Kazakhstan citizens compare it with the Grand Canyon, which is located in the United States, because they are unique in that each of them has a relic Sogdian ash grove that survived the Ice Age. Although the canyon is smaller than its big brother, it is no less colorful and is very popular among lovers of hiking and wildlife.
The canyon is located close to the border of China, 200 km from Almaty, on the territory of the Charyn natural park and stretched for 150 km along the Charyn river and formed by sedimentary rocks, which are about 12 million years old. The most popular place of the canyon is the “Valley of Castles”, where are frozen gigantic pillars and stone sculptures, hewn by the wind, whose height exceeds 150 m. The outlines of the canyon in this valley resemble medieval castles.
The canyon is amazingly quiet, occasional rare falcons fly by, and shy lizards scurry around the rocks. For travelers, there are viewing platforms, offering a panoramic view of the canyon and the impetuous Charyn River. Also in the ecopark there is a large number of entertainments: riding an off-road vehicle in the surroundings, on quad bikes on the river, fishing, horseback riding, a zoo, a bath (Saki).
There are more than 1,500 species of flora, among which 17 are listed in the Red Book of the country. The Charyn canyon is one of the most fantastic places in Kazakhstan, which can be visited in one day and remain under the impression for a long time.
You can reach the canyon in several ways: as part of an excursion, on personal and public transport. From the bus station "Sayakhat", located in Almaty, you can take a bus to the turn to the canyon and walk another 10km. walk way or catch a ride