National park / Reserve

Bayanaul National Park

Landscapes of incredible beauty with high cliffs, dense pine forests, and clear lakes will make you fall in love with Bayanaul National Park.

Time left

Time to visit

1 day

Time left

Visit cost

Time left


Pavlodar province

Bayanaul National Park

Landscapes of incredible beauty with high cliffs, dense pine forests, and clear lakes will make you fall in love with Bayanaul National Park.

Bayanaul National Park, located in Pavlodar Province, was founded in 1985, making it Kazakhstan's first national park. The park is an oasis in a semi-desert environment. There are 6 lakes, with 3 of them (Jasybay, Sabyndykol, and Toraigyr) being the most popular among travelers due to their developed infrastructure. Bayanaul National Park encompasses many historical sites: Kempirtas, Naizatas, and Saimantas Rocks, ancient rock paintings, and the grave of Jasybay Batyr, a legendary Kazakh warrior.

The high season, when you can swim in the lakes and go hiking, is from May to September, but even in winter you won’t be bored here. Many recreation centers offer winter activities which include skiing and snowboarding.

Bayanaul National Park is shrouded in legends and beliefs. Its magnificent nature will certainly help you beat stress, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Video about Bayanaul National Park

Useful tips for 2020-2021

How to get there

The city of Ekibastuz, which is the nearest city to Bayanaul Park, is 100 km (62 mi) away. You can go to Ekibastuz by train and then take a bus or a taxi that will take you to Bayanaul.

The nearest airports are in Pavlodar and Karaganda. After landing you can go to the park by bus or taxi, but the drive will take a long time as Pavlodar and Karaganda are 230 km (143 mi) and 260 km (162 mi) away respectively.

Food and accommodation

There are many hotels and guesthouses in the park so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be a problem. Cafes and shops are open during the high season.

on map

Tourists routes


Excursion tour
The Bayanaul mountains are located in the southwest of the Pavlodar region, on the very outskirts of the Kazakh Upland. The forested mountain range with numerous lakes is a true oasis suddenly emerging from the middle of the steppe. In 1985, this area came under the protection of the national park. What is interesting about these places is that they are literally steeped in legends and history. Every mountain, every lake and every stone here bears an interesting name and is associated with one historical event or ancient legend or another. What tourists find especially attractive here in Bayanaul is the abundance of oddly-shaped rocks which received their names accordingly, including Kempirtas, Saimantas, Dove, Camel, Elephant, Cobra, and more. You certainly do not have to stop at Lake Zhasybai - after all, other lakes also have travel infrastructure. But if you decide to do so, you will be at the heart of it all. Moreover, the Zhasybai beaches are generally considered to be the best. Karaganda / Pavlodar Zhasybai Lake Zhasybai is located in a hollow between the mountain ranges and is the most popular tourist destination: it is here that the vast majority of holiday hotels, restaurants and shops are located. The lake was named after Zhasybai batyr, who was a war hero in the period of the Kazakh-Zhongar wars. Rock Kempirtas This rock (also known as Baba Yaga Rock) is associated with a legend about a cruel and wayward girl who had many young people’s deaths on her conscience. Because of this, the girl was expelled from the village and she eventually linked her life with evil, supernatural forces. The "head" now sticking out of the ground is supposedly what was left of the girl after her battle with the warriors of good. Toraigyr The name of Lake Toraigyr is associated with the name of the poet Sultanmakhmut Toraigyrov, who spent his childhood in the vicinity of the Bayanaul mountains. Today, the poet's grave is located less than a kilometer from its eastern shore. The lake is very popular with fishermen, in particular due to the large number of carps you may find here. Alder grove On the southwestern shore of Lake Toraigyr there is a grove of the relict black alder included in the Red List; this is not the only place in the national park hosting alders, though it is the most famous one. Additionally, a spring with the purest water can be found here. Among different peoples and at different times, this tree was considered sacred and possessing magical properties. Zhasybai Saimantas Saimantas is one of the most famous rock formations in Bayanaul. There is no doubt that Saimantas must have been an object of worship in ancient fertility cults. This rock certainly looks very interesting; however, this only makes it more popular among tourists. Konyr-Auliye cave If you believe the legends, a holy man once lived in this cave, someone who survived a great flood. Today, people come here to bathe in a small spring located in the cave, make a wish and wait for it to come true. You may often see childless couples here, hoping to conceive a child with the water's blessing. Lake Zhasybai Karaganda / Pavlodar must do! – Spend a night in the Konyr-Auliye cave (but only if you are female and would really love to get pregnant as soon as possible!) – Rent a boat and visit the Island of Love located on Lake Zhasybai (of course, together with your loved one) Then what? You can endlessly explore the Bayanaul mountains. We highly recommend you to enjoy the beautiful view of the area from the top of Akbet Peak (1022 meters), the highest mountain on the territory of the mountain range. It will take you 4-5 hours to get there from Lake Zhasybai and half of that time if you come from Toraigyr. Furthermore, you can also visit Lake Sabyndykol, on the shores of which the village of Bayanaul is located. For travelers making this choice, there are also recreation areas on the lakeside. One more option is Lake Birzhankol, very remote from the main tourist attractions -it is unlikely that you will meet many people here. The village of Bayanaul itself, which was founded in 1826, is worth visiting as well.

Tourist attractions