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5-Day Karakul Lake & Muztagh Ata Trekking Tour

 Activities: This 5 days Karakul Lake and Muztagh Ata Trekking Tour takes you to the remote and none-touristy mountain villages and base camp of Muztagh Ata. You will be trekking through mountain valleys, visiting Kyrgyz nomadic villages, staying with them to experience their nomadic culture and custom. You will also be coming very close to Muztagh Ata “Father of Ice Mountain” in local language by visiting the base camp. It is a high-altitude and adventurous trek which can be tailored to suit the abilities of the trekkers.

Day 01

Place & Transport:Kashgar to Karakul Lake (200km)

Today’s Activities: Opal Village, KKH, Corner Lake, Karakul Lake, Kyrgyz Family Visiting

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Karakul Lake








Place to stay: Karakul Lake

Today we take a drive on Karakoram highway, renowned as the highest paved border crossing in the World and regarded as one of the World’s most beautiful highways. We will see the following on our drive; Opal Village which is 1 hour drive from Kashgar. It is a good place to take photos of country life and traditional activities like bread making and Uyghur food. Next stop will be Oytagh Red Mountain; a  mountain valley surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi-colored mountains. Corner Lake (Bulungkul) is a tranquil shallow lake where you can take very nice photos of the lake with stunning reflections of white sand mountains. Karakul Lake is 3600 meters above the sea level. It is located between Mt. Muztag Ata (7546 meters) and Mt. Gonger (7719 meters) which are said to be 2 of the 6 most beautiful mountains in the World. We will trek around the lake, visit local Kyrgyz Yurts and learn about their nomadic life.  You will spend the evening with a local Kyrgyz family in their Yurt where you will be able to experience their culture and custom. You will be staying at a Kyrgyz style yurt by the lake.

 

Days 02

Place & Transport:Karakul Lake – Idara Village (15km)

Today’s Activities: Subash Village, Muztagh Ata, Kyrgyz Family Dinner

Place to stay: Idare village

The day begins with breakfast after which our luggage will be packed onto camels ready to begin our trek at around 9:00 am. Our local guide from Kashgar and camel men from Karakul Lake will lead you towards Idare Village. Due to the high altitude and first day of the trek, we aim to trek for an achievable four to five hours. Idare Village, a settlement comprised of 25-30 stone houses occupied by Kyrgyz families, which is situated  around 15km from Karakul Lake. We’ll arrive at Idare Village early in the afternoon, then you will have the opportunity to explore the village and make new friends. After a nomadic-style dinner with the families we aim to go to bed early to be ready for the next day’s trekking.

 

 Day 03

Place & Transport: Idara to Base Camp then Qaltumak (14km)

Today’s Activities: Qaltumak Village, Visiting Kyrgyz Stone Built House

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Karakul Lake








Place to stay: Qaltumak

The destination for the third day of trekking is the very small summer village of Kyrgyz nomads called as Qaltumak. During winter, the people move to lower altitudes to avoid the freezing temperatures, but during summer the weather in Qaltumak is warm enough for them to stay for around 4 months to feed their animals like yaks, camels, sheep, goats, donkeys  and …. Muztagh Ata is known by locals as “The Father of Ice Mountain” and its snow covered peak is 7546m above the sea level. We will be able to see the spectacular views of this great mountain top while trying to count the hundreds of Marmots who appear to be playing hide and seek on the slopes. You will also be given the opportunity to meet with local Hayed shepherds. Evening will be spent in Kirgiz stone built house.

Days 04

Place & Transport: Qaltumak to Down to Idare (12km) then to Tashkurgan

Today’s Activities: Qaltumak Village, Idare Village, Tashkurgan, Tajik Family Visiting (optional)

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Karakul Lake








Place to stay: Karakul lake

We will start our trek at 9:00 AM from Qaltumak to Idare. Once we reach to Idare early in the afternoon, our car with the driver waiting for us to take us to Tashkurgan. Tashkurgan is a small town located high up on the Pamir Plateau which is 1.5 hours driving distance to Karakul Lake. Tashkurgan was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the most famous and dangerous Karakoram highway in 1987. Even today, the local community still lives in a very traditional fashion with only a single road reaching here from Kashgar. Because of that, Tashkurgan has retained certain uniqueness. This region is commonly known as the main branch of the “Old Silk Road” leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters.

Upon our arrival, we will check in to our hotel. You will be free in the evening to wonder around the Tashkurgan town.

Optional: We can arrange to visit Tajik Family visiting but you have to let us know in advance so that we will make the necessary arrangements with the family.

Day 05

Place & Transport: Tashkorgan to Kashgar (300Km)

Today’s activities include: Tashkorgan Stone Fort, Tashkorgan Grassland

  • Tashkorgan Stone City
  • Tashkorgan Grassland








Place to stay: Kashgar

After breakfast we will visit Tashkurgan Stone Fort which is located near the downtown of Tashkurgan. The Stone Fort/City has a history of more than 2000 years. When times gone by, it was the palace of the Tajik kingdom which is only ruins today. We will hike across the Tashkurgan Grassland under the watchful gaze of Pamir Mountain Range. We’ll take the Karakorum Highway back to Kashgar, arriving in late afternoon.

Trekking Tips: Good trekking shoes, Sun Screen, and long sleeved T-shirts are highly recommended as the trekking takes place in the mountain and sun is very strong at high altitudes. Medicine to treat the symptoms of high altitude is advised. Headache is the most common side effect from the altitude, so bringing some paracetamol is suggested. There is a smaller risk of more severe altitude sickness; however we aim to ascend slowly to minimize the effects.

 

Testimonial

We recommend the tour and the travel agency specially. Imam, the person in charge of the agency, made us everything very easy. He is very professional, honest and really helpful in other services not connected with the trek (helped us with our Tibet permits). According to the trek, it really worth’s because the landscapes are really gorgeous and breathless. We could visit the base camp of Muztagh Ata and stay with the climbers. The trek is very interesting too, because we could stay, have dinner and breakfast with the local people, sleeping in their houses as well. So, for other those reasons, we highly recommend the trek and the service of Kashgar Guide.

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Recomendamos sin duda el trekk que hemos realizado al igual que el servicio de la Agencia Kasghar Guide. La persona encargada de la agencia, Imam, nos ha ayudado muchisimo. Nos ayudo desde Espana a resevar varios vuelos, asi como el hotel en Kasghar. Ademas, estuvo en contacto con nuesto guia de Tibet para hacernos llegar los permisos necesarios para poder volar alli. Y todo ello lo hizo de manera desintersada.

 

En cuanto al trekk, realmente merece la pena. Los paisajes de la Karakoram Highway son impresionantes, y el recorrido del trekk hasta el campo base del Muztagh Ata es sobrecogedor. Ademas, tienes la oportunidad de convivir con los locales de alli, durmiendo en sus casas y cenando y desayunando con ellos.

Por todo lo anterior, recomendamos absolutamente los servicios de la agencia por su profesionalidad, y el trekk por lo espectacular de los paisajes que se observan.

Jesus y Pablo (Zamora y Burgos) Espan