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Home » Dzhungarsky Ala-Tau mountains. Hiking in the mountains Southern Kazakhstan.

Sights Dzhungarsky Ala-Tau.

Experiential tourism in Dzhungarsky Ala-Tau.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” 

Gustave Flaubert.

Recreational tourism in Kazakhstan.

On the northern slopes of Zhungar Alatau there are famous thermal radon springs Zharkent-Arasan, Kapal-Arasan, which are resorts. In North-Zhungar region, in the desert zone, the foothills are desert-steppe. Lowlands here have apple-tree and pine forests and bushes along the river valleys; medium hills have forests and meadows, as well as steppes.
Forests primarily consist of Tien-Shan spruces. Above, in the highlands there are sub-alpine and alpine meadows, eternal snow and glaciers. Mountainous meadows serve as summer grasslands (zhailau). They have such grasses as cobresia, syndow, wild leek, poppy and buttercup.
Sometimes you can see the white-green flower of edelweiss. Sub-alpine meadows are covered with juniper. On Lepsy, Tentek and other mountainous rivers, as well as on Alakol Lake there are water trips by rafts, canoes or inflatable vessels.
The starting point for the routes is Taldykorgan. Starting points for routes in the north are located on Taldykorgan-Kzylagash Road; they lead along the valleys of Biyen, Aksu, Sarkand rivers, which are 30-50 km; in the east the starting point is Tekeli town; they lead along the valleys of Koktal and Koksu Rivers, which are up to 100 km; in the south the starting point is Zharkent; from it routes (50 - 70km) lead along the valleys of Usek and Tyshkan Rivers.
Here you can see typical mountainous animals like argali, ibex (tau-teke), snow leopard and brown bear. The mountainous country, Zhungar Alatau, is very diverse. Korinskoye Ravine is one of the most picturesque mountain tracts in Zhungar Alatau. Its length is 90 km, the highest point is 4100 m above sea level.
The ravine is ideal for the arrangement of the skiing resort. This area is also famous because it has one of the biggest waterfalls in Zhetysu - “Burkhan-Bulak”. Zharkent-Taldykorgan region is located in the foothills of Zhungar Alatau.
Zhungar Alatau is the mountain system in the south-east of Kazakhstan and in China. Northern slopes face Balkhash-Alakol Depression; southern slopes are bounded with the Valley of Ili River, which flows into Balkhash Lake. In the lower part of the slopes there are semi-deserts and steppes, which on the northern slopes at the elevation of 1200 - 2600 m change with the meadow-forest belt (Tien-Shan spruce, Siberian fir, hardwood).
Above 2600 m there is the belt of sub-alpine and alpine meadows changed with the belt of nival and glacier-nival landscapes. The altitude of the snowline on the northern slopes is 3400 - 3600 m and on the southern slopes it is 3200 - 3400 m.
The mountains contain mineral springs of Kapal-Arasan Resort. Deserts and semi-deserts turn into the steppes of foothills; above 1200 m there are deciduous forests of park type, from 1700 m there are coniferous forests, alpine meadows, where six natural reserves are located. In the sandy deserts of the valleys you can see wormwood, sedge, couch-grass, zhuzgun; these are main massifs for winter grasslands.
Large area
At the foothills, at the elevation of 600 - 700 m, semi-deserts turn into grass-wormwood dry steppes. On the mountain slopes and on the plateau up to the elevation of 1250-1300 m there are grass steppes and higher there are asp-birch and apple-tree forests, Tien-Shan spruces and sometimes high-grass meadows.
Mountainous alpine meadows have sedge, Altai violet. These are main massifs for summer grasslands (zhailau). Forests and bushes occupy 3.2 % of the territory. In the desert zones there are wolves, fox, hares, saigas, various gnawing animals and reptiles. Near lakes and rivers there are boars, musk-rats.
In the mountainous areas there are brown bears, badgers, ibex, argali, maral. Birds include bustards, ducks, geese, swans, and partridges. Waters contain sazan, marinka, perch and bream. Amongst the historical monuments, Zharkent-Taldykorgan region is famous for the memorial monument “Altyn-Emel” dedicated to the first Kazakh scientist and poet Chokan Valikhanov.
Zharkent Mosque in Zharkent town is also a place of interest.

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Authority:
"Zhetysu is the Land of  tourism”. A Tourist Guide-book. Almaty.  2003. 68 p. and the material for this page is taken from the printed edition.

Photos
Alexander Petrov.