Visit Guide to Ala Archa

The Ala-Archa gorge is located in the Chuy Region and is one of the most famous sights of Kyrgyzstan. It is located on the central and highest part of the Kyrgyz Range – the second longest range in Tien-Shan. Ala-Archa is famous for its unspoiled nature: vast spruce forests, birch groves, numerous springs with clear glacial water and mighty rocks.

Getting There

While marshrutka (routed shared taxi) number 265 from Bishkek goes to the main gate of the national park on some departures, no public transport covers the remaining 11km to the alplager area. Taxis from Bishkek cover the whole 40km from the city in around an hour, though it is wise to negotiate a round-trip price and identify a pick-up time beforehand.

What to Expect

The Kyrgyz Republic’s first national park remains popular with Bishkek residents for picnics, and with international hikers and mountaineers looking to conquer the region’s imposing peaks. From simple day hikes through juniper forests to the Ak-Sai Waterfall and challenging treks to Adygene Glacier or Peak Manas, Ala-Archa has outdoor options for all abilities.

Mountaineers often use the Ratsek Hut area as a base for climbing surrounding peaks, from the non-technical Peak Uchitel (4540m) to the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range’s tallest peak Semenov-Tien-Shansky (4895m).


Ala Archa Natural Park is located approximately 40 km south of the capital city of Bishkek in the region’s largest gorge also named Ala-Archa. With an area of 2280 hectares, the Park was formed in 1976. The alpine park stretches for over 35 km of the western Tien Shan range. The national park’s altitude ranges from about 1,500 meters at the entrance to a maximum of 4,895 meters at Semenova Tian-Shanski, the highest peak in the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range.

Facilities Available

  • Tourist facilities in Ala-Archa are concentrated on the ‘alplager’ area, where one hotel and one simple dormitory offer overnight accommodation and food.
  • Most travellers visit the park on day trips from Bishkek, bringing with them everything they’ll need for the day, or overnight in tents further in the park on self-sufficient treks.
  • For mountaineers, hiking into the Ratsek Hut at 3400m is another option.