Eki Naryn

Eki Naryn Yurt CampEki Naryn Kichi Naryn river KyrgyzstanEki Naryn Jailoo Kholhoz communal farm herd black and whiteEki Naryn Jailoo mountain alpine pastureEki Naryn shower banyaEki Naryn trekking hiking map googlemapsEki Naryn gorge forestEki Naryn alpine flowersPurple flower Eki Naryn grasslandsKichi Naryn River Eki Naryn gorgeHorses crossing road Eki Naryn Audi taxi driverBridge over Kichi Naryn riverEki Naryn Showers yurt camp

The scenic Kichi (Little) Naryn River Valley stretches to the northeast of Naryn City and offers plenty of opportunities for exploration as the mountains are right out your doorstep. The eastern road out of Naryn runs past a modern hotel (and best restaurant that Naryn has to offer: Khan Tengri) through the R.T.C. (pronounced ‘Irteez’) Soviet industrial area with an iron cutout of Lenin’s face looking down upon it. Lenin Soviet factory RTC Naryn The road bounces along past colorful meadows and fields of barley. Naryn City jailoo green pasture RTC About 12 kilometers out is Salkyn Tör, a scenic canyon that makes a great picnic spot and is a popular weekend hang-out for people from Naryn. Picnic table Eki Naryn Picnics A little further past this is a wild deer reserve. Few people make it all the way out the dusty gravel road to Eki Naryn because it often gets overshadowed by its three top tourist destinations of (Issyk Kul, Song Kul and Tash Rabat), but the tranquil yurt camp here is on par with any other jailoos (alpine pastures) for camping in the region. For those who do make it to Eki Naryn, they are rewarded with a little peaceful paradise.
Eki Naryn Panorama panoramic foggy view
The road follows along the Naryn river, past the Naryn nature reserve, and towards Eki Naryn. Notice a trend in “Naryn” names? This is due to this region of Kyrgyzstan being named last, and they actually did run out of names (“Lenin Street” anyone?).
As you make your way past dusty hamlet of Tash Bashat, Eki Naryn suddenly springs into view, perched on a cliff-top above the wild confluence of 2 rivers (both called Naryn). In fact the name of the valley and village Eki Naryn can be translated from Kyrgyz to mean “Two Naryns.” These large and small tributaries merge together to form the more powerful river Naryn that flows down to the city; longstanding plans to build hydroelectric dams in multiple places to make the area energy producer have been in the works for ages but, like many things here, are slow to transpire. For those seeking to fulfill their unattainable dreams of a tranquil rural idyll in the midst of a busy progressing world, you’re tantalizingly close here.
Eki Naryn forest trees About 44km east of Naryn City is the attractive little town of Eki-Naryn with red sandstone cliffs along the river and the high peaks of the Jetim and Naryn-Too ranges looming to the north and south.
Kichi Naryn river red bluffs Eki Nary gorge The quaint village is spread out over a valley of flat area that rises up 2,000 meters up from sea leavel. Eky Naryn sits above the gorge of the Kichi-Naryn River, just beyond the point where the river divides into the Naryn River, and despite the name, its equally impressive tributary, the Kichi-Naryn River (“Small Naryn”).
Kichy Naryn River Kyrgyzstan Suu Darya tributary The road crosses the river to follow the east bank of the Kichi-Naryn for a short distance to reach the village. Kyrgyz-Travel tour guides can arrange for horse riding with the village matriarch. Riding horses Kyrgyz-Travel tour Eki Naryn
There are no specific attractions to speak of unless you can call the swastika forest in Tash Bashat an “attraction” (click here for a NYTimes read of the forest swastika‘s mysterious history), but there is an abundance of raw nature to go along with all the animals kept in the summer pastures high up in the mountains.
Grazing horses Eki Naryn jailoo
It’s a quaint village, typical in every sense for Kyrgyzstan. When visiting in summertime, the population may seem to consist of children only, as the men and animals can be out all day high up in the jailoo and the women busily working inside the house. After curiously getting stared at for some time, you will likely get invited in for tea and bread (complete with candy, jam and butter to make sure you get an overdose of calories) as the true Kyrgyz here (consistent with their Silk Road heritage) are famously hospitable.
Inside yurt meal Kyrgyz Family Eki Naryn dastorkan The prairie beyond the village is filled with the technicolor display of herbs and wildflowers in between the verdant grass. Near the river, a small riparian forest serves as shelter for the abundant horses (main form of local transport), who are attracted by the bank’s promise as Eki Naryn’s top spot to chill out and have a drink.
Jailoo horses Eki Naryn The Eki-Naryn Valley is a beautiful and wild corner of Kyrgyzstan. Just past the village of Eki-Naryn, the road narrows and the forests come right down to the road. Akel’s Yurt Camp lies just on the other side of the first bridge past the Village of Eki-Naryn and serves as a good base camp for trekking in the area.
Kichi Naryn River wooden bridge Eky Naryn Many good hikes start at the base of the yurt camp, just over the second automobile bridge after (north) of the village of Eki Naryn. There are many jeep and trekking paths in the area, and they all lead to beautiful pastures. From Akel’s Yurt Camp, start out on the jeep path into the mountains and follow it all the way up or head up one of the steeper but faster footpaths. Riding a horse up the occasional steep parts makes for easier ascents as you adjust to the elevation (especially if carrying gear or a small child!)
Just above the tree line you will reach a broad plateau; from there, there are many paths into the summer horse and sheep pastures or to surrounding mountains. Horse herded down mountain Kyrgyzstan Eki Naryn Jailoo
With a Kyrgyz-Travel guide and 4×4 driver, it’s possible to continue northeast and then swing west to follow the Kara-Kujur River Valley to reach the tiny village of Oryook-Tamback. From there the road leaves the river to loop north along the Kara-Saz stream, before heading west along a track that climbs over a couple of passes to follow the Kara-Kujur River back to the main Naryn-Bishkek road at Sary-Bulak, but the valley is so gorgeous here that it begs to be followed north and east deep into the Terskey Ala-Too Mountains.
Naryn regional map Eki Naryn Drive Kyrgyzstan It is possible to cycle, hike, ride horses, or potentially 4wd drive across this wild route that leads along the Kichi-Naryn and Burkan or Jyluu-Suu valleys to the south shore of Lake Issyk Kul over the Tosor Pass, although this requires planning ahead due to limited food and shelter along the way (tent camping). But somehow for many, this feels like the end of the road — as if you have achieved your destination, and there is really nowhere left to go. The people of Eki Naryn certainly don’t go anywhere but back to Naryn. When asking locals about the roads beyond, they often offer only frowns, and directions to another village person who they think might have traveled there. However, this seldom-used route makes for a spectacular 3-5 horse trek or provides a intrepid challenge for modern-day off-roaders and adventure cyclists. Anyone up for having an adventure?
Jeep dirt 4x4 road Eki Naryn Tosor