As one of the highest lakes in the world, Kel-Suu Lake is secluded high up in the Tian Shan mountains. It is not so easy to get to, as you will need a high clearance car to handle the unpaved road and to cross several rivers. It is 150 km from the closest city Naryn to the Kok Kiya valley, then another 2 hours with horse to get to the lake. Along the scenic drive from Naryn, we barely saw any habitats at this time of the year. In the summer, more yurts are expected.
Kel Suu Lake is located in the border zone with China. Getting to Kel-Suu involves crossing a manned military checkpoint with gates to check your passports, which doesn’t make sense at all, as both Chinese citizens and Kyrgyz citizens also require a pre-arranged border permit. Getting the border permit is not difficult though, any tour agency in Naryn can do it up to 3 hours in advance.
Although the permit can be a hassle, I still consider Kel-Suu the highlight of the trip.
Landscape along the horse-trekking from the valley to the lake.
Panorama view the Kel-Suu Lake. Because of the elevation (3500m+), the lake area is quite cold, snow is possible even in August!
If you happen to follow my previous blogs, I stayed with locals in the valley. They arranged the horse riding even though we arrived quite late the night before, the horse trekking to the lake was a great experience, it’s 2 hours to get to the lake and you’re surrounded with pure nature.
In winter the Kel-Suu lake drains out. Only a top layer of ice remains, when ice is melted, you can even drive to the other side of the lake.
In the summer when the snow is melted from the mountain, the water can go as high as the separation line suggests in the picture above.
It looks very slippery, but actually it wasn’t really.
The area is also great for trekking, after walking on the lake, we went for a short trekking around.
Flora near the lake.
This is how the neighbourhood looks like.