5 Days Karakul Lake and Muztagh Ata Trekking & Camping Tour

February 27, 2018
Xinjiang adventure tours
Our 5 day Karakul Lake and Muztagh Ata Trekking and Camping Tour is designed for nature lovers to experience some of the less commonly used tracks of the Pamir Mountain Range. You will have your local Uyghur guide with camel and camel man to make it more exciting and enjoyable.
Places to visit today: Karakul Lake- Karakorum Highway – Sar Yaghaq Village – Takuz Bulak – Koqkar Qi – Subax


Transfer to Karakul Lake – Total distance 200km (124 Mile)

We depart from Kashgar early in the morning. (local time 8:00am, in winter, 7:00am in summer).
One hour from Kashgar you will have the opportunity to see the local Monday market in Upal village where we stop for approximately one hour. The market attracts many business people from all over the Kashgar Province. This market is featured in the Lonely Planet guide book.
At the Upal Market guests are given the chance to purchase breakfast/ lunch or light refreshments. There are several Uighur Tamakhana Restaurant around the market to choose between. Upal is the last village we visit prior to the start of our trek and a final chance to purchase fruits, nuts, mineral water, and fresh bread ready for the trek.
From Upal we continue our journey along the famous KKH (Karakorum Highway). This road boasts towering peaks, as high as Sky!!! There is a mix of black, green and red coloured mountains. Parts of The Karakorum Range are Redder then the Flaming Mountain at Turpan. This part of the trek will take you within 30 km of Kyrgyzstan.
Along the route you will see the famour mountain of Kum Tag. This name translate, in Uighur, to White sand desert. The mountain is located at Bulugh Kul lake. Local people believe many years ago the sand of the mountain developed from the sandy shores of Lake Bulugh Kul blowing into the sky. We continue our journey allong the KKH from Bulugh Kul. A further 30 mins brings us to Karakul Lake where we will finish our day. You are able to enjoy the afternoon by the lake while also allowing your body to adjust to the high altitude of the region. Karakul Lake is situated at 3600m above sea level.
We will arrange for you to spend the night with a local Kyrgyz family in their Yurt, where you will be able to experience the different culture and language of this traditionally nomadic people.


The day begins with breakfast with the local Kyrgyz families. Our luggage is then packed onto camels ready to begin our trek at 9:00am. Our guide and camelmen will lead you towards Sar Yaghaq village. Due to the high altitude we aim to trek for three to four hours. Sar Yaghaq village is situated 20km from Lake Karakol. The settlement comprises 10-15 stone houses occupied by Kirghiz people and is one of the few local settlements that is occupied all year round. We arrive at Sar Yaghaq between 14:00 and 15:00 local time. You will then have the opportunity to explore the village and interact with the local children. After a nomadic style dinner with the families we aim to go to bed early ready for the next days trekking.


Day three is spend walking between two great mountains; Kongur and Muztag Ata. These mountains are the 3rd and 4th highest peaks respectively in China. Konguer Mountain is a staggering 7719m high and has many glaciers attached. Mustag Ata is known by locals as The father of Glacier and towers at a hight of 7546m. We will enjoy the spectaculer views of these great mountains while trying to count the hundreds of Marmeds who appear to be playing hide and seek on the mountainsides. You will also be given the opportunity to meet local Hayde who look after the sheep.
We stop for lunch on the riverbank of King Sheva where you will be able to relax to the singing of the water.
The afternoon trekking takes us to Tokuz Bulak, meaning 9 springs. Arrival time is approximately 15:00-16:00 local time. The village comprises 5 stone houses occupied by local shepherds during summertime. We will stay at the home of one local family who guarentee a warm and friendly welcome. From the window of this home you can experience beautiful views of Muztag Ata, a view you could not get from a 5 star Hotel at Bejing!!

Day 4: TAKUZ BULAK – KOQKAR QI (20-25km)

Day four provides the most challenging day trekking. It is both the longest and most difficult of the trip. The trek will take you across the King Sheva river and then the day is spent going largely uphill culminating at a staggering 4300m and the village of Koqkar Qi. There will be several breaks along the way including a picnic style lunch. Koqkar Qi is another small shepherds village occupied solely in the summer months. We will spend the night in Koqkar Qi in local houses.

Day 5: KOQKAR QI – SUBAX (20km)

From Koqkar Qi it is possible to spend the morning visiting the Muztag Ata glaciers before returning to Koqkar Qi and the final 20km, downhill, trek from Koqkar Qi to Subax village. In Subax village our drivers will be waiting ready for the transfer back to Kashgar.

Trekking Tips: Good trekking shoes are required
Long sleeved T-shirts are required as the sun is very strong especially at high altitude
Medicine to conquer the symptoms of high altitude is advised. Headache is the most common side effect from altitude however there is a risk of more severe altitude sickness. Our guides are trained to recognise symptoms and we aim to accend slowly to minimise the effects of high altitude