Kok-Airyk Pass is passable in July and August only
Pereval Kok Airyk is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.850m (12,631ft) above the sea level, located in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. Driving through the pass, the driver will negotiate about 15 snaking sections of uncovered road with some stony places. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.
Set high in the Tian Shan mountains, the road to the summit, also known as Kök-Arik Ashuu pass, is totally unpaved, with boulders and deep ruts throughout. 4x4 vehicles or enduro bikes only. Some local sources state the road is not passable anymore. Atop the pass, if the weather is fine, there is a wonderful view of the Issyk-Kul lake and the snowy Terskey-Alatoo mountain ridge situated at the opposite side of the lake.
Built from 1990 to 1991, the pass is 69.2 km (42.99 miles) long running from Örnök to Ozerny Pass, on the border with Kazakhstan. Proper preparation is essential to having a safe, enjoyable trop on this road. The road crosses the Chong-Kemin National Park and offers an unforgettable panorama. There are often rock avalanches coming down from the surrounding mountains which can close the road anytime.
It is very important to check rainfall in this area before setting off and make sure you are well prepared for the trip. Right at the pass there is an arch with a very optimistic inscription saying that the Cholpon-Ata-Almaty road has been built and international tourism can feel safe here. It’s passable only in July and August.