Ozerny Pass: this road is not for timid drivers

Pereval Ozernyy is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,514m (11,528ft) above sea level, located on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It's said to be one of the most treacherous drives in the area.

Ozerny Pass

Where is Ozerny Pass?

The pass, also known as Almaty Ashuu Pass, links Chuy Region (in northern Kyrgyzstan) and Almaty Province (in Kazakhstan).

How challenging is the road through Ozerny Pass?

The road to the pass is extremely challenging. It is unpaved and in very bad condition. Only 4x4 vehicles or enduro bikes can traverse it. Expect some river crossings. The road features a series of narrow zigzags and impressive drops. The dusty, narrow road was built during the Soviet Union times.

How long is Ozerny Pass?

The pass is 106 km (65 miles) long, running north-south from Almaty (Kazakhstan's largest metropolis) to Chong-Sary-Oy (a village in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan). The road crosses two nationals: Chong-Kemin National Park and Ile-Alataw National Park.

Is Ozerny Pass open?

Nestled in the Tian Shan mountains, this road becomes inaccessible during the winter months, and open only in July and August. The surrounding mountains frequently trigger rock avalanches, posing the risk of sudden road closures at any moment.
Pic: Tanya Nekrassova