Charyn National Park officially, Charyn Canyon National Nature Park is a national park in Kazakhstan, including *Charyn Canyon (map). The Canyon, with its thinly stratified red sedimentary rock, it is said to resemble the Grand Canyon in the US; it is however smaller – 50 km from end to end. It is about 200 km east of the city of *Almaty (map).
The Charyn Canyon consists of 5 different canyons: the Valley of Castles (map), the Temirlik Canyon (map), the Yellow Canyon, the Red Canyon and the Bestamak Canyon (map). There are also a number of smaller canyons or tracts, including the Kurtogay Canyon and the Tazbas tract.
There are three tourist routes in the park:
Charyn Ash Grove. In addition to the trail, there are guest houses and a ‘country house’ with seating for 100 people.
Valley of the Castles. The Valley of the Castles takes its name from the shapes of the rock formations in a small side canyon (3 km long, and 200 – 700 meters wide) off the main Charyn River course, with a views out to the main canyon. The approach is by a 10 km dirt road, with three parking lots at the site. There is food available at two recreational gazebos, and five rest yurts.
Cemeteries and Burial Mounds. Located 12 km off the Chundzha-Almaty highway is an area of scattered archaeological sites.