Just behind Almaty there is a road leading up to a lake and finally to Zhusalykezen pass at 3336m. Below there is a observatory and on the pass there is a scientific research institute, lots of rusty sowjet junk! Besides that the great views into the mountains and the alpine scenery are the main attractions. You have to go back on the same road as there is none on the other side of the pass.
Paved at first but soon a very challenging dirt track. Often steep and bumpy. I cycled it with panniers, just possible...
Take everything from Almaty.