Trek from Jeti Oguz to Altyn ArashanAfter traveling around the world and meeting hundreds of different people around the world, I decided to take a small break. It was the beginning of July 2022. After backpacking Cappadocia, I moved to Antalya to enjoy its sea and luscious beaches. 

In Antalya, I spent almost two weeks in the wonderful Paradise Bay in Kemer. One evening, when I was returning to the Bay after a small shopping in a nearby supermarket, I saw a policeman near the entrance to Paradise Bay. Also, there was a written announcement stating that entrance to Paradise Bay was prohibited.

I was shocked. When I tried to enter the bay, a policeman prevented my entry and told me that the bay was closed. In the morning I was swimming in the warm sea and relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Paradise Bay. Now, after a few hours, I was unable to enter the place. How quickly everything can change. We don’t control the external circumstances of our life. 

After a few days, I learned that the Turkish police were closing all camping places near forests because of the forest fire danger. The weather was very hot and potentially something bad might have happened in the Turkish forests. An innocent campfire might have led to a dangerous fire that could devour a whole forest. 

I know that the actions of the police were motivated by paranoia, and everything was absolutely normal. A government can’t prevent its citizens from camping and having rest in the natural reserves of a country. However, I was a mere tourist and had no power to make an impact in that situation. 

Now, when my favorite recreational place was closed, I had to find another place to save myself from the hot Antalian sun. After several failed attempts to replace Paradise Bay with something similar, I decided to go home to Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, and have a small break until the end of summer. 

My international clients were also waiting for me to start my work. For some, I had to make websites, logotypes, SEO work, and other types of digital projects. Most importantly, I was homesick. 


I arrived in Bishkek on the 15th of July. After a few weeks of relaxing on my comfortable bed and sofa, I decided to visit some famous and popular sightseeing places in Kyrgyzstan. Even though I am a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, it was the first time I decided to travel within the country. 

How often we don’t value and appreciate the things we have in our home!? This was my situation. I was traveling around the world but knew nothing about the stunning nature of Kyrgyzstan. At that moment, Issyk-Kol was the only place I visited in Kyrgyzstan. While in the country, I had a very passive lifestyle spending most of my time in my flat and in the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. 


After making some research on Google, I decided that Karakol was the most picturesque and expansive place for hiking in Kyrgyzstan. It is such a shame for a local person to read foreign blogs in order to learn about his own country. This is what I was doing. I was reading American and European blogs in order to find the best hiking and trekking trails in Kyrgyzstan. Finally, all roads led to Karakol

There are dozens of different hiking and trekking trails in Karakol. Some of them are daylong and other routes require up to eight days of trekking. As a backpacker who values challenge, I decided to choose a challenging trekking trail. 


I chose a very challenging trekking trail that would start in Jeti Oguz resort and finish in Altyn Arashan. This trail is 65 km long and has loads of elevations. The highest elevation is 3900 meters high. 

I found a couple of blogs that covered this trekking trail, gathered all the necessary information, evaluated the difficulty of the trail, and started preparing for the trek. 

It didn’t take a lot of time for me to be ready for the road. My backpack was ready from my arrival. My tents, sleeping bag, and pad were in a good condition. 


Numerous trekking trails taught me that low-volume high-energy food is the best choice for long trekking trails. Thus, I decided that dates would be an ideal source of energy for this trek. I went to a supermarket and bought one kilogram of fresh Iranian dates. This small box of dates didn’t occupy much space in my backpack. 

Water is in abundance everywhere in Kyrgyzstan. There are lakes, springs, and a lot of other sources of fresh water. I didn’t have to worry about water on my trail. 


I woke up in the morning, had breakfast, put on my backpack, and then reached West Bus station in Bishkek in approximately 20 minutes. 

I bought a ticket to Karakol that cost me 500 soms (6 USD). I chose a place at the end of the minibus because I wanted to keep my backpack with me instead of giving it to the luggage section of the bus (it would be damaged, dirtied, and plus, I would have to pay a fee for it.

Boom gorge

A beutiful view from Boom Gorge near Issyk Kul

After a multi-hour drive in the comfortable minibus, I finally reached Karakol. At Karakol bus station, I was asking people how to get to Jeti Oguz. Most online resources claim that you have to go to an intersection of certain streets and catch a bus there. All this information is outdated. 


Here is the complete guide on how to get from Karakol to Jeti Oguz. You don’t need to reach any intersection of streets to get to Jeti Oguz resort. Just follow my advice and you will be in the resort very quickly. 

If you are in Karakol Bus station, you should start walking toward a famous Dungan mosque. This is a prominent mosque that was fully built without the use of a single nail. The mosque has very interesting and beautiful architecture (the mosque itself is a topic of another blog post). 

At the bus station, ask people about the location of the Dungan mosque, or just walk southward. After a ten-minute walk, the street will end, and you will need to turn left. Now walk straight until you reach the famous Dungan mosque. When you reach the mosque, cross the road and go straight until you reach the city market (bazaar). There is a local bus station inside the bazaar. There, you will easily find a bus that will bring you to Jeti Oguz. 

Jeti Oguz

This is where I started hitchhiking toward Jeti Oguz resort

This was how I reached Jeti Oguz. All Internet resources provided me with the wrong information. Local people are always better sources of information. In the bazaar, I found a bus that brought me to Jeti-Oguz. The bus trip cost me only 40 soms (50 cents).


The bus dropped me in Jeti-Oguz. An old taxi driver met me at the place. He told me that Jeti-Oguz resort was 12 km away from that place. No public transportation went to Jeti-Oguz resort. The man offered to drive me to the resort for 200 soms. He also said that we could wait for other passengers and share the fee. In this case, each of the passengers would pay only 50 soms. 

As a mean backpacker, I never pay for taxis or buses when there is a chance to hitchhike for free. I had no experience of hitchhiking in Kyrgyzstan, and therefore, I wasn’t sure whether it would work or not. 

After ten minutes of waiting, I realized that it would take hours to gather three additional passengers for the taxi and share the taxi fee. As a result of my considerations, I decided to start hitchhiking. 


Surprisingly, hitchhiking to Jeti Oguz worked very well. I didn’t wait for too long until a car picked me up. This car brought me to an unknown gorge which was very near to Jeti Oguz resort. Then, a second car picked me up and bought me to my destination point. 

Jeti Oguz resort

The famous Seven Bulls in Jeti Oguz resort

In Jeti Oguz, I climbed a hill, made a couple of photos, and selfies, called my mother with a video call to show her the beauty of the place, and then started my hike. 


Jeti Oguz resort mountainsIn Jeti Oguz resort, the trekking trail is very obvious. You just need to follow a wide road that narrows down as you progress. This is what I did. It was the second half of the afternoon, and my hike was very pleasant. The weather was cool. I was following the trail, taking photos, and snapping selfies while enjoying the astonishing views of the nature surrounding me. 

Jeti Oguz trail

This is the trail you need to follow in order to do this trek

Jeti Oguz to Teleti trail

This trail is astonishingly beautiful


Jeti Oguz yurt campIt was darkening when I reached a valley packed with several yurts. I thought it was already dark to continue my hike. I found a good place and pitched my tent. The night was very warm. It was one of the two warm nights during my 6-day trek in Karakol. 

my tent in Jeti Oguz valley


I woke up in the morning, prepared a cup of coffee, packed my tent, and continued my trek. After several hours of hiking in different valleys and crossing beautiful rivers, I arrived at a designated campsite. Though it was still early and I could continue trekking further, the weather was very cloudy.

Hiking toward Teleti Pass head

The campsite was located in front of Teleti pass. This was a transit zone for all tourists, travelers, hikers, and trekkers who were planning to pass Teleti Pass. 

I camped just before the rain started

I camped in a designated place near the river in front of the Teleti Pass

I looked at the skies and they were covered with thick layers of clouds. It was obvious that the rain would come very soon. I found a good place near other tents on the campsite and pitched my tent. The rain started at the moment I was unpacking my tent. Even though I started pitching the tent at the right moment, I still got soaked in the rain.

It was approximately 6 pm. The rain was still raining. By the late evening, the rain stopped. I was sitting in my tent and drinking hot cups of coffee. Though I could get out of the tent and have some conversation with other campers, I had no desire to leave my warm shelter. 

The second night was colder than the first one because the campsite was located on an elevation. Consequently, the weather at night was much colder. 


Climbing Teleti PassI woke up in the morning, drank a cup of hot coffee, and started packing my tent. It was cold outside because of the elevation. I think that the camp was already more than 2500 meters above the sea level. 

View down the Teleti Pass

This is what you see while looking down from the Teleti Pass

Now, I was on one of the most difficult points of the trekking trail. I had to climb a mountain to pass Teleti Pass. The highest point at the pass was 3800 meters. 

I started climbing. My breath was getting faster and harder with every step and movement. When I listened to my heart, I realized it was beating unusually fast. Even though I wasn’t well-acclimatized, I didn’t feel any signs of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Everything was cool. There were no other climbers on my way. I was absolutely alone. 


Peak of the Teleti PassAfter an hour or more, I was getting closer to the peak of the Teleti Pass. The landscape was truly stunning. On the way up, I was able to refill my bottle with fresh spring water. It was an amazing climb. 

When I arrived at the highest point of the Teleti Pass, I saw a lot of snow on the top of the mountains. Though the snow was still there in the middle of summer, I felt absolutely comfortable in a light coat. It wasn’t cold on the top of the summit. 

backpack on mountain

My backpack is resting at the height of 3800 meters

I put my backpack and hiking poles on the ground and decided to have some rest at the elevation of 3800 meters. I started taking photos of the surrounding beauty. As always, I snapped dozens of selfies. 


Now, it was time to get down. I wasn’t worried about the weather. The sky was clear and there was no chance of rain. Slowly, I started getting down from the summit. The trail was very steep. My hiking poles were truly helpful on my way down from the Teleti Pass. 

Mountain snow in the middle of hot summer

Mountain snow in the middle of summer

While getting down from the high elevation, I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes in my life. Cold and wild springs and lakes were surrounded by green bushes and massive stones. I have never seen anything more stunning and impressive in my life. These landscapes are unforgettable. 


Now, when my descent from the Teleti Pass was completed, and I had to walk for a few hours to reach Karakol valley. This route was very easy and pleasurable. There were no elevations. Thus, this easy hike didn’t demand any extraordinary energy and effort. 

Teleti Pass view

On the way to the Karakol valley, I met loads of hikers. I was stopping for a couple of minutes to have short conversations with the travelers. All trekking and hiking conversations are always the same. You frequently ask and answer the following questions: “Where are you from?”, “What is your route?”, “How long have you been on the trail?”, “How much time until point B?”, etc. 

Climbing down the Teleti Pass

While climbing down the Teleti Pass, I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world

After a long hike from Karakol gorge to Karakol valley, it started darkening. There were loads of camping spots around me. However, I still wanted to reach the ‘Wild camping spot’ shown on my map. Thus, I continued the hike. 


Getting lost in KarakolAt one point, the clear trail became less visible, and finally, disappeared. There was a broad and fast rived on the right side of me. A thick forest was the only thing in front of me. I had no idea where I should go now to continue my trek. Plus, there were no people around me to ask for the location. My phone battery was already very low and I neglected the use of GPS. 

Thick forest in Karakol

Never forget to check your GPS. Otherwise, getting lost in a forest would be your real destiny.

I decided that the trail must be inside the forest. When I looked to the side of the forest, I saw a road that looked like a trail (I deceived myself by thinking it was the trail). I entered the forest and followed “the trail”. At some point, the small road ended. There were bushes and trees in front of me. I was so confused. I didn’t want to come back. Instead, I decided to pave the road to the river. I thought that the trail must be near the river. 


 I started breaking every bush and tree branch on my way. It was very hard and desperate work. Finally, I was on the edge of the cliff. When I looked down, there was the murderous river that would instantly kill me if I fell down. As for the trail near the river, there wasn’t even a single hint of it. 

I was desperate. I had no idea what to do. It was almost fully dark outside. While climbing up the cliff, I even bent one of my new trekking poles. Now, I had to do something to rescue myself. In the dark, I had almost no chance to find the right path. 


After half an hour of struggle in the thick forest on the edge of the dangerous river, I decided to rely on GPS. I carefully looked at my GPS, and realized, that the trail was across the river on the hill. Now, I had to cross the river. 

In this situation, I didn’t care whether I would get wet or soaked in the river. I had to immediately cross it and get on back on the trail if I wanted to avoid more serious problems. I found a place on the edge of the hill that was less dangerous for my descent. I climbed down the hill, looked at the river, and found a suitable crossing spot. 

The stream was very tough and fast. One wrong move and I would fall into the river. Further, the strong and cold stream would smash my head on the huge rocks. I held a thick tree branch and started crossing the river. There were no stones, and therefore, I had to fully soak my feet up to my ankles in the river. 

I crossed one river, and still, there was another river that I had to get over. The second river was easier. Now, when I crossed the two rivers, there was a high hill packed with very thick bushes and trees. There was no road to continue my route. 


In this situation, I didn’t hesitate too much. If there was no road to continue, I had to pave this path myself. I started breaking every bush and tree branch on my way and climbing up the hill that was separating me from my trail. My shoes were soaking deep in the wet soil. 

After fifteen minutes of struggling inside a dark and unpassable forest, I finally climbed up the hill and saw the clear trail. Now, I was saved. Though it was already very dark outside, I just had to continue walking this trail to come to my destination point. 


I5t started raining and my tent wasn’t pitched yet. Finally, I was in Karakol Nature Reserve. This meant that I have already reached the Karakol Valley. Now, I would camp at the first available opportunity. 

I finally reached that ‘wild camping spot’ where I pitched my tent. After getting lost in the forest, crossing the cold and unmerciful river on foot, and getting soaked in the rain, I was in my warm tent. My shoes were fully wet and I could only hope that tomorrow would be a sunny day that would dry shoes. Otherwise, I would have to continue my trek in wet Salomon trekking shoes. 


I woke up in the morning in my pink Naturehike tent. It was raining outside. The rain was very vigorous and relentless. It felt like the rain would never stop. The weather was so disgusting that I didn’t even want to get my head out of my Aegismax 800 sleeping bag. 

Hiking from Karakol valley to Sirota Camp

Elevation to the Sirota Camp starts after you cross this bridge. Turn right and follow the trail.

I made a cup of coffee and got back into my sleeping bag. During this heavy rain, it was pointless to continue the trek. You would get soaked and get ill. In any case, the rainy hike wouldn’t make you feel comfortable. I was determined to stay in my tent until the rain stops.

At midday, the rain finally stopped. My trekking shoes were still wet. I had no idea how to dry them. The sun was beyond grey clouds and there was no chance of drying them. I put on the wet shoes without socks and it made me feel very uncomfortable. Finally, the sense of discomfort disappears and you even forget that you are wearing wet shoes without socks. 

I started my hike towards Sirota Camp. First, I had to pass Karakol valley which is very big and broad. At a certain point, I met a local guide and I asked him about the road to Sirota Camp. He told me that I had to cross a bridge and then choose one of the three paths that lead to Sirota Camp. He told me to choose the path that led to the left side of a mountain. 


When I crossed the above-mentioned bridge, I turned right as was advised to me by the local guide. Now, I was in a picturesque forest with truly gorgeous landscapes and views. At first, the path was straight and the hike was very easy and comfortable. After twenty minutes of hiking in a labyrinthine forest, the easiness of the trail vanished and I had to climb the mountain. 

Trail to the Sirota Camp

Trail to the Sirota Camp is very adventurous

On the way up to Sirota Camp, I met several tourists and hikers. I asked them about the remoteness of Sirota Camp. Most of them told me that the climb to Ala Kul lake would be more exhausting and difficult. I was already very tired by the climb to Sirota Camp. I couldn’t imagine a climb more energy-demanding than that one, and these guys were telling me that the Ala-Kul lake hike would be more difficult.

The trail gets harder and harder until you reach the peak 

After a few hours of vigorous climb, I was on the top of the mountain. I had to go through big boulders. Suddenly, the path cleared and I saw a big concentration of tents. Finally, I was in Sirota Camp. 


I approached a local-looking guy and asked him whether camping in Sirota Camp was free. This guy was charging his smartphone with a power bank taken from Israeli tourists. The man told me that it would be better if I proceeded further and camped in another place because the camp was already too crowded. After I let him know that I had a power bank and I would give it to him to charge his phone, he almost requested me to stay in the camp. Self-interest drives people. 

Sirota Camp in Karakol

There was a big number of South Korean tourists in the camp. Together we made a big campfire and I dried my wet shoes. After a few hours of campfire conversations with local guides and porters, I decided to go sleep in my tent. 

My Naturehike tent

The night at such a high elevation was cold

The night was very cold and I couldn’t catch a good sleep. The camp was on an elevation close to 3000 meters above sea level in the mountains. Therefore, it would be unusual for the place to be warm. 


I woke up early in the morning. The sky was crystally clear. Nobody would dare predict rain that day. Local guides and porters in the camp were talking about going to the lake. The weather was awesome, and it was surely a wonderful day to hike up to Ala Kul lake. 

Ala Kul pass

Climbing the Ala Kul pass was the most difficult part of the 6-day trek

I drank my usual cup of coffee, ate a few dates, packed my tent, and started hiking towards Ala Kul lake. The hike was very difficult. At first, I had to walk in a thick forest where branches and bushes were touching my bare shoulders. 

After getting out of the forest, I had to walk on unstable boulders. Finally, I arrived at a broad spring. Now, I had to make a superbly exhausting climb up to the Ala Kul lake. It took me several hours to reach climb up the Ala Kul pass. It was certainly the most difficult section of my 6-day trek. I was stopping every five meters and trying to catch my breath. My heart was beating like a heart of a racing horse. 


Finally, I crossed the Ala Kul pass and was near Ala Kul lake. This was one of the most picturesque landscapes during my 6-day trek in Karakol. It was the most exhausting, energy-demanding, and rewarding section of the great trail. 

Ala Kul lake

I finally reached Ala Kul. The view was stunning.

I spent approximately twenty-thirty minutes enjoying the view of the lake. Then, I and other trekkers on the summit saw a pack of clouds coming towards the lake. It was a sign of imminent rain. 

Everyone started hurrying to get out of the summit and climb down to the nearest valley. Being on top of a high mountain pass during heavy rain or snow is very dangerous. This is why I also started my hike on the way down. 


Now, I had to climb up to the highest point of Ala Kul pass which was situated 3900 meters above sea level. From that point, there was a way to climb down to the nearest valley. 

When I was approaching the highest point, it started raining. Small pieces of ice started attacking us on the top of the pass. One of the female hikers got an ice cube in her eye. She was struggling with her eye. I, on the other hand, was shocked by the severity of this rainfall.


The rain came with heavy fog. After a few minutes, the visibility was so bad that I couldn’t see the trail. I was scared because my fingers were already numb and freezing because of the cold wind that came along with the heavy rain. I had no idea where I was walking. 

After ten or fifteen minutes, the fog disappeared and the mountain trail became visible again. I started walking toward the highest point. Finally, I was there. I had no mood and intention to enjoy the view after the icefall that fully soaked my shoes and clothes. My only desire was to climb down from the elevation as soon as possible. 

I looked down to the valley and couldn’t find a way down. It was impossible to guess where I should go to get to the valley. I decided to wait for a French couple who were climbing up the summit beside me. Together we would find the way down.

After a few minutes, a young French man and his wife arrived at the highest point of the pass. Surprisingly, they were in a very good mood. The man was very positive and always smiling. They were taking photos of the view, and then we finally found a way down.

The trail was the worst road I have encountered on this 6-day trek. It was watered-down soil. The only way to get down was to ski on your shoes. This is what I did. By the end of this descent, my new Salomon shoes were in soil and mud. 


I climbed down to the valley and waited for my new French friends. Together we walked through the valley and arrive at the yurt hostel. We were warmly welcomed in the yurt, drank hot tea, and ate cookies, and bread. The French tourists decided to continue their journey to Altyn Arashan. 

I decided to stay in the territory of the hostel. While I was pitching my tent, the hostel owner offered me to stay in a yurt for free. This was an amazing offer that I gladly accepted. 

In a yurt with my French friendsAfter the heavy icefall at the height of 3900 meters, we drank hot tea with biscuts in a warm yurt

The night was very warm. I was under my sleeping bag and two sleeping towels. Plus, the hostel owner was constantly warming the yurt with a stove. There was a British hiker and three Russian tourists in the yurt. Only travel, hiking, and trekking can gather people of different nationalities and religions in one place. 


I woke up in the morning and saw that everyone except me was gone. The British hiker was planning to ascend the Ala Kul pass. The three Russian tourists had the same intentions. They were all gone. 

Slowly, I packed my sleeping bag in its compression bag and walked out of the yurt. The hostel owner offered me breakfast. I ate a very delicious breakfast with tea, cookies, fried eggs, and sausages. 

After finishing my breakfast, I started my last hike towards Altyn Arashan. I was very exhausted and eager to finish this trek. My mind was dreaming about hot home food and a comfortable bed. 

After four to six hours of hiking through different valleys, forests, and passes, I finally arrived at Altyn Arashan. I was happy with the realization that this epic trek was completed. 

On the Internet, everyone is talking about hot springs in Altyn Arashan. Actually, I could get to them and enjoy a few hours of soaking in hot springs. However, it was already the second half of the day and the evening was coming. I was eager to get home as soon as possible. 


When I arrived at Altyn Arashan, I saw two policemen and a handcuffed man. A police team arrived at Altyn Arashan to catch a local man. I have no idea what the dude has committed, but I was told that he wasn’t a criminal and his was a minor crime. The police came to arrest the man and bring him to the police station in Ak Suu city. 

Though I am not in love with the police and I find most of them paranoid, I had to get to Ak Suu somehow because the city was the only gateway to Karakol. From Karakol, I could find a bus to Bishkek. 

I asked the police whether they had an empty place in their van. They told me they would give me a ride. 


The trip from Altyn Arashan was very long. Plus, 90% of the route was on offroad terrain. The vehicle was driving on stony roads. I felt on a Disney attraction while in the vehicle. 

On the way to Ak Suu, I saw hundreds of trekkers who were hiking both ways. My French hiker friends were also there. 


Finally, the police van dropped me near the police station in Ak Suu. I entered the nearest supermarket, bought a sandwich with soda, and then caught a bus towards Karakol. In Karakol, I walked to the city bus station and sat on a bus heading to Bishkek. 

On the sixth day of the trek, I felt pain in my feet. They were blistered. Every single movement was causing pain. These were consequences of high-altitude trekking and climbing. My feet, hands, and face were swollen. 

At night, I arrived home. I immediately took a warm shower, ate some food that was in my refrigerator, and went to sleep. 


The 6-day trek from Jeti Oguz to Ala Kul was one of the best travel experiences of my life. I hiked through some of the most beautiful natural places in the world. I experienced high mountains, wild forests, dangerous and relentless lakes, and the warm hospitality of local people. This experience is truly unforgettable. While writing these sentences in my warm and cozy Bishkek flat, I am still missing those stunning landscapes. 

People share things they love and enjoy. Therefore, I also want more people from around the world to enjoy this epic trek. On the tours page, you can find a package for the 6-day trek from Jeti Oguz to Altyn Arashan. 

Contact me and book your spot on this tour. Together, we will experience some of the best moments of your life on this epic trekking tour. Your experience will be unforgettable. 

Written by ProBackpacker
I am an avid backpacker who shares his knowledge and travel tips with the world. Check out my latest journeys, travel guides, and backpacking gear reviews.