Visit Guide to Kanas Lake

This alpine lake is nestled in Xinjiang’s Altai Mountains, surrounded by snowy peaks, dense forests and green meadows. Kanas Lake is known for its diverse wildlife, including maral deer, snow leopards and Altai snowcocks, as well as peaceful natural surroundings and fresh mountain air.

Getting There

Kanas Lake is 700 kilometres from Ürümqi, a journey of around 12-14 hours by private car or long-distance bus. Due to its remote location, most visitors stay overnight – there are a number of accommodation options including hotels, guesthouses, homestays and camping.

What to Expect

Visitors can enjoy boat rides or go on a hike using one of the scenic trails in the area. Kanas Lake is a glacial lake that formed through a combination of geological processes over thousands of years. Massive glaciers once covered the Altai Mountains, and as they advanced and retreated, they carved out deep valleys and basins. The lake’s crystal-clear waters originate from snowmelt fed by rivers and streams that bring fresh water from the surrounding mountains.