On this mountain bike tour Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB we take you off the grid and into the heart of the Tien Shan mountains that include the marble pyramid of Khan Tengri (6995 m) and Pobedy Peak (7439 m). Snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop for our mountain biking trip through Kazakhstan’s valleys with lush pastures and up to passes and plateaus that are teeming with grasslands and wildflowers. The only traffic will be the occasional horseman and we’ll meet nomadic Kazakhs that have moved their flocks of sheep to high pastures.
We meet in the cosmopolitan city of Almaty that still has remnants of the Soviet era while evolving into a city with a distinctive European feel. We have walk around this leafy city before heading to the mountains and rivers. We start biking from the Turgen River Gorge and the landscape quickly changes from pine trees to open rolling grasslands. Everyday we’ll bike up dirt roads to the top of passes, have adrenalin-inducing downhills and then camp next to rushing rivers as we weave our way to Karkara Valley. The highlight of our tour is two days heli-biking. We are flown to the lofty height of 3500 m and then have a daunting descent on single track and jeep dirt roads back to our camp. The adventure continues as we climb to the top of Mingtur Pass (3900m) and the Chon Ashy Pass (3820m) and descend into Kyrgyzstan.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB is a tough off road mountain biking tour as not only is the cycling challenging, we are riding at high altitudes and in extreme weather conditions. This all makes for a true adventure for those that want a unique biking experience with spectacular high mountain scenery.
DAY 01: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB Arrive Almaty
Pick you up from the airport and transfer to our centrally located hotel in Almaty. In the late afternoon we’ll meet up to assemble the bikes and gather for a welcome dinner.
DAY 02: Almaty sightseeing
In the morning we’ll go for a sightseeing tour and see some of the more than 120 fountains in the city. In the afternoon we have a three hour drive to our first camp at the Turgen River Gorge.
DAY 03: Assy Pass and Assy River
We start riding today from our camp (1800 m) on a rough jeep track that follows the Turgen River to the end of the valley. We start to climb to the top of Assy Pass (2650 m), have views here of snow-capped peaks in the distance. Then we descend for 30 km following the Assy River.
DAY 04: Zhambas Pass
We have a short but tough climb to reach the lofty summit of Zhambas Pass at 3150 m. Once we’ve reached the top It’s a long and exhilarating descent for 23 km along the Zheniska River. All the riding is off road.
DAY 05: Kungey Alatau Mountains
Today starts with a climb up but the switchbacks make the gradient easy. We traverse across the Kungey Alatau Mountains then a tough and rocky road leads us through a steep hillside that will test even the strongest of cyclists.
DAY 06: Zhalanash Village
Today we hit some tarmac as we follow the asphalt road from Saty village for 28 km to Zhalanash village (1700 m). The riding will be mostly flat today with a few undulations. We camp near the Kegen River.
DAY 07 : Karkara Valley old Silk Road
Today we enter into Kyrgyzstan riding through rolling grasslands on a good road to reach the beautiful Karkara Valley. This section was once part of the Silk Road. We spend the next three nights at Base Camp Karkara (2200 m).
DAY 08: Helicopter biking
We’ll be using the same helicopters the climbers use for our next two days of heli-biking! With our bikes onboard we fly up to 3500 metres and then make a unforgettable 1300 m descent on grasslands. Stopping inside a yurt we’ll see how they live and have a taste of their local tea.
DAY 09: Helicopter biking
Today we take the easy way up again, via our helicopter! We are dropped off on a high plateau with stunning views of the peaks of the Tien Shan mountains surrounding us. Afternoon is free to sweat it out at the traditional sauna at base camp.
DAY 10: Koshkar Valley
Today we say good bye to base camp and head up and over and down into the Koshkar valley. We’ll have numerous river crossings today, so don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. Our camp today is at 3000 m, the highest of the trip.
DAY 11: Krygztan
Another day cycling off road through grasslands with snow capped peak as your back drop. A long descent takes us down to Krygztan and the Saary Zhaz River where we’ll camp tonight.
Day 12 Chon Ashy Pass
A roller coaster start of our riding day as we follow the Sary Zhaz River. Once we reach the top of Chon Ashy Pass (3820 m), we take a well-earned break to admire the view before we have a ballistic descent that takes us to down our riverside camp.
Day 13 Karkara base camp
Our route today on dirt roads will take us back to Kazakhstan. There will be climbs up and over many hills but soon we’ll have a fast downhill that leads us to Karkara Base Camp.
Day 14 Almaty
Our cycling has ended and today we’ll meet our transport back to Almaty which takes about 7 hours. We stop en route for lunch at Charyn Canyon. Once in Almaty we check into our hotel and meet for a celebratory dinner
Day 15: Depart
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB comes to an end today, a last look around Almaty, time to box up bikes before we transfer you to the airport for the flight home.
Prices: Prices vary due to currency fluctuations, please ask for best prices and availability
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB: What’s Included:
14 night’s accommodation
Airport Transfers in Almaty
Meet & greet upon arrival
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB: Mountain bike hire on request, although we highly recommend bringing your own
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB: What’s NOT Included: International Flights Any drinks, and incidental purchases along the way, any meals not listed in the itinerary
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan MTB: Single supplement please ask for pricing