Chon-Ak-Suu gorge (Grigorievskoye gorge)

 

One of the most popular and picturesque places of Issyk-Kul is Chon-Ak-Suu gorge (Grigorievskoye gorge). It stretches for 35 km almost parallel to the coast of Issyk-Kul from the slope of the Kungei-Alatoo range to the village of Grigorievka.

Chon-Ak-Suu begins with a valley, with gentle slopes blanketed with spruce forest. Chon-Ak-Suu river with clear glacial water flows along a winding strip on the floor. Kum-Bel (4200 m) and Eschenbulak (4647 m) snowy mountain peaks tower above the gorge. The Ak-Suu pass leading to the lake Zhassyl-Kel is behind them. The lake’s water has an unusual bright blue color that changes depending on the light. In summer, many tourists come here to enjoy the beauty of the water surface of this small lake. The Ak-Suu pass offers a stunning view over the waters of Issyk-Kul.

There are three lakes In the Grigorievskoye gorge: Lower, Middle and Upper - located at the corresponding heights. At the edge of the Upper Lake, spruce forests are replaced by alpine meadows, stretching at an altitude of 3000-3500 m.

In Chon-Ak-Suu, wild sea buckthorn, raspberries and large black barberries grow along the banks of the river, and brown and green moss cover the cliffs. Of course, the pride of not only the Grigorievskoye gorge, but also the whole neighborhood of Issyk-Kul are the Tien Shan spruces, with a possible height of 50 meters.

The gorge is very popular among tourists. In the midst of summer, a small yurt camp is set up here, where handicraft art works are presented, equestrians demonstrate magnificent horse riding, one can hear folk music sounds, and taste dishes of national cuisine.

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