Discover the Magnificent Big Almaty Lake: An Alpine Gem in the Tien Shan Mountains

Big Almaty Lake is a picturesque alpine reservoir nestled in the majestic Tien Shan mountains, specifically within the Trans-Ili Alatau range, south of Almaty. This natural wonder is located approximately 15 kilometers away from the city center, but the journey to reach it may take a bit longer due to the mountainous terrain.

At an impressive altitude of 2511 meters above sea level, Big Almaty Lake experiences its highest water levels in August and its lowest in February. Interestingly, during a visit, it was observed that the lake was unexpectedly half to two-thirds full, surprising both locals and visitors. The reason behind this fluctuation remains unknown.

Noteworthy to mention, the lake serves as a vital source of drinking water for the city of Almaty. Consequently, swimming is strictly prohibited in order to maintain the purity of the water. Additionally, due to its importance and sensitivity, the lake is heavily guarded, with certain areas strictly off-limits to the public.

Situated close to the Kyrgyz border, the area was previously accessible for hiking between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan during the Soviet era. However, in recent years, the mountain border has been closed, preventing any close proximity to the border area.

While entrance to the lake itself is free, visitors are required to pay a small fee to access the park located at the base of the mountain. Please note that rules and regulations for Big Almaty Lake are subject to change, so it’s advisable to be prepared for any potential variations from what you may find online. Welcome to Kazakhstan!

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