Karkaraly National Park

The Karkaraly National Park

The Karkaraly National Park is located in the northeast of the Karagandy area in central Kazakhstan. It covers a total of 112,120 hectares of land, of which almost 44,000 hectares are forested. The national park consists of five relatively isolated mountain groups, one of which is the eponymous Karkaraly massif.

A truly unique place. The mountains are full of fantastic rock formations, forests and lakes. You could spend weeks here exploring more and more. Walking in pine forests is as easy as flying like birds. Some areas feel out of this world. The view of the peaks is amazing, breath-taking and very inspiring. Karkaraly National Park is an undiscovered hidden gem!

Shaitankol Lake is most popular one of areas in the park. The lake got its name, meaning "Devil's Lake", allegedly because many hunters were lost in the area. Moreover, there is an interesting legend about the lake. The lake is at an altitude of 1200 meter above sea level and 5 kilometre west of the city of Karkaraly. The lake can be reached on foot and usually takes 5 hours round trip. The lake is oval shaped and surrounded by cliffs up to 10 m high. The depth of the lake is unknown. Since it is fed by groundwater and precipitation, the water level never drops throughout the year.

The most well-known and frequently visited body of water in the region is the Great Lake. It is 2.5 km from Karkarali. It measures 2.5 square kilometres and has a maximum depth of 4.6 meters. Its juice is fresh and its colour is yellowish-green. Its shores are solid with gravel and sand at the bottom, but muddy in the middle. The lake borders the national park and is a popular place for fishing and swimming.

Another recreation area is Shaktior. It is located on the shores of Pashanoye Lake in the Karkarali Mountains and is a complex of guest houses and hotels. It attracts tourists with its clean forest air and picturesque scenery. The area has historically been a vacation spot for miners in Karaganda.

Zhirensakal Peak is the highest point in Karkarali National Park. Its height is 1403 m above sea level. The peak of Zhirensakal is crowned with three large stone "towers". During the Soviet Union, the peak was named the Komsomol peak and the name is still used. There are local legends about Zhirensakal Peak.

A nature museum was built in Karkaraly National Park in 1983. The museum consists of a two-storey wooden building, flora and fauna exhibition halls in Karkaraly National Nature Park. In one of the halls of the museum, you can see a 3D map of the national park. The building is known for its beautiful wooden interior. Adjacent to the nature museum is a large wildlife sanctuary that houses bison, red deer, fallow deer, yak, wild boar and argali.

House of Forest Warden, Kizhel Kensh Palace and Antique City of Kent are other must-see places in the National Park.

The Karkaraly National Park
Karkarali Mountains
The Karkaraly National Park
Zhirensakal Peak