Road trip guide: Conquering Karakol Gorge

Karakol Gorge is the name of an alpine canyon carved by Karakol River, located in Ak-Suu District, in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan.

Road trip guide: Conquering Karakol Gorge

Can you drive through Karakol Gorge?

Set high in the eastern part of the country, the road through the high mountain gorge is totally unpaved with extremely poor conditions, very steep and many primitive wooden bridges. An experienced driver is required. The road is not an easy one, very steep in places, and requires a very capable 4x4 vehicle (preferably with two driving axles).

How long is the road through Karakol Gorge?

Tucked away on the eastern part of the Terskey Ala-Too ridge, the road through the gorge is 21.3 km (13.23 miles) long starting at Karakol, the fourth-largest city of the country.

Is the road through Karakol Gorge open?

The road ends at 2.627m (8,618ft) above the sea level. It can be blocked by snow until summer is well advanced. The road is prone to flooding and can be impassable anytime. Due its remoteness it’s possible to see mountain goats, deer, lynx, wild boar, snow leopards, wolves, bears and eagles.
Pic: Vidas Pakalnis