One of the most beautiful lakes of the Trans-Ili Alatau is conveniently located for tourists. If all other pearls of the Tien Shan are located at a sufficient distance from the city, the BAO is only 15 km from the city of Almaty, above the gorge of Alma-Arasan.
Big Almaty Lake is located in the border area with Kyrgyzstan, and is a regime facility, as it serves as a source of fresh water for the city.
The characteristics of the lake are:
- location altitude - 2,510m ,
- length - 1.6 km,
- width - 750 m to 1 km,
- depth - about 40 m.
From Big Almaty Lake you can see the mountain peaks - Peak Sovetov, Peak Tourist and Peak Ozerny, as well as the famous pyramid - Big Almaty Peak, which has a height of 3,681m.
Until recently it was possible to get to the observation platform of the lake by car through the mountain serpentine and dam, but because of the construction of another dam in March 2020 the passage was closed, so the hike to the Big Almaty Lake (BAO) is now on foot.
We will ascend by off-road vehicle up to a height of 1700 m and then hike along the Ozernoye Gorge and then along the Shukur (Chukur) Gorge. The distance of the campaign is about 8 km one way, the level of complexity is low, no special skills or equipment is required.
There are certain rules of conduct on BAL - it is forbidden to bathe, fish, and in general to go down to the water. Prohibited passage of vehicles, walking animals. You don't need any special permits to be near the Big Almaty Lake, but you should have your ID card or passport.
Big Almaty lake is an incredibly picturesque place. The purest mountain air, careful observation of the cleanliness around will allow you to enjoy the mountain beauty. Alma-Arasan Gorge, through which the route is passed, is beautiful in any season of the year - green in summer and stunning contrasting bright colors in fall.
Above the Big Almaty Lake, 2 km up the mountain path, there is the Tien Shan Observatory. There is a hotel and an opportunity to look at the stars through a telescope, but it is necessary to be specified and booked.
The guide has a mountain hiking instructor certificate and first aid certificate, so you can feel safe and enjoy the hike.The mountains are a place of high danger, we recommend not to hike alone, it is better to rely on an experienced instructor.