Chimgan Mountains, Uzbekistan
A history of having rest out of town
Throughout history, local khans, emirs or kings used to have a habit to have summer palaces out of town. For example: Sitorai Mokhi Khossa in Bukhara, Tozabog or Nurillaboy Palaces in Khiva, etc.
Also, at the end of the XIX century, first Governor-General of Russian Turkestan – von Kaufman ordered to build a country house in Chimgan Mountain, later high class families followed him. Nowadays mainly the population of Tashkent city rushes to the Chimgan Mountains (around 90 km) for a day or more days trips both in summer and winter. It has become a tradition and thus, folks forget their routine problem and relax in nature!
The Chimgan Mountains belong to Chatkal range of the Western Tien Shan. As the ski slopes are on the northern sides of the mountains, the ski season is quite long-lasting here – starting from December till March.
Chimgan Ski Resort
There are several ski resorts in Uzbekistan and one of them is – Chimgan ski at an altitude of 1600 m. There are 24 slopes of all difficulty categories. The highest point an altitude of 1980 m. There are 5 levels of difficulties differing about 400 m. Chair lifts are at skiers’ disposal, trails for beginners’ trails differ 250 m in altitudes and there is a drag lift.
Moreover, Chimgan has many short distance lifts that drop beginners to easily slopes where they practice first experiences. People can rent equipment right there and hire instructors to learn. Additionally to the alpine skiing, in Chimgan one can practice snowboarding, free-ride (heli-skiing and backcountry), or ride snowmobiles, sledges and ice skates. During the summer, in Chimgan and its surroundings you can have a horse riding, or try paragliding. Different type of hotels, cafes, and bars are available.
Beldersay Ski Complex
The Beldersay ski complex is 6 km away from the above ski resort on the slopes of Mt. Kumbel (2200 m) at an altitude of 1600 m. The highest point of the complex reaches 2880 m. Thus, the ski season here is longer (starting from Nov and lasting till Apr) than Chimgan ski resort. The decline difference of Beldersay is 700 m. Only professional skiers and snowboarders can use it. The length of the trails varies between 500-1200 m. There are 3 types of ski areas: the top with a lift service; the bottom with a chairlift service and an ultimate ski zone with unrolled snow fields. Also, heli-ski and backcountry riders adore Mt Kumbel’s slopes. During summer Beldersay becomes an ideal place, where visitors cannot help enjoying the nature and clean air. In the upper reaches of the picturesque Beldersay gorge, you can find rock paintings of ancient hunters (petroglyphs). The discovered sites of primitive man Obirakhmat, Paltau, Khodjikent, Kulbulak, Pulatkhan plateau testify that 10-40 thousand years ago people fell in love with this fertile land with fertile lands, magnificent pastures and beautiful water.
Charvak Water Reservoir
The volume of the reservoir is about 2 cubic km. The surface area of the reservoir is over 37 km². The length of the coastline is about 100 km. The reservoir level fluctuates significantly, depending on the season, as its water is used for irrigation and irrigated agriculture in the Chirchik river valley.
A lot of tourists gather on the banks of the Charvak in summer. Here you can swim and sunbathe, ride boats and catamarans or go fishing. In winter, skiers wishing to do heli-skiing go to Charvak, as there is a helipad on the territory. Heli-skiing is a descent from mountain peaks on skis and snowboards along virgin snow fields, where tourists are taken by helicopters. Similar descents in the Chimgan Mountains are carried out at altitudes from 1500 to 4100 m. MI-8 helicopters are used to drop to the summits. The optimal group size is 15 people. The most popular are the slopes from the Big Chimgan (3309 m) and the Kumbel Mountain (2200 m).
Backcountry is another popular winter sport in the Chimgan Mountains. It combines elements of hiking, mountaineering, skiing and snowboarding. Tourists go to the virgin slopes on foot. Climbing takes about 2 hours, after which descents are made.
Ugam-Chatkal National Park
Both in winter and summer the Chimgan Mountains captivate hikers and trekkers. Ugam-Chatkal National Park, founded in 1990, has a territory of 574600 hectares. The greatness of the local mountains, a zone of natural landscapes with unique species of flora and fauna surpass any expectations – both tourists and locals. This is not only a clean, but also a tourist national protected area, which keeps the historical and cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. The trails in the national park are well known to vacationers and tourists. This is because nature in those places simply enchants with its beauty which can be met only on the gorges and canyons of Pskem, Karaarcha, Gulkam, Nurekata, Aksakata, and Koksu with its waterfalls and lakes. The significant decline difference (1000-4000 m) of the national park is the reason of the different climate and vegetation. Thus, one can find mountain trees together with the steppe trees. There are 48 types of mammals, 200 types of birds, and 20 types of fish.
Chatkal Biosphere Reserve
The Chatkal Biosphere Reserve, founded in 1947, has a territory of 45739 hectares. It has 2 parts – Bashkyzylsay and Maidantal. Bashkyzylsay with an altitude of 1100-3247 m, is located on Chatkal ridge’s southwestern slopes, while Maidantal with an altitude of 1200 – 3800 m is in on the northern slopes. The reserve is rich in juniper forests, low-grass meadows, as well as xerophytic mountain meadows and steppes. There are a lot of silver waterfalls and natural caves.
Moreover, one can see ancient petroglyphs depicting hunting scene on the rocks on the banks of Tereksai River. The common fish here are the marinka and the Amu Darya char. Ornithological tours are also very interesting in the Chatkal reserve.
Places to visit in Chimgan mountains:
- Beldersay Ski Resort;
- Charvak Water Reservoir;
- Chatkal Biosphere Reserve;
- Chimgan mountains;
- Khodjikent petroglyphs;
- Ugam-Chatkal National Park.
Hiking/trekking programs to Chimgan mountains
We are pleased to offer some of our below hiking and trekking programs to Chimgan mountains:
- Golden circle of Beldersay trekking (1 day)
- Trekking in Chimgan and Charvak (1 day)
- A day trekking to Gulkamsay (1 day)
- Tour to Charvak Reservoir (1 day)
- Light trekking in Chimgan Mountain (1 day)
- Two-day trekking to Gijal-Beldersay (2 days / 1 night)
- Best trekking of Beldersay (3 days / 2 nights)