The Karakul Lake (means "black lake") is a lake located 196 km (122 miles) from Kashgar on the Karakoram Highway, before reaching Tashkurgan, the Khunjerab Pass on the China - Pakistan border.
This stunning lake sits at an altitude of 3600 meters amidst snow-capped mountains topping 7500 meters, it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan and Kunlun mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztagh Ata (7,546 meters or 24,757 feet), KongurTagh (7,649 meters or 25,095 feet) and KongurTiube (7,530 meters or 24,705 feet).
The beauty of the lake is its fantastic scenery and the clarity of mountains’ reflection in the water, its color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. The well-preserved environment here will give people a breath-taking feel. The crystal water reflecting the surrounding mountains, peaks and blue sky and clouds is stunningly beautiful. Karakul Lake is surrounded by mountains with snow and ice.
The lake is quite far from touristic cities, so it’s not crowded at all, and you can enjoy the solitariness and serenity of the wild nature and hospitality of inhabitants.
There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shore of Karakul lake, a small number of yurts about 1km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shores. You can stay for a day or more in yurt; it’s very cheap (around 40 RMB a night including breakfast and dinner). There is a bonfire in a yurt and it burns all the time because the air in 3800 meters high is cold even in summer. Hosts will give you mountain tea with yak milk and bread, fried meat with rice or other home-made dish.
You can watch the life of mountain-dwellers, look at them working, keeping house, grazing cattle, bringing up children. You can relax from urban life, to take a new look at your life, to gain strength, to recuperate inner harmony.
This place is very picturesque: clean, light-blue water reflects mountains and sky, cows and goats are grazing, women are taking water for cooking, men are fishing. The air is pure and clear, the view is charms by its greatness. This place is suitable for taking photos becausethe lake is beautiful and people living there are interesting and distinctive.
Back to Top >>
on Xinjiang Map >>