Issyk Lake

Issyk Lake is a picturesque alpine lake located in the Issyk Gorge of the Zailiyskiy Alatau mountain range, near the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan.

Here are some key details about Issyk Lake:

Location: Issyk Lake is situated approximately 40 kilometers east of Almaty, making it easily accessible for day trips from the city.

Formation: The lake was formed as a result of a massive landslide that occurred around the 8th-10th centuries. The natural dam created by the landslide blocked the Issyk River, forming the lake.

Altitude: The lake is located at an altitude of about 1,760 meters (5,774 feet) above sea level, surrounded by the scenic peaks of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains.

Water Source: The primary water source for Issyk Lake is the Issyk River, which flows from the glaciers of the Trans-Ili Alatau.

Color and Clarity: Similar to Big Almaty Lake, Issyk Lake is renowned for its clear turquoise waters, creating a stunning visual spectacle against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains.

Archaeological Significance: The region around Issyk Lake has archaeological importance. In 1969, a burial mound with a well-preserved Saka warrior, known as the "Golden Man" or "Issyk Golden Warrior," was discovered near the lake. The artifacts from this burial are now displayed in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Access: Visitors can reach Issyk Lake by car from Almaty. The road offers scenic views of the surrounding landscapes and mountains. It's advisable to check road conditions, especially in winter.

Activities: Issyk Lake provides opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the serene natural surroundings. The lake is surrounded by lush meadows, making it an ideal location for a peaceful escape.

Seasonal Considerations: The best time to visit Issyk Lake is during the warmer months from late spring to early autumn when the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities.


Issyk Lake is a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking to experience the natural beauty of the Kazakh mountains and the tranquility of an alpine lake.