Trans Tian Shan | Epique - Mountain Adventures

Trans Tian Shan – XC


With this Central Asian mountain bike trekking we take you to the heart of the Tian Shan Mountains. The snow-capped mountains provide the backdrop for an unforgettable adventure. We cycle through pristine valleys and vast grasslands filled with wild flowers. Every day through a different national park and the always astonishing nature. Moreover, we experience the special culture of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in a unique way.

Mountain bike adventure in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

  • 8-day cross country tour through Central Asia
  • Get to know the hospitable culture of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
  • Overnight at Karaka base camp
  • 8 days of guidance by a Dutch MTB guide
  • Climbs up to 3800 meters!

Mountain biking off the beaten track

If you’re looking for a trip that really goes off the beaten track, this is it! Traffic on the road is sparse and consists mainly of horse riders or nomadic Kazakhs with their flocks of sheep. This is a week full of challenging climbs to heights of almost 4,000 meters. Every day we cycle an impressive tour over vast plateaus. During the trip you will be accompanied by local drivers, a guide from Epique and a local mountain bike guide. We spend the night in hospitable guesthouses, where we get acquainted with the local cuisine and culture.

Destination Price
Tian Shan Mountains, Kazakhstan €2,695
Travel period(s) June 25 to July 4, 2021
13 to 22 Aug. 2021
What levels is this trip for?
descent technique
descent condition
Ascent technique
Ascent condition

Through the Tian Shan . in 8 days

Day 1 – trip to Almaty

In the afternoon we depart from Amsterdam to Almaty. After a stopover in Istanbul, we arrive in Kazakhstan on Saturday morning. At the airport of Almaty we meet our Kazakh partner. They will accompany us throughout the week.

Day 2 – Sightseeing and warm-up in the Turgen Gorge

From the airport we go to the center of Almaty. The former capital is a bustling and lively place. The city has many good restaurants and huge markets, with the most beautiful and fresh products. After we have seen a number of highlights of the city, we get into the vans on the way to the Turgen Gorge. The gorge is rich in mixed forests, alpine meadows, lakes and impressive waterfalls. We check in at the guesthouse and get on our bikes for a nice warm-up ride of 30 kilometers to the Bear waterfall.

Day 3 – Assy Plateau

Today there is a 60 km trip with 1,500 altimeters on the schedule. Final destination is the village of Jenishke. We drive over the Assy Plateau, a popular place for Kazakhs to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The plateau has a maximum height of 3,000 meters and has an enormous diversity of flora and fauna. Our ride on gravel roads is constantly up and down. Eventually we reach a maximum altitude of almost 2500 meters. After a long descent we arrive at our guesthouse in the picturesque mountain village of Jenishke.

Day 4 – Doloshak Plateau

After a good breakfast we start the climb to the top of the Dolashak plateau (3100m). In total we will cover a distance of about 80 kilometers in a south-westerly direction today. The vast Doloshak Plateau is located along the Kishi-Turgen River. Long ago, the plateau was used as a transit route for trade from Europe to China and India: the ancient Silk Road. At the end of the day we reach the village of Saty. Here we relax in the sauna of the guesthouse. In Saty we will stay two nights.

Day 5 – Chillik Gorge and Kaindy Lake

We drive into a very long and uninhabited valley and follow the Chillik River. The valley is a protected nature reserve where you can only enter with the right connections and permissions. We drive on sloping paths to the end of the valley. This is where the Kungei Alatau Mountain Range and the Zailiiski Mountain Range meet. We return to Saty and continue towards Kaindy Lake. This lake is located at an altitude of about 2,000 meters and is also called the sunken forest because of its special green color and the coniferous trees that rise from the water.

Day 6 – Karaka Base Camp

We get up early and take a transfer of about 2 hours to the Karaka Base Camp. The camp is located at 2,200 meters and is used as a starting point for alpinists who want to climb the highest peak of the Tian Shan Mountains. This is also the highest mountain in Kazakhstan. In the base camp we will stay one night in a number of comfortable tents. Today there is a tough route on the program. We cycle through a long valley that takes us to the foot of the Khan Tengri. Via a small pass we reach the next valley and descend towards the tent camp.

Day 7 – Kyrgyzstan, the Chon Ashuu Pas

After a night at the Khan Tengri base camp, we head south to the border with Kyrgyzstan. After crossing the border, we hop on the bikes and descend to the foot of the Chon Ashuu pass. This is a monstrous climb of no less than 1,800 altimeters. After reaching the top at about 3,800 meters, we pop to Karakol for a refreshing shower and a well-deserved meal.

Day 8 – Barskoon Pass

From the fourth city of Kyrgyzstan, Karakol, we leave in a westerly direction to the village of Barskoon. Once again we face a tough climb and reach the plateau of the Barskoon pass via many hairpin bends. The pass is at an altitude of about 4000 meters and is the third highest pass in Kyrgyzstan. We drive on to Issyk Kul Lake and take a refreshing dip in the lake. Back in Karakol we feast on everything Kyrgyz cuisine has to offer.

Day 9 – Jetioguz Gorge

The last ride on the bike is a quiet, but no less special, day. We drive through a deep and deserted valley to the Jetioguz Gorge. Also known for the Seven Bulls Rock. This red rock formation at the back of the valley is not to be missed and looks unique. We continue our way and return to Karakol in the afternoon. Upon return to the city, we freshen up and prepare for the transfer to Bishkek. In Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, we stay in a good hotel in the center of the city.

Day 10 – return trip

After an early breakfast we are transferred to the airport of Bishkek. At the end of the afternoon our plane lands at Schiphol.

Epique Mountainbike reis Kazachstan en kirgizie

Stunning nature and trails

What could be better than discovering the beauties of the Tian Shan Mountains by bike and under your own power..!? You can experience this impressive environment best by bike. A unique opportunity to experience the scent of the flowers, the babbling brooks and the beautiful fauna with your own eyes. Moreover, you get to know the local customs, traditions and nutritious cuisine in an accessible way. The Trans Tian Shan is a trek for the sporty mountain biker who can sit in the saddle for several days in a row. Nevertheless, the trekking does not require an extremely high descent level. The dirt roads are often gravel roads or cart tracks and are not that technical. On the other hand, a more than good basic condition and considerable mountain bike experience are required. This has to do with the conditional character of the journey and the altitudes at which the journey is carried out.

Level of this trip

The Trans Tian Shan is a brilliant challenge and will get really tough in time. Not only because of the climbs and the heights that are ridden, but also because of all the impressions we gain during this journey. Of course it is not a competition and we take all the time to enjoy it to the fullest. In addition, on most days several variants are possible, differing in intensity. The terrain and surface are not that technical, but the routes can be very difficult. Every day we drive between 30 and 90 km and we make about 750 to 2,500 altimeters.

Epique Mountainbike reis Kazachstan en kirgizie

What is included in this trip?

  • 8 days of guidance by an Epique mountain bike guide and a local guide
  • 1 Epique guide + 1 local guide per group of 7 participants
  • 6 nights in guesthouses in a double room, including full board
  • 1 night in Karaka base camp in a two-person tent, including full board
  • 1 night in a 3* hotel in Bishek, including full board
  • Local guidance by road with 2 cars per group of 5-7 participants
  • Daily access to all national parks/Ecological Payments + permissions
  • All transfers by road
  • luggage transport
  • Professional photos during the trip
  • epic keepsake
  • Contribution Trees for All (to compensate for the CO2 emissions of your trip)
  • SGR Guarantee Fund
  • calamity fund


Are you going on an adventure with us? We would like to let you experience the beauty of nature, the feeling of a challenging drop-off and the sensation of endless descending.

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The off-piste training in February 2017 was great fun and educational again. Thanks to Auke’s fine and good lessons, I have learned a lot again. Thank you Auke

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