Karakul Lake in Kashgar

Why is Karakul Lake So Special?

Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shore of Karakul Lake, a small number of yurts about 1km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shortest.

Where is Karakul Lake

Karakul Lake,At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountain ranges.

Legend of Karakul Lake

For thousands of years, Karakuli Lake has been lying quietly under the snowy peaks. It looks like a charming young girl leaning against the arms of a hero. The lake is deep and unpredictable, and is full of primitive scenery. At ordinary times, a school of primitive scenery. Clean and clear, when it rains, the lake immediately becomes as black as lead. Local people all say that the Karakuli Lake at an altitude of 3,600 meters is a mirror for dressing at two peaks. Camels, steeds and yurts on the lake clearly reflect in the lake and tell stories on the Pamirs Plateau. It is said that in the evening, beautiful Kirgiz girls and fierce Kirgiz boys start to light bonfires by the lake, singing and dancing with tourists. The bonfire was reflected in the lake, the singing echoed between the two peaks, and the smell of kebab was all around. It’s fascinating.

Main Attraction of Karakul Lake

The lake is surrounded by a series of mountains, such as Mount Muztagata and Kongur Shan. At the lakefront, there is grassland with roaming flocks and herds. At dawn, Karakuri Lake looks as pure as a jade mirror. When the sun rises, it changes colors in the course of a few minutes from mauve to golden and then to light pink. The snow-covered mountain, green grass and livestock form reflections in the mirror-like water, creating a fair and charming picture.

At the lakeside, there are yurts and frame houses of Tajik ethnic group providing rooms and board for visitors. You can also go out on the small rafts and enjoy yourselves in the scenic area. A reception center there facilitates rentals, yachts, camels, horses etc. in accordance with your needs. In addition, if you want to climb mountains, the encampment for mountaineering can allow you to fulfill your wish.

Best Time to Travel Karakul Lake

The best time to pay a visit is in late spring and late summer.

Kashgar region is located in the central Asian abdomen, restricted by geographical environment, and belongs to the continental arid climate zone of warm temperate zone. The territory has four distinct seasons, long illumination, large annual and daily temperature changes, little precipitation and vigorous evaporation. Summer is hot, but the period of hot summer is short. Winter is not cold, but the low temperature period is long, so it is suitable to travel in late spring and late summer.

How to Get There

Starting from Kashgar-arriving at the Karakuli Lake Reception Station-arriving at Kangxiwa (Kirgiz village) in 6 hours on foot

Arriving at another village (Ku Cikl Qi) in 5 hours on foot, then arriving at the side of muztag ata-arriving at Subas village in 6 hours on foot, going to Mustagh Glacier-arriving at Jiangbulak (mountain climber stronghold) in 3 hours on foot-arriving at 204 in 3 hours and returning to Karakuli Lake by bus

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee: CNY 50 (Excluding CNY10 for Border Permit)
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
  • If you want to spend another day here, you can stay in the Mongolia ger (CNY 40 per person) or in the brick house (CNY50 per person).

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋