Turgen Gorge, Southern Kazakhstan

Turgen Gorge (90 km from Almaty) is an ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the nature. The gorge has hot springs, a trout farm, waterfalls and lots of woods. Rich in coniferous and mixed forests, alpine and sub-alpine meadows, lakes and springs, medicinal herbs and berries, he gorge plunges 44 km to the vast Assy plateau (2,560 m).

The Turgen gorge is famous for its seven waterfalls. The Medvezhy (Bear) Falls drop 30 meters in a beautiful setting amidst overhanging cliffs and green fir trees, while the Bozgul Falls are known for the force of the water, which has worn away an entire tunnel in the rock. The earthquake-damaged cliffs in the gorge still preserve traces of the pre-Ice Age vegetation.

Another notable feature of the gorge is the relict Chin-Turgen mossy fir forests, which cover the ground and form a thick carpet of trees. The most popular stop in the Turgen Gorge is Botan, the hunting base. Here, where three rivers meet, the gorge is at its deepest – 920 meters.

There is an observatory in the plateau. Ancient burial mounds and rock drawings are dotted along the Asy River. There are quite a few Sacae and Usun graves in the gorge dating back to 500 BC – 3—BC. The small mountain lakes above the Sinegorye are wonderful for bathing and fishing, while lower down is a trout farm where you can fish and to cook the delicious fish-meal po-tsarski for supper.