Lake Sary-Chelek

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Lake Sary-Chelek
Summer at Issyk-Kul
Summer at Issyk-Kul
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Region: Jalal-Abad region
Coordinates: Latitude: 41°53′06″
Longitude: 71°57′45″
Square: 4,92 km²
Height: 1940 meters
above sea level
Depth: Maximum - 234 m
Average - 98 m.
Type of water: Fresh water
Water temperature: Средняя (летом): 19°С
Средняя (зимой): 0-4°С
Map of Kygzyzstan
Map of Kygzyzstan
Sary-Chelek lake on Kyrgyzstan map

Sary-Chelek (Kyrgyz: "yellow bowl") is a high-altitude, freshwater lake located in Kyrgyzstan in the western part of the Jalal-Abad region, on the foothills of the Chatkal ridge at an altitude of 1940 meters. Along with the main, central lake, there are four smaller lakes in the area: Kara-Suu, Kyle-Kol, Iri-Kol, and Chacha-Kol.

Geography of the lake

The lake is located in the western part of Kyrgyzstan, in the Jalal-Abad region, within the territory of the Sary-Chelek State Biosphere Reserve.

The length of the shoreline is 7.5 km, and the width is over 2 km. The volume of water is 0.483 km³. The total area of the lake is 4.92 km². The water level in the lake fluctuates with the highest level reached in May-June and the lowest in December. In the summer season (August), the water temperature is around +17-18°C, while in the winter season, it ranges from +4°C to 0°C.


Lake Sary-Chelek is a picturesque mountain lake that attracts tourists from all over the world. The water and air here are very clean and clear. You can enjoy magnificent mountain landscapes and the beauty of the surrounding nature, which will not leave anyone indifferent. In addition, this area has many interesting hiking trails around all the mountain lakes of this beautiful corner of the country.

The best time to visit is from July to August. It is also possible to reach the lake in winter.

How to get to the lake

The route to the lake goes along the Bishkek - Kara-Balta - Toktogul reservoir - Tash-Kumyr highway, where you should turn towards Sary-Chelek. The entire journey on the road is 530 km, which will take about 11 hours, so the departure from Bishkek is usually planned early in the morning, and the arrival will be in the evening. Accommodation is usually in the village of Arkit, and the tour of the lakes takes place throughout the following day.

Author's note

Despite the fact that the entire tour from the capital city of Bishkek to Lake Sary-Chelek can take 2-3 days, you will have memories for many years and you will not regret that you decided to visit this natural wonder.

For questions, comments, and additional information, you can visit the discussion page of the article.

Photos of the lake

Other pages about the lakes of Kyrgyzstan