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Bestamak canyon on Charyn.

Tours to Charyn canyon.

«A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature»

Henry David Thoreau.

Tours to Charyn canyon from Astana.

Bestamak Canyon or Small Charyn Canyon is located at an altitude of 943 meters above sea level, in the dry channel of Bestamak, on the territory of the Charyns Natural Park, on the right bank of the Charyn River on the border of the Uigur and Enbekshi-Kazakh regions of the Almaty region.
Point 943 meters is located 300 meters from the right bank of the Charyn River in the Bestamak canyon. The length of the canyon is 8 kilometers. The beginning of the canyon is located 10.5 kilometers north and a little west of the village of Aksai and 1.2 kilometers north of Mount Bestamak, 1166 meters above sea level.
The canyon is located between the left bank of the Temirlik River and the eastern slopes of the Katu Mountains located on the right bank of the Charyn River. The canyon is a natural channel for rainfall, the canyon winds through collapsing rocks and eventually connects with the right side, the main canyon of the Charyn River.
Washing out sedimentary rocks, the river deepens the canyon, and the wind and atmospheric precipitation form its bizarre shapes. Bestamak is translated as "five isthmuses". Throughout its length, Bestamak changes its appearance several times: classical Charyn views alternate with narrow passages - real stone sarcophagi.
The colors of the rocks that formed the canyon change from pink to orange. The sources of the drying Bestamak stream are located in the Burgansay tract, on the northern slopes of the Kuluk-Tau mountains. Only during the spring snowmelt or after heavy rainfall, stormy streams of water rush along its bottom, which over millions of years have carved a deep and very picturesque canyon in sedimentary rocks.
The canyon includes all varieties of rocks and architectural forms and images that are inherent in the Charyn canyon.
This is the Charyn Canyon in miniature. Being a natural channel for rainfall, the canyon winds its way through collapsing rocks and eventually connects with the main canyon of the Charyn River. The main distinguishing feature of the sculptural forms of the Small Canyon is the abundance of various towers and sculptures.
Due to a rare combination of geological factors, interesting fossils of extinct representatives of flora and fauna are found in the Bestamak Canyon. Due to the position of the territory of the canyon between the Kazakh and Zhongar deserts, as well as due to the influence of the large mountain system of the Northern Tien-Shan and the presence of ecologically contrasting habitats for vegetation, a high degree of biological diversity is observed in the canyon.
There are seven types of vegetation here: steppe and desert, shrub and forest, tugai and meadow and marsh. Starting on the plain from a small and wide, gradually deepening channel, the canyon suddenly narrows and falls through hard rocks, forming a corridor surrounded by fortress walls made of huge blocks.
Breaking out into the open and making their way in the sedimentary rocks left from the ancient, prehistoric sea, wind and water creating a canyon, created lace and stone monuments, showing as a result of the eternal confrontation between earth, water and wind.
Once in this canyon, you begin to feel all the greatness of the earth's geological history. It is not for nothing that canyons always awe a person before the work of nature, which personify eternity and movement. You can get to the Bestamak canyon by turning left from the road (A351) in Aksai village and moving north along a bad dirt road. At the forks, adhering to the left branches and focusing on the few billboards of the Charyn State National Natural Park.
Geographic coordinates of Bestamak Canyon (Small Charyn Canyon): N43°21'31.74" E79°06'40.90"

Marikovsky P.I. "The fate of Charyn". Almaty. Fund "XXI century", 1997. Pp. 120
Luterovich O.G. "Three popular excursions around Semirechye". Guidebook, Almaty: "Service Press", 2016.- 92 p.
M. Ginatullin. "Linguistic Dictionary". Almaty: "Rarity", 2010
A.N. Maryashev. "Monuments of archeology of Semirechye and their use in excursions". Almaty, 2002
A.P. Gorbunov. Mountains of Central Asia. Explanatory dictionary of geographical names and terms. Almaty, 2006
T. Januzakov. "Essay on Kazakh onomastics". Publishing house "Science". Almaty, 1982
Alexander Petrov

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.