Turgen Gorge provides a gateway to the Kungey-Alatau Mountains just 90 m (56 mi) from Almaty. The area is rich with hot springs, waterfalls, coniferous and mixed forest, alpine and sub-alpine meadows, lakes and streams, and herbs and berries. Cool mountain streams allow tired travelers to refresh while beautiful scenery will make you glad that you brought your camera.
Visiting Turgen Gorge, you’ll learn the history of the area, from archaeological sites of the Saka — a tribe of the Scythian culture — to Barrows, or burial grounds. An open-air archaeological museum with a warrior sculpture — known as the “Gold Man” — has become a state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Along the way we visit a trout farm, where you can fish and have your catch served for lunch. There are few meals to compare to fresh trout. We also visit an ostrich farm. Next we’re off to Bear Falls, where a 40 m (131 ft) waterfall is a sight to behold as nearby rocks display fossils of ancient plants.
The gorge is also known for the ancient Chin-Turgensky moss fir groves creeping on the ground, forming a continuous fir tree carpet. The gorge is 44 km (27 mi) to the Plateau of Assy, where, at an elevation of 2560 m (8,399 ft), ancient caravans passed on their way to China and India from Europe.