river all the way to the foot of Jiptick Pass (1 hour). Head up to the pass on a barely seen trail in a zigzag formation on loose scree (2 hours). Reach the breathtaking Jiptick Pass at 4,185 meters and enjoy the stunning view of the snowcapped Pamir Mountains with towering Lenin Peak at 7,134 meters in the far distance. Break for lunch on top. The path then goes steeply down to Darbazatash Valley (3 hours). Arrive in the valley at 3274 meters. Dinner and overnight are in yurts on the shore of the stream.
Day 7: Darbazatash valley – Sary Mogul village – Peak Lenin Base Camp
Distance: 11 km trekking, time: 3 hours trekking. Meals: B, L, D, Accommodation: yurt stay. Ascent: 34 m, Descent: 286 m
Walk to Sary Mogul village on an unpaved road (3 hours). While walking, enjoy the expansive view of the Alay Valley and snowcapped mountain ranges of Pamir-Alay in a distance. Arrive at your homestay and enjoy a home-cooked lunch. Take a shower, check your emails if you wish. After lunch, drive to the yurt camp at Tulpar Kol Lake at Lenin Peak base camp (1 hour). Enjoy walking around this turquoise high alpine lake at 3,500 meters before you are invited for a home-cooked dinner. Overnight in a yurt.
Day 8: Peak Lenin Base Camp – Traveler’s Pass – Osh city
Distance: 20 km trekking, time: 5 hours trekking. Meals: B, L, Driving: 5 hours. Ascent: 760 m, Descent: 760 m
After a hearty breakfast, walk up about 10 minutes from the yurt camp to the south and cross the bridge to get to the Peak Lenin base camp where the mountaineers are staying. Pass by the tents of big mountaineering companies at the base camp and take the trail leading to Traveler’s Pass. The trail goes slowly up except for the last 20 minutes where it becomes a steep zigzag trail that ends up on the mountain pass. Reach the Traveler’s Pass at 4,100 meters and enjoy the magnificent views of glaciers tumbling off the massive peak. Go to the viewpoint on the right of the pass and get an even better view of Lenin Peak at 7,134 meters, the highest peak in this Pamir-Alay Mountains. Break for lunch there to continue enjoying the views. Return to the yurt camp on the same way you came. Drive back to Osh city (5 hours).
Note: The length of the tour can be changed according to your time and desire.
Price per person:
1 person 1322$ /per
2 people 835$ /per
3 people 705$ /per
4 people 625$ /per
5 people 620$ /per
6 people 605$ /per
7 people 570$ /per
8 people 550$ /per
- English speaking guide
- Shared accommodation: tent, yurt or homestay (Note: 3-5 person shared rooms for yurt and homestays)
- All meals as indicated in itinerary*
- Clean water from mountain springs
- Transport from/to Osh
- Transport to/from Tulpar Kol Yurt Camp
- Horse to carry your gear 15 kg/person)
- Sleeping bags
- Walking sticks
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Hotel and meals in Osh city
- Alcoholic drinks
- City tour in Osh city and entrance tickets
- Services outside of the standard program
- Bottled water
- Travel and health insurance
- Flights or other domestic/international transport.
When spending the night in a family homestay or guesthouse, expect to share a room with 3-5 people. You will be provided with a bed and warm blankets. Toilets are shared, and often outside. Hot showers are available on days 1, 3, 4, and 7.
Sleeping in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt is a highlight for many travelers. One yurt usually sleeps 5-6 people and you will sleep on mats on the ground with blankets piled on top. Toilets are outside, so be sure to have a headlamp with you to navigate there at night.
Most of the meals on this tour are home-cooked and provided by a yurt camp, homestay or guesthouse. These traditional Kyrgyz meals usually include some sort of meat (often mutton) served with potatoes, rice, or home-made noodles. Fresh bread rounds are also a must at every meal and you’ll often find homemade jams and traditional sour cream to go with this.
When camping you will also be served a simple hot meal at dinner. Lunch on the trail is usually a picnic made composed of bread, meat, vegetables, fruit and other snacks.
Note: Please let us know in advance if you are vegetarian/vegan or have food allergies.
There are clean mountain springs along the trail where we can refill water bottles. Homestays, guesthouses and yurt stays will provide boiled water. You can take cleaning powders as well to clean river/spring waters.
Recommended packing list for the trek:
• Warm clothes and layers as it gets warm during the day, but can go below freezing at night and when it rains
• Good trekking shoes
• Day pack to carry the camera, water, sunscreen, etc.
• Sun protection as the sun is very strong at altitude: Sunglasses, sunscreen (SPF 30 or above), and a sun hat /cap
• Water and windproof jacket and pants. It gets especially windy on the mountain passes
• Walking sticks are recommended (we can provide them if you don’t have them)
• Medical kit for treating blisters, traveller’s diarrhoea and other minor illnesses.
• Water purification tablets or drops if you want to clean the spring water
• Refillable water bottle
• Lip balm: your lips get chapped very easily in the mountains
• Wet wipes and/or anti-bacterial gel to clean hands
• Hat and gloves to wear at night for warmth
• Headlamp to navigate campsite and yurt camps at night
• Warm sleeping bag (we provide you with this if you don’t have one). Yurts and homestays provide blankets.
Note: we will provide you a bag to put your gear in that will be carried by the horses.