Jailoo hiking “Lake Song-Kul”

The jailors are the pastures where Kyrgyz shepherds tend their flocks in the summer, and Song-Kol is the jewel of the jailoos, a stunning 270 km2 of sparkling water at 3016 m, surrounded by 3700 m mountains on all sides. For the fullest jailoo experience, approach the lake via the mountains enclosing the western end of Kochkor Valley, moving from jailoo to jailoo and staying with shepherd families in remote meadows far off the beaten path.  Enjoy homemade jam, fresh cream, bread still warm from the oven, and the best kymyz (fermented mare’s milk) around.  The route traverses remote Jumgal rayon, and reaches Song-Kol via Jalgyz-Karagai (Lone Fir) Pass on the north shore.

  • Itinerary: Bishkek – Burana – Shamshy gorge – Horse trek/Trekking – Song-Kul – Bishkek
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Best Season: Mid June – September
  • Category: combined –horseback tour or trekking
  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult
  • Group Size: 2-12 pax
  • Highlights: horse riding, yurt overnights, nomad’s culture, songkul valley, sook jailoo, saralasaz jailoo
  • Requirements: weatherproof warm clothes, trekking boots, hat, sunglasses, sleeping bag, and sunscreen.

The tour is available to do in two options: Trekking on feet or take a horseback riding tour.

ITINERARY

Morning transfer from Bishkek head west to the Kochko village to Jumgal region (3 – 4 hours driving). Follow the road by car to the Kyzart Pass, where your guide team welcome you with ready prepared horses. Start your horseback tour with crossing the Kyzyl-Kiya jailoo, an enormous, relatively flat sea of grass. Continue over the Chaar-Archa Pass (3 061 m) into the Chaar-Archa Valley and eat a tasty lunch by the racing river, with views of holy 4400 m Baba-Ata Mountain. Sated, ford the river and follow the trail over verdant hills to Kilemche Jailoo. The name means “like a carpet,” and this swathe of grass covers whole mountain ranges, with shadings as subtle as any shyrdak (shyrdak is a Kyrgyz felt carpet). Dine and sleep in a yurt, naturally. Transfer by car 3 hours. Trekking time: 5-6 hours

After breakfast at Kilemche, spend the morning climbing to Jalgyz Karagai pass (3400 m), over the Song-Kol Mountains and into the lake’s basin. The morning climb affords wonderful views of Kilemche jailoo, and the pass itself is rocky and exciting. From the pass, Song-Kol is still distant, but as you traipse down the slopes, it gets larger and larger; the mountains on the other side get higher and higher, until finally the lake fills most of your field of view and the southern mountains tower above it. After lunch at Jaman Echki, follow the lakeshore west to the yurt at Tuz-Ashuu. Upon arrival meet your host family of Kyrgyz shepherds. Meals and overnight are in a yurt of shepherds. Trekking time: 5 hours.

Last breakfast in SongKol Jailoo and leave to Kyzart village via TuzAshuu Pass. The pass opens you spectacular panoramic view to Jumgal valley and behind the SongKol valley. Say “Goodbye SongKol” and ride down to the village where your lunch will be waiting for you in family home stay. Late afternoon transfer back to Bishkek by car. Arrival in Bishkek around 19:00 pm.

FAQ

It is included:

  • Overnight in the yurt camp of Kilemche and SongKul
  • Eng.speaking guide (horseman service and horse rental for horseback riding option)
  • All meals during the tour in the yurt camps  (Lunches, Dinners, and breakfasts)
  • Mineral water
  • Individual transport from Bishkek to the start point and picking up you from SongKul back to Bishkek.

It is not included:

  • Air flight ticket
  • Bishkek hotel accommodations
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Other services out of the program

The tours start upon request, please contact us. The itineraries can be adjusted individually to fit into your schedule and provide you with the best experience. Furthermore, we are happy to create tailor-made tours according to your wishes.

After having solved all the questions and programs confirming we issue an invoice for payment. You can make a bank transfer or pay upon your arrival time in Bishkek before the trip starts.

Kyrgyzstan is a mountain country and some point you prefer to do walking and hiking. We recommend you train with sport or jogging 2-3 times a week in the run-up to your trip

It is Ok to do horse treks in Kyrgyzstan for beginners or the people who have never ridden before. This tour is ideally relevant for beginners who want to have a great experience.

The 90% of our visitors have no horseback riding skils but they can manage the horse treks because we use for our clients’ very quiet and calm horses with comfortable saddles and choose the relevant trek for horse tours. Our horseback guides will be your individual instructor to ride a Kyrgyz horse and help you to manage it.

Clothing for hiking in temperatures from +25C to -0C. A detailed kit list will be sent to you when you book on.

You will stay in the yurt camp with meals. We provide you yurts by two people in each one.

The basic hints for travelers.

  • During your travel time, please respect local culture, customs, traditions, and religion.
  • Try to buy local products and make a benefit for the local economy.
  • Always give fair prices for lodging, food and other services.
  • Take off your shoes, when entering home or yurt stay.
  • Smoking is prohibited at home.
  • Please share your ideas on food and accommodation preferences.
  • Ask people for photographing them.
  • Be friendly and try to get in contact.
  • Be careful during the evening and night time and aware of mass meetings.
  • Be careful with your documents, money and valuable items.
  • Be aware of pickpockets and strangers at bazaars and streets.
  • If someone asking for documents, wallets or cameras, saying that they are from the police, ask them to go police together.
  • Never give your belongings to strangers.
  • Wear good hiking shoes for outdoor activities.
  • Bring warm waterproof clothes even in summer.
  • Have your torch sunscreen and repellent.
  • Do not drink very cold water from unknown sources.
  • Drinking alcohol at high altitudes is unsafe.
  • If the food fat or not acceptable for you can taste a bit and say thanks.
  • Do not drink cold water after eating out, better hot tea or c It helps in high altitude digestions cases.
  • Wear warm clothes in the mountains, usually after eating out.
  • Bring your medicines and first aid kit.
  • If you feel unsafe or have issues to discuss, please share with your staff, host or tour manager.
  • Collect your litter. Pack up all non-biodegradable rubbish.
  • Please don’t drop cigarette butts or litter.
  • High altitude vegetation is very fragile. Save the environment.
  • Use toilets in nature wherever available. Where are none, stay at least 40-50 m from streams and water sources and bury all waste and paper.
  • Leaving footprints, take just your photographs.

Book tour

× How can I help you?