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Ile-Alatau National Park is a national park in Kazakhstan. It was created in 1996 and covers about 200,000 ha. It is situated in the mountains south of Almaty between Gorge Turgen in the east and Chemolgan River in the west. The National Park borders Almaty Nature Reserve, which is located around Peak Talgar. The flora in the national park has a lot of rare and endemic species.The Red Book lists 36 species of herbaceous plants, brushwood and woody plants.They include ancient forms of flowering plants– two species of tulips, one species of iris, and one species of peony.By the way, historians believe that it was the Zailiiski Alatau that brought the tulip to Asia Minor via the Great Silk Road in medieval centuries, and then on to Holland where it is the national flower.You will find many things to do at Ile - Alatau.
The Ile-Alatau Tours
The park is almost untouched by the advances of civilisation and contains a wealth of differing habitats from woodlands to Alpine meadows, glaciers and melt water lakes. The range of trees is particularly of note. From apricot, kurchavka Mushketov and maple Semenov, currants Yancheuski, Caucasian carcass and, of course, to the famous apple Sievers. The area is probably the genetic root of all the know varieties of apple trees in the world. There are a few other things to do at Ile-Alatau to entertain you while you're there.
The park's wildlife is rich and diverse, with more than 1,500 species of invertebrates and 213 species of vertebrates, including 47 species of mammals, 148 species of birds, 8 species of reptiles, 2 species of amphibians, and 8 species of fish. Most frequent animals in forests and inopen spaces include Siberian deer, roe deer, and Siberian tek ibex up in the rocks. Other common animals are the boar, wolf, fox, badger, and murine rodents. An ancient road runs along the branches of the Zailiiski Alatau. In the faraway past, it was used for the great transmigration of peoples from Asia to Europe . The Great Silk Road appeared here later on. Watching the wildlife is a beautiful thing to do at Ile-Alatau.
Ile-Alatau was established in 1996 to protect apple trees, of all things, which most likely originated here. In the process, alpine meadows, thick forests, large glaciers, and mirror-like lakes were protected, as well. Big Almaty Lake is only a short distance from the security point. Big Almaty Lake was created by earthquakes. The natural alpine reservoir sits more than 8,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by three pyramid-shaped peaks. Depending on the way the sun hits it, the water can look light green or deep turquoise. While it does indeed reflect the surrounding mountains and the overhead clouds like a mirror.
How to Get Tickets?
The entrance for a tour at Ile-Alatau National Park should be free. However, sometimes guards man barriers at the park entrance to extort an 'entrance fee' to the park. Bring extra cash if you want to drink or eat after hiking, local vendors sell hot and cold drinks and food.
How To Get Around?
You can get around Ile-Alatau on foot, it's a pretty fun and beautiful hike around the area. You can also drive to certain areas in Ile-Alatau but some of the places are only reachable by hiking.
What Should I Wear?
It's mostly cold at Ile-Alatau so wear layer of warm clothes. Check the weather before doing a tour at Ile-Alatau.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Ile-Alatau is in the summer. It's warm and you can see beautiful flowers and animals wandering around in their habitat. However, the winter could be nice as well as you can see the frozen lake and glaciers.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, it's easy to get around, you can just follow the crowd and you won't get lost. This website also provides everything you need to know if you plan to visit Ile-Alatau.
How To Get There?
Getting there by Marshrutka or normal car isn't really an option as in the winter time, the roads freeze up and are covered with ice and snow. Therefore you need to book a driver with a decent car and tyres so they can drive you into the National Park or rent a decent car. However, if you go there in the summer time you can drive by yourself. Most people take a tour with a driver from Almaty to go there.