On-Tor's Loop

Explore the Tian-Shan!

Tour Highlights:

  • View of Karakol Peak (5216 m) and glaciers
  • Camping at Ala-Kol lake at altitude (3532 m)
  • Enjoy resting in wild Arashan hot-springs
  • Opportunity to stay in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt
  • Extremely picturesque views of Altyn Arashan
  • Take a city-tour upon arrival to Karakol

On-Tor's Loop

6 days | June - September

Visit Karakol

This tour is offered by Visit Karakol Tour Company. As a member of Destination Karakol, this business is actively invested in promoting tourism and community development in Karakol and the surrounding region.

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Tour Details


June - September


6 days


Total 95km (Walking part 70km)

Highest point





English, Russian


Rain or shine.


No signal connection


Issyk-kul region, Terskey Ala-Too mountains range


  • 1 person - 1342 USD
  • 2 person - 1709 USD
  • 3 person - 2161 USD
  • 4 person - 2599 USD
  • 5 person - 3048 USD


  • English speaking guide (middle level)
  • Cook and porters 
  • Full board 5B, 6L, 5D
  • Equipment*
  • Accommodation in guesthouse or yurt in Altyn-Arashan
  • Hot springs
  • Transportation
  • Payment to Karakol National Park
  • Fresh food delivery to Karakol National Park
  • SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger


  • Sleeping bags (available for renting)
  • Insurance
  • Harness, helmet, ice axe, 3 carabines, crampons
  • Tips

Tour Itinerary

We departure from Karakol by car to Karakol valley, after first bridge, we start our pedestrian tour. We will walk up to Alps Camp along beautiful Karakol valley. On the way we will go by Small Lakes, waterfalls, calm waters of Karakol river. There are a lot of grazing horses that give more charm to this valley. Camping in the Alps Camp. 
We proceed further by Karakol valley and then to On-Tor gorge, we will walk almost to the foot of Peak Karakol 5216m. We will put our camp before one-hour walk to the glacier. We will have some training and briefing second half of the day, to get knowledge and practice of crossing the glacier. Camping in tents.
We start this day with a training on passage of On-Tor and Kol-Tor glaciers. Passage of On-Tor glacier through On-Tor pass under the sides of Karakol and Jigit peaks with further proceed to Kol-Tor glacier and after to Kol-Tor valley. The height of the pass 3980 meters. In summer the glacier is open, there are no rifts. The next point is Kol-Tor West (Djigit) glacier, flat, without rifts, and in the end of summer-open. Further trek continues down along the valley, by the right shore of the river. Camping in Kol-Tor valley. 
Descent along Kol-Tor valley up to confluence of On-Tor and Kol-Tor rivers, here we turn to the right and climb to Panoramny (panoramic) pass 3600m, level of difficulty- 1A. Here you will enjoy a fantastic view on Ala-Kul lake, two five thousanders- Karakol and Jigit peaks, Terskey Ala-Too range and many other amazing mountains and summits. Come down to the Ala-Kul lake (3532m). Camping by the lake.
After breakfast we climb to Ala-Kul pass 3800m (+300m) and further proceed to Keldike valley. Our next point is Altyn-Arashan (Golden Spa). Extremely picturesque views of Altyn Arashan attract large number of tourists. Altyn Arashan resort is famous for its hot springs. You will have an opportunity to bath in the pool with radon water. Dinner and accommodation in guesthouse or yurt.
After breakfast we come down to forestry along Altyn-Arashan valley, where the car will pick us up and take to Karakol. On arrival to Karakol is city tour. We will visit Holy Trinity Church, Dungan Mosque and local souvenir shops. End of the service.
After the breakfast hot wild morning springs are waiting for you. Walking to “Lastochkino gnezdo” (swallow’s nest), Queen Frog and heart shape bathes. Walking down by Altyn-Arashan gorge to Aksu village. Close to noon car will pick you up and bring to hotel in Karakol. End of the service. 

Additional information

Equipment and items for trekking part:

  • Sleeping bag up to -5 C (available for renting)
  • Good trekking boots with high proper ankle support and good thread. Extra shoes or pair of sandals, in case if main became wet during the rain and etc.
  • Waterproof rain jacket and trousers
  • Warm closes and extra closes to exchange
  • Hat and cap, sun glasess, high factor sun cream
  • Daypack 40-50 litters and rain cover. It is also good idea to line your daypack with a quality plastic bag
  • Head-torch
  • Bottle for water
  • Quick drying towel
  • First aid kit, if you have some disease

Recommended to have:

  • Walking sticks
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellants (for lower elevations)
  • Water purification tables or a water filter (more details in Notes)
  • Some Diamox pills against potential altitude sickness (if you don’t have altitude adaptation)
  • Pocket knife


While on a trek, you are in the wild to enjoy the nature and the thrill of it. Its very important that you stay healthy and do not take ill on the trek to have a joyful experience in the wild. Water is important during trekking, we are providing boiled water or tea/coffee during breakfast, lunch, dinner, however boiling the water is limited, and it is not enough if you will need to fill up your bottles for next day. Water can be a cause of stomach problems on a trek. On the other hand, you need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Water in some hills are also the source of water for animals and wild animals on the higher area. Always fetch water from running streams. The faster the better. Stagnant water has high risk of bearing pathogens, irrespective of the cold surrounding. Whereas, as fast gushing water has very low chances of bearing pathogens in it. It even has less particulate materials. You will be able to fill up water from natural springs, it’s the best as it acts as a natural filter and has very less chances of having particles in it. Local people same as a lot of tourist don't have a problems to drink water from the source, however if you are not sure please bring water cleaning pills with you for the trek from your homeland. You will not be able to find water cleaning pills in Kyrgyzstan.


  • Main Baggage:

The item of luggage used to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane and used to store all of the items you don't need on trek. This can be left behind at the group hotel used prior to the trek.

  • Luggage to the porters:

Almost all of our standard programs designed for not too long hikes, usually 4 to 8 days. We are providing as default 1 porter to 1 person, which carry 15 kg, that weight including food, tents, cooking staff and private things of clients, usually around 3-5kg first days. Everyday weight of food dicreasing and you will have possibility to give extra weight to the porter. You will have to carry quite big weight, because climbing gear is heavy, we are checking all weight before trek and you will know how many kilograms you will have to carry. You can order extra porter, if you it will be too heavy for you. You will need to pay extra 30 euro per porter per day.

  • Daysac/Rucksack:

50-60 liters recommended. During the course of a trekking day, you do not have access to the luggage, which is being carried for you by the porters. In mountain region, the weather can change very fast and you must be equipped for this eventuality. Your day sac should therefore be large enough to carry waterproofs, fleece jacket, long trousers (if walking in shorts), warm hat and gloves, sun cap, sun cream, water bottle and other staff which you need during the trek. On a few occasions, it is also necessary to carry your own packed lunch.


You need to have a good level of fitness and previous trekking experience is recommended. Trekking days are generally longer, challenging and at higher altitudes up to 3800 meters. Terrain may be difficult and ascents and descents are often demanding, especially during rain or snow.


Travel insurance is NOT included. We recommend that clients have their own travel insurance against illness, injury, loss/damage to personal belongings. In case of emergency our staff will make all the best to delivery you to hospital or other point and solve your problem, insurance will cover your charges, if you don't have insurance, you will be required to cover charges by yourself.


Breakfast: consist some of following dishes: Porridge, omelet, omelet with fried sausages, pancakes, scrambled eggs with sausage, boiled eggs and etc + bread, jam, butter, honey, sweets, tea/coffee. Lunch boxes or lunch: Dried fruits, chocolate, yogurt, juice, cheese, sandwich, vegetables/fruits and tea/coffee. Dinner: Our cooks is preparing european and asian cuisine You need to let us know if you are vegetarian or have some preferences, so we will be able to make special menu for you.


Service of local staff is included to the program; however, it is polite to tip to local staff if the service has been very good. Also at your discretion, you might also consider tipping your tour manager in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.

Tour Map