Best Season: July-September
Level of Difficulty: Moderate; passes at 3,000 meters asl
Requirements: Trekking boots as well as light shoes, sleeping bag, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, gloves, sunscreen and sunglasses. Some horse-riding skills are required, free instruction
Distance: About 150km north of Arslanbob
Overnight Stay: B&B in guesthouse (Arslanbob) and stay in tents while touring
Description: Arslanbob Village is the gateway to the world’s largest walnut forests. From here, travelers can explore untouched nature and discover the Kyrgyz South. Walk through coniferous and fruit forests, enjoy fishing in the headwaters of impetuous mountain rivers, meet local communities of shepherds, and see a wide variety of both flora and fauna. In the evening, dine by a campfire on freshly prepared organic foods, and rest your horse-weary body under the sparkling stars.
Itinerary: Arslanbob Village – jailoo Jaz-Jarym (2,500m asl) – Katar-Jangak walnut groves – Kyzyl-Ünkür – Kara-Ünkür River – Kenkol River – jailoo Kenkol – Shaldyrak (Üch-Tash) Pass – Shaldyrak River – alongside river Kara-Suu – Kargysh Pass (1,961m asl) – jailoo Kargysh – Kargata Village - Üch-Terek Village
Day 1: Breakfast. Early morning departure. Moving north towards jailoo Jaz-Jarym. The Kyzyl- Ünkür – Kenkol road. Lunch en route. The village of Kyzyl-Ünkür. Relaxation at Kara-Bulak. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 2: Breakfast. Heading off to Kaldyrgoch Pass. Lunch and short rest at Kaldyrgoch Pass. Continue alongside the river of Kenkol. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 3: Breakfast. Going up to Shaldyrak Pass. Crossing Shaldyrak Pass. Lunch and short rest on the bank of Kümüsh-Suu River. Crossing Ketmen-Töbö Pass. Camping on a riverside of Kara-Suu River.
Day 4: Breakfast. Kara-Suu River. Here, the horses are to be left, and the rest of route is passed by foot until Kargysh shepherd encampment (about 10km). Kargysh Pass. Descend to a small shepherd encampment of Kargysh from where one can easily get by taxi to Üch-Terek Village. From Üch-Terek, travelers may continue on to Bishkek or Osh.