Campsites in Almaty Region, Kazakhstan

Campsites in Almaty Region

Kazakhstan mountains and steppes, rivers and lakes, popular tourist sites and little-known routes - places for a holiday in Almaty are diverse.

Here is a general overview of interesting and beautiful natural places suitable for camping and green tourism.

National Parks in Almaty Region

Ile-Alatau National Park

There are many tourist places in the mountains of Northern Tien Shan (Zaili Alatau).

Suitable for camping tours are the Turgen Gorge, the Assy alpine plateau, the Sarytau and Kyzylauyz mountain passes, and the Bartogai reservoir. This is a rather long and very picturesque route east of the city of Almaty on mountainous terrain, requiring high cross-country qualities of transport, like 6x6 Pinzgauer camper.

Western mountain routes: Kaskelen and Aksai gorges, Ushkonyr high plateau. These places are also good for off-road motorcycle tours.

Closest places to rest: Big Almaty Lake (BAO), Butakovsky Gorge (Butakovka). You can come here with a small trailer or even with a mobile bath-trailer.

Ile-Alatau National Park - for more details see here →

Altyn-Emel National Park (UNESCO Site)

Altyn-Emel, located in the valley of the Ili River, has gained worldwide fame thanks to its two main attractions. This is the "Singing Dune" and Aktau, the unusual multi-colored mountains. On the way, one should visit the monuments of the era of Genghis Khan who gave the name "Altyn-Emel" to the local mountain pass ("Altyn-Emel" means "Golden Saddle").

Even more ancient historical sites can be found in Altyn-Emel, such as Besshatyr, royal mounds of the Saka era (nomadic tribes living here in the 1st millenium BC).

The waterless mountains of Aktau are not very suitable for ordinary camping, but our 4x4 caravan with a large supply of water on board solves this problem. The Aktau Mountains are worth visiting with an overnight stay, since they are quite distant, and half a day can be not enough to walk along this long multi-colored canyon.

Altyn-Emel National Park - for more details see here →

Charyn National Park (UNESCO Site)

Another place that attracts tourists from all over the world is the Charyn Canyon. Regular one-day tours rarely include a visit to the Charyn Ash Grove, but this relict grove of Sogdian ash trees near the Charyn River is a good place for camping with an overnight stay.

Of course, it is worth spending a night on the Charyn Canyon itself, for the sake of the stunning panorama of the night starry sky above the mysterious "Valley of Castles".

But the best place for camping in the Charyn National Park is the Red Mountains Boguty (Bogety, Bogutinsky Mountains). Few people know that the eastern part of these mountains (Small Boguty, Bala Boguty) is the reserved area of the Charyn National Park. It is not as popular place as the Charyn Canyon, but it is unique. Boguty Mountains look like the surface of the red planet Mars.

The terrain here is waterless, there are no signs of civilization, and therefore you need to come here with a large supply of water. Off-road motorhome provides comfortable accommodation and meals for a secluded holiday surrounded by the unusual Martian landscape.

Charyn National Park - see more details here →

Kolsai Lakes National Park

The multi-level system of the picturesque alpine lakes in the Kolsay gorge is a popular tourist destination. The nights here are cold even in summer time, but with a heated motorhome it is not a problem.

Kolsai Lakes National Park - for more details see here →

Zhongar-Alatau National Park (UNESCO Site)

The most remote national park from Almaty. It is known for its alpine lakes and Asian wild apple orchards (Malus Sieversii), the ancestor of all cultivated apple varieties in the world.

Zhongar-Alatau National Park - for more details see here →

UNESCO Sites

In the Almaty region there are two objects included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in Kazakhstan: Petroglyphs of the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly and the Great Silk Road Objects (Kayalyk, Karamergen, Talgar settlements).

Three national parks are also under the auspices of UNESCO: Altyn-Emel, Charyn and Zhongar-Alatau National Parks.

Tamgaly Petroglyphs

The rock carvings of Tamgaly land form a whole petroglyphic complex preserved from the Bronze Age. On the territory of this open-air museum-reserve there is a parking lot for camping, for those who need more time to explore the ancient history of nomads carved on the rocks.

Tamgaly Petroglyphs - for more details see here →

Talgar Ancient Settlement

Despite its unique status, this ancient settlement is in a very bad condition being neglected for a long time. However, the surroundings of the modern city of Talgar have several places for outdoor recreation overlooking the picturesque mountains where you can see the Talgar peak, the highest peak of Zaili Alatau.

Talgar - for more details see here →

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