The great lake group of Kolsay is located 290 kilometers in the south-east of Almaty. The way goes past the villages Nura, Chilik and the Kokpek mountain pass that is 13 kilometers long. There was a giant mudflow in 1991 that totally destroyed the way and in 1993 the way has been reconstructed. Passing Kokpek the way enters the Sugatinsk valley that is surrounded by the Sugatinsk mountains in the south and the Toru-Aigyr mountains from the north. Kolsay are three lakes located high in the mountains of the Kungey-Alatau range and are also called the "pearls” of the northern Tien-Shan’ mountains with steep pine-wooded slopes. The lakes are located at the altitude of 1700 (Kolsai - 1), 2252 (Kolsai- 2) and 2650 (Kolsai-3) meters above the sea level. The lakes depths are quite impressive: the first lake’s maximum depth is 80 meters; the second lake is about 50 meters deep. All the lakes were formed by some giant landslides when the speedy river flow in the gorge was blocked by those huge natural dams.The water in all the lakes is dark and flows through them, so all the lakes are connected one with another by the Kolsay river. A lot of trout inhabit the lakes, except the lake Kolsai-3 that is the coldest from all of them. The lake Kolsai-1 (H 1818) is located 295 kilometers far from Almaty in a gorge. It is 1,5 kilometers long and it is surrounded by the Tien-Shan fir trees that seem to grow here just for the special purpose – to decorate and save this piece of paradise. The lake water is absolutely crystal clear. The sky reflecting in the lake gives to it an amazing blue colour. So it may be even difficult to distinguish between the sky and the smooth surface of the lake if you are lucky to take some good photographs. And even if you come to see this lake again and again, you definitely won’t stop wondering the innocence of nature. The visitors seeing this beauty for the first time are amazed by the breathtaking view of the lake, its water, by the purity of the mountain air and by the beauty of the woods. The pure lake water is inhabited by the marvellous trout. The fishing funs come here to enjoy their hobby. This lake is the most easily accessible for the tourists and anyone can visit it if desired.
It will take several hours walking along the western pass to reach the second lake (H-2252) that is heart-shaped. There are lots of people visiting this place; some of them are there for mushroom picking. At sunset one can smell the scent of sweet honey emitted by the grass and flowers and see the rainbow trout jumping out of the water. You can walk with backpack or you can ride a horse or you can let a horse carry your luggage and enjoy the natural beauty and the life itself. This place seems to be created for the long walks especially when you walk from one lake to another. Every year some brave hearted people start their walking to the Issyk-Kul lake from this lake.The third lake Kolsai-3 (H2900) is the smallest and the coldest one. It is surrounded by amazing rocky brinks covered with a splendid bush wood. This lake is the last in the great lakes group created by the nature. The walking to this lake is quite challenging, and not everyone can take it, so it is the purest and the most untouched lake from all.The one who was lucky to see these mountain lakes will never forget their brilliancy surrounded by the peaceful silence. When the lakes surface is absolutely smooth it reflects the sky and the mountain landscape. The lakes may simply bewitch you when you look at them surrounded by some rocks, woods, Alpine meadows and glades with a lot of edelweiss - this tender olive-coloured mountain emblem. The tours to the lakes of Kolsay are interesting in all seasons. But visiting lakes is particularly exciting during the period of the summer holidays when it is possible to spend three or four days on visiting this place to fully enjoy its beauty.The way from Almaty to the lakes is interesting as well. The expectation of seeing the spectacular lakes makes the way exciting and there will be a lot of nice sceneries on the way, too.
The warm period continues from May to October and during this time there are a lot of visitors for mushroom picking, fishing, mountain walking and horse riding. But also in winter when it is cold there are some brave tourists who come to the Kolsay lakes for skiing and walking. This place is also actively visited by the local people who really love the gorgeous nature of the mountains, both by those who has just recently discovered Chimbulak and for those who has travelled around the half of the world. So do not hesitate to visit the Kolsay lakes – the gem of the Kazakhstan nature that is really unique and beautiful and see these spectacular landscapes in person.Please use the links below for more detailed Kolsay lakes tour description. Two and three days tour from Almaty to the Kolsay lakes. The Kolsay lakes are one of the most beautiful places of the Almaty region and it is for sure one of the most amazing natural spots worth seeing in Kazakhstan. We wish you a nice journey and many unforgettable impressions!The article has been prepared using the information from the open sources.