Roads and Nearby Sights


The road to the Altyn-Emel National Park goes along the Almaty-Konaev-Saryozek highway through the Arkharly mountain pass (toll road).

Then, from the village of Saryozek towards the city of Zharkent through the Altyn-Emel mountain pass there is a single-lane asphalt road, which is now under reconstruction.

After descending from the Altyn-Emel pass, turn right towards the village of Basshi (asphalt road), where the central office of the Altyn-Emel National Park is located.

Almaty - Kapchagai (Konaev) Road

The Almaty-Kapchagai two-lane toll highway passes through the "city of entertainment" Kapchagai (now Konaev), with casinos, cafes and a museum of retro cars. The road leads on through the Kapchagai bridge with picturesque views of the Ili river, then along the Kapchagai reservoir and through the Arkharly pass.

Konaev city (Kapchagai)
Ili River
Arkharly Pass

Saryozek - Basshi Road

The road after the village of Saryozek to the village of Basshi (the main entrance to the Altyn-Emel National Park) passes through the picturesque Altyn-Emel mountain pass and has a distance of about 80 kilometers. Currently, the road is very bad and is under reconstruction, so it takes about two hours to get from Saryozek to Basshi.

Saryozek - Basshi Road
Altyn-Emel Road Construction
Road to Basshi Village

Shengeldy - Altyn-Emel Road

After you pass the city of Konaev (Kapchagai), in the middle of the village of Shengeldy, you can turn right through the village and drive to the Altyn-Emel National Park to the Besshatyr necropolis via Checkpoint 1 if you have obtained a pass remotely - learn more here >>>

The distance from the village of Shengeldy to Checkpoint 1 is about 20 kilometers.

From the village of Shengeldy to the shore of the Kapchagai reservoir there is an asphalt road in poor condition, then along the shore up to Checkpoint 1 there is a dirt hilly road that requires off-road transport.

Shengeldy - Altyn-Emel Road
Shengeldy - Altyn-Emel Road
Checkpoint 1 Altyn-Emel Park

Roads in the Altyn-Emel Park

Inside the park, the dirt roads are with chatter bumps, or "washboarding", which, unfortunately, damages vehicles. The total length of the network of unpaved roads from the village of Basshi through the territory of the Altyn-Emel National Park is about 450 km.

Inside the Altyn-Emel park, the road is paved only from the village of Basshi to the villages of Nurym and Aktobe, the length of this section is about 16 km.

A through passage in the national park is prohibited, from the Degeres mountains (Besshatyr mounds) to the Kalkans mountains (Singing Dune), where kulans, gazelles and other animals migrate from the mountains to watering places on the Ili river.

Road to Aktau Mountains
Altyn-Emel Roads
Kulans in Altyn-Emel

It is not recommended to drive along the roads of the Altyn-Emel park in cars designed for asphalt roads (sedans, hatchbacks). This can significantly diminish vehicle's life or lead to a breakdown in the steppe.

If you are going to drive on the roads of the park, make sure that your car is equipped with a spare wheel, jack, wheel wrench, pump, wheel repair kit. The tires should be in a good condition. It is also necessary to have enough water for one day. A breakdown in the steppe can be dangerous.

Arba Travel

Arba Travel provides individual and group transfer services from the village of Basshi around the Altyn-Emel National Park on special off-road vehicles.

Altyn-Emel: 4WD Bus Tours

Mitsubishi Fuso Rosa Tourist Bus 4x4 >>>

A comfortable Japanese off-road bus seating up to 18 passengers with a built-in kitchenette for providing a hot snack for tourists in the fresh air. See description >>>

Pinzgauer Off-Roader

Pinzgauer Off-Roader 4x4 >>>

The legendary Austrian off-roader seating up to 5 passengers for lovers of unusual equipment, military all-terrain vehicles and unique retro cars. See description >>>

KAMAZ Offroader

KAMAZ Mustang Campervan 4x4 >>>

An individual project of a fully equipped campervan based on a Russian military offroad vehicle providing comfortable camping for up to 4 people. See description >>>

Nearby Sights

There are many interesting sights in the vicinity of the Altyn-Emel National Park. These are the Ili river, on the banks of which the Kapchagai mountains, the Nomad Town and the Tamgaly Tas petroglyphs (not to be confused with the Tanbaly Tas petroglyphs in the Altyn-Emel park itself) are located. You can also visit the museum of Chokan Valikhanov and more distant attractions, such as the famous Eshkiolmes petroglyphs, the Zharkent mosque and the sacred Auliye Agash tree.

Ili River

Ili River

The distance from Almaty to the Basshi village is 250 km. The Ili river is very picturesque in its widest place when driving across it over the bridge between the stone rocks.

Kapchagai Mountains

Kapchagai Mountains

Just before reaching the bridge, you can turn to the left towards the village of Kazakhstan to enjoy the magnificent view of the rocky Kapchagai mountains cut through by the Ili river.

Nomad Town Scenery

"Nomad Town" Scenery

On the left bank of the Ili river, at the foot of the Kapchagai mountains, the "Ancient Town" filming set was built for "Nomad", a 2005 Kazakh-French movie based on true historical facts.

Tamgaly Tas Petroglyphs

Tamgaly Tas Petroglyphs

On the right bank of the Ili river (if you turn to the left behind the bridge), there is Tamgaly Tas, a complex of ancient petroglyphs (including images of Buddha).

Chokan Valikhanov Museum

Chokan Valikhanov Museum

10 km from Altyn-Emel, in the Shankhanai village (between Saryozek and Basshi), there is a grave and a museum of the great Kazakh scientist Chokan Valikhanov.

Piedmont Valley near Altyn-Emel Pass

Piedmont Valley

Before reaching the Altyn-Emel mountain pass, you can stop for a rest in a picturesque valley with a small lake overlooking the Koyandytau ridge of the Dzhungarian Alatau mountains.

Retro Soviet Car Museum

Retro Soviet Car Museum

On the way back from Altyn-Emel to Almaty, near the entrance to the city of Konaev, you should definitely visit Tulpar Retro Car Museum with unique expositions of the Soviet era.

Eshkiolmes Petroglyphs

Eshkiolmes Petroglyphs

In the Eshkiolmes mountains (Dzhungarian Alatau) one can find the largest cluster of petroglyphs in Kazakhstan included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Borohudzir Upland

Borohudzir Plateau

The Borohudzir highland (Dzhungarian Alatau), the field of the famous battle of Orbulaq between the Kazakh Salqam Jangir Khan and the Dzhungars, is now a place for summer pastures (jailau).

Zharkent Mosque

Zharkent Mosque

The road to the town of Zharkent, the main attraction of which is the Zharkent mosque built in 1895, runs across the Altyn-Emel park from the village of Basshi.

Auliye Agash, Sacred Tree

Auliye Agash Sacred Tree

In the village of Auliyeagash near the town of Zharkent, there is a place of pilgrimage, the 700-year-old sacred tree Auliye Agash with a trunk of 6.5 m in girth.

Arba Travel

Arba Travel offers transport services in the vicinity of the Altyn-Emel National Park.

Altyn-Emel Tours
Altyn-Emel Camping

We are based in the village of Basshi near the central office of the Altyn-Emel National Park.

We have our own tourist transport and the largest Caravansarai campsite and guest house in the village of Basshi.

We provide unique and customized tourist services in the region.


Please feel free to contact us:

Phone: +77772266560 

Contact by WhatsApp >>>

Arba Travel

Your Guide to Altyn-Emel National Park

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Phone: +77772266560 

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