Kolsay Lakes & Kaindy Lake (2-day trip)
Kolsay lakes are located 330 kilometers south-east of Almaty, 10 kilometers north off the border with Kyrgyzstan. The lakes are located in the national park “Kolsay lakes”, founded in February 2007. The territory of the national park is inhabited by representatives of the animal world such as: bears, wild boars, lynxes, wolves, foxes, hares and badgers.
Kolsay lakes is a system of three lakes in the northern Tien Shan, in the Kolsay gorge, in the bridge connecting the Kungei-Alatau and Ile-Alatau ridges.
Saty lake (the lower lake) is located at an altitude of 1 818 meters above the sea level, length 1 kilometer, width 400 meters, depth 80 meters. Mynzhylky lake (the second lake) is at an altitude of 2 252 meters above the sea level and 8 kilometers away from the first lake. Sarybulak lake (the third lake) is at an altitude of 2 850 meters, 4 kilometers from Mynzhylky lake.
Crystal clear emerald water of lakes is fresh and tight with the content of sodium sulfate. The bottom is shallow in places, without rocky ledges. Kolsay lakes are deep, in some places the depth is 80 meters. In summer the water temperature is 10 degrees. The lakes are flowing and are interconnected with Kolsay river, which originates at the Kungei Alatau ridge Kaindy Lake (“Kaindy” means full of birch-trees) is famous for its origin.
Formed in 1911 as a result of a strong earthquake, which caused a landslide, that blocked the valley, and the water flooded the valley with pine trees. The lake water is cold (6 C degrees in summer), causing the needles of the trees survive and it can be seen through the transparent surface of the water.
The road to the lake from the village runs through an extraordinarily beautiful birch grove, located 5 kilometers from Kaindy Lake.