The Great Trek
Please note that the itinerary may change depending on local weather conditions and the riding ability of your group, but always with your best interests in mind. Those on the Secret 1 itinerary return to Bishkek on Day Eight. Those on the Secret 2 itinerary will join the group on Day Seven.
Based at the foot of the Ala Too Mountains at an altitude of 1,100 m, Rot Front, your guide’s house, is the starting point of the trip. After resting you will meet your guides and horses. Overnight at Rot Front.
Ride along the Shamshi valley and over Bel Bulak pass at 2,000 m. There will be opportunities for a few trots and canters on the flat plateaus. Set up camp at Kizil Suu in the shadow of the dormant Kejar Suu volcano and Kudrek glacier. Overnight camping.
Explore the Kejar Suu canyon on horseback, riding deep into the red rock. Then continue up and over a pass to the Chon Tash valley, over a 2,500m pass. Overnight camping.
Ride south through the mountains and on a clear day admire the view of Issyk Kul lake in the distance. Ride over the 3,600m Kerkebesse pass to Ichke Suu. You will descend down the pass and arrive at your host’s yurts for the night. Overnight camping.
Ride down from the mountains towards the flat, open Kochkor valley and onto the village of Agoutchouk. There are opportunities for faster rides today across the wild flower meadows and on tracks between the arable fields. Overnight in a local house with a sauna.
Continuing south-west there are some great canters along the valley floor as you ride gradually upwards. After lunch you ride up and over the Kiz Art pass. Camp for the night in the Klemche (green sword) valley.
Ride through two magnificent green valleys, fording streams, then over the Tiuz Ashuu pass (3,200m). Reaching the shore of Son Kul lake you follow the shoreline until reaching the north side of the lake where the landscape opens up in front of you – perfect for some long canters before reaching Abdel Kader’s yurt where you spend the night.
Days Eight & Nine
Two rest days for riders and horses on the shores of Son Kul Lake, which at 3,016m is considered the pearl of Kyrgyz summer pastures. The wide, brilliant, steel coloured expanse of the lake appears quiet and transparent, looking like a bowl of pure mountain air surrounded by hills. Water and sky seem to meet here. Spend some time with the herders and fishermen who make their living from the lake. You will more than likely witness the local horseback game of Ulak Tartish whilst staying here – this game is played with the headless body of a dead goat and is a real cultural experience. Overnight in a yurt.
Continue the ride through remote valleys to the Djumgal river and Kiz-Art village. Overnight in a local house with sauna.
You have the morning to relax at your leisure perhaps use the sauna or take in the culture of the village. After lunch you will mount back up for some nice canters through the fields above Kizart. You will arrive in the majestic valley of Koum Bel where you will overnight in tents.
Ride through the Koum Bel pass, 3,600m, then down the Ceok valley, dotted with yurts and herds of horses. Overnight in a guesthouse. There are no washing facilities here.
Continue over the Sandiks, crossing the Buchuk pass at 3,400 m. You will ride along the Karakol river to your camp for the night. Overnight camping.
Today you will cross the Karakol river and ride up to the jailoo of Ai Teke. There are many herding families living here during the summer and you may be invited into their yurts for koumiss (fermented mares’ milk). Overnight in a yurt.
Cross over the Shamshi Pass, which at 3,600m is the highest point of the ride, which leads in to the Chuy Valley. Camp overnight along the riverside.
Half day ride back to Djar Kok. Follow the line of the river before heading back into the mountains. After lunch you will be transferred to Bishkek. Overnight in a guesthouse.
You will have chance to explore Bishkek with your guide and see the sites of the city along with visiting the bazaars. Overnight in a local house on the outskirts of Bishkek.
Transfer to Bishkek airport for your flight home.