The Charyn river has carved a canyon out of the red rocks here in south western Kazakhstan. The so called "valley of castels".


Best in spring (april, may) or autumn (september, october). In summer it is simply too hot here.


There are two access roads:

  • Coming from Almaty: close to km marker 267, just before a little pass a dirt road turns off to the east. After 15km you reach the canyon. Quite some washboard on this route. You can go down all the way to the river but there is a very steep part.
  • Coming back up again you will have to push the bike. Starting at the park entrance there is another road heading east, that joins the main road to Shonzy after 18km. This road is better.


All the way down at the river there are some nice camp sites in the shade just next to the water.