Close to Karakol is the stunning alpine Arashan gorge. This area offers some of the finest hiking in Kyrgyzstan, ranging from the pleasant four- to five-hour hike up the wooded valley from Ak Suu to the Altyn Arashan plateau, to six-day mountaineering expeditions to the summit of glacial Mt Palatka (4,260 m).
For the less energetic a rocky road, navigable only by four or six-wheel drive vehicles, leads to the scenic Altyn Arashan plateau at 2,700 m, home to a rickety hot spring resort with rustic guesthouse and the picturesque Yak Tours guesthouse and yurt.
As with the other countries in the region, spotting wildlife is a difficult prospect. Much of the wildlife that there is notoriously elusive — snow leopards or bears.