Kol-Tor Lake.

© Aiza Kuzovenko/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Köl-Tör Lake


This turquoise-hued glacial lake is one of the most beautiful in Chuy oblast, and the surrounding peaks and verdant pastures certainly don't do anything to dispel that notion. It's two to three hours of often-steep hiking beyond the Kegeti Tour Guesthouse, depending on your fitness level, but the return trip should only take about half that. In summer, stop on the way to sample fresh kymys in one of the yurt-camps that set up along the way.

Self-sufficient trekkers can continue beyond the lake to a glaciated bowl at the top of the valley, from which it's possible to pass west into the Shamsy Valley or east into the Chon-Kegeti Valley.

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