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Trek Off the Beaten Path in Kyrgyzstan

by Megan Hill

Aug 18, 2017

Hiker Kyrgyzstan © Pavel Svoboda | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

New routes added to a recreational trail system in Kyrgyzstan aim to encourage more independent trekkers to the region’s incredible mountains, alpine lakes and pastures in this Central Asian country.

Discover Kyrgyzstan worked with support from USAID to complete the initiative to mark a trail system connecting some 300 kilometers between trekking hubs Kochkor and Karakol, and the border to neighboring Kazakhstan.

There are 20 individual routes covering 800 kilometers of marked trails, which help independent travelers explore the diversity of the country’s mountain landscapes and engage in the local culture. Many high-altitude pastures are scattered throughout the Issyk-Kol region’s mountain valleys, where nomadic shepherds live in yurts in the summer as livestock graze. Travelers can even stay in some of the remote yurts through homestay programs.

Kyrgyzstan is a popular place for trekkers but there’s long been limited access to information on the entire route network, limiting travelers to just a small number of popular routes radiating from Kochkor and Karakol. With the new trail network, and greater access to information overall, a slew of new options is now accessible.

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