Ala Archa Gorge
This beautiful natural area of valleys, peaks and glaciers is a good day trip from Bishkek. If you want to stay longer, be prepared to camp. The easy-to-reach areas near the base camp are filled with picnickers on Sunday—farther up there's nothing but waterfalls and breathtaking mountain views. There are many posted hiking and climbing routes, and there's also a ski base on the nearby glacier (the season is December-April, although skiing is often allowed in summer because of the abundance of snow). For 10 days in May, hundreds of mountaineers compete in a climbing competition. Wildlife is abundant and, with luck, you might spot a snow leopard. 30 mi/50 km south of Bishkek
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