Kairak Waterfall is the largest of the seven waterfalls that adorn the slopes of the Turgen Gorge
This 55-meter (180 ft) high waterfall is one of the most popular attractions of Almaty Province. On your way to Kairak Waterfall you can also visit the unique Chinturgen spruce forest, which grows on moss about 40 cm (16 in) thick. The sun's rays do not penetrate the tree crowns, and therefore, pockets of permafrost have been preserved here since the Ice Age.
How to get there
Kairak Waterfall is located on the Bozgul River, the right tributary of the Turgen River. If you’re driving from Almaty, take the Talgar highway and drive to the village of Batan, which is about 35 km (22 mi) away from Almaty. You can leave your car in the parking lot there. You’ll have to hike the rest of the way from there. After about 500 m (547 yd), the road will lead you to a footbridge across the river. About one kilometer (1000 yd) later, you will see the confluence of the Turgen and the Kishi-Turgen Rivers. There is a fork in the road with the "Waterfall 8 km" sign. Turn right and walk to the confluence of the Turgen and the Bozgul Rivers, where you will see a wooden bridge that will lead you to the waterfall. To see it up close, climb the observation decks nearby. Unfortunately, the stairs are wet all the time and pose a certain danger to people, so be careful.
Food and accommodation
On your way to the waterfall there will be many springs, so there is no need to take a large amount of drinking water with you, but be sure to grab an empty bottle. You should also carry food with you. Along the way, you will come across gazebos where you can take a break and eat.
Since the waterfall is located near Almaty, you can return to the city for the night. If you prefer camping, do so only in designated places.