Driving to Kel-Suu Lake is only for special prepared vehicles

Kel-Suu is an alpine lake at an elevation of 3.525m (11,564ft) above the sea level, located in the At-Bashi District of Naryn Province of southeastern Kyrgyzstan.

Kel-Suu lake

The gravel road to the lake, nestled high in the mountains near the Kyrgyzstan-China border, is bumpy and rough. The area is prone to strong winds and rapid weather changes, so readiness for cold and windy conditions is necessary. Persistent high winds occur throughout the year, and the region's elevated terrain makes snow possible even in August. Be prepared for cold, wet, extreme temperatures, and variable weather conditions. The rough dirt road extends all the way to the lake but may become impassable based on erosion and water levels, with most bridges being damaged or impassable.

Situated in the southeastern part of the country, a journey on this road requires thorough preparation for both yourself and your vehicle. A 4WD vehicle is essential, and proper preparation is crucial for a safe and enjoyable trip on this challenging route. Although the area is remote, it boasts stunning scenery. Cell phone service is practically nonexistent, and there are limited food options in this isolated region. Hence, it is advisable to confirm availability, road conditions, and supplies/food in advance before booking a tour.

The journey to Kel-Suu is quite remote, demanding comprehensive preparation. In the event of a breakdown, passing traffic or inhabitants are scarce, and some parts have no cell phone service. Near the spectacular glacial lake, you'll discover a mountain hut known as Jyrgal's Yurt Camp. The road to reach the yurt camp includes at least one challenging river crossing, the difficulty of which can vary depending on recent weather conditions.
Pic: Andrew Bogomolov