Ala-Archa National Park

National Park in Ala-Archa Canyon

A visit to Ala-Archa is easily the most popular day trip for visitors to Bishkek, for equal parts ease of accessibility and spectacular mountain landscapes. It's just a 45-minute drive from the centre of town. Pick from three trails that range from gentle to steep, or just stake out some space beside the alplager and spend the day in the fresh mountain air.

Many locals head up for the day just to picnic on the mountains slopes under the namesake juniper (арча) trees – burning boughs of which are said to ward off evil spirits from the home.