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.
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.
The canyon can be accessed from Almaty on the main road that passes through the villages Chilik, Baiseit, and Kokpek. From there, a signposted road leads to the parking area of the canyon over a distance of 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) and passes through the Sharyn (or Charyn) National Park. From the parking area, there is a track that leads to the canyon. Another path from the park (which is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) in length), leads to an area where views of the canyon are more scenic.
BUS > –
RAIL > Ticket prices are slightly lower than in Russia. Kazakh Railways tickets can be bought online. Kazakhstan is a large country. For instance, it will take you almost 24 hours to get from Almaty to Astana.
AIRPORTS > The most important carrier is Air Astana.