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Chimgan & Ugam-Chatkal National Park

Just over an hour northeast of Tashkent by car lies Ugam-Chatkal National Park, an outdoor haven loaded with hiking and adventure-sport opportunities as well as more relaxing pursuits. The mountains here are not quite as extreme or scenic as the higher peaks around Almaty and Bishkek, but the activities are more accessible and at least as challenging.

This entire area is known locally as Chimgan, a reference to both its biggest town and its central peak, Bolshoy Chimgan (3309m). Unesco declared the Chatkal Mountains a World Heritage Site in 2016 as part of the bi-national Western Tian Shan, shared with Kyrgyzstan.

As a major sanatoria centre in Soviet times, Chimgan today boasts a few newer resorts and retreats to complement the usual diet of decrepit yet still-functioning concrete Soviet hulks. And the Chorvok Reservoir offers more mellow outdoor pursuits such as fishing, swimming and canoeing – ask about these at the Chorvok Oromgohi hotel.

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