Back to category Published: 30 march 2023 Author: Zhanna Mukhatzhanova

Aktau and Katutau Mountains


Aktau Mountains

The chalk mountains of Aktau offer a truly mesmerizing sight with their towering peaks and vibrant colors. These mountains have a history, dating back 400 million years to when they were the bed of an ancient sea that filled the Ili River valley. Today, they stand tall as a unique geological wonder and an open-air museum, showcasing the remains of prehistoric animals and plants.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Aktau Mountains is their role as a paleontological monument. The mountains preserve a wealth of fossils and imprints from the Cenozoic era, including the remains of previously unknown species such as the Aktautitan hippopotamopus. Visitors to the Gylym Ordasy Museum in Almaty or the visitor center of the Altyn-Emel National Park can marvel at these incredible finds and learn more about the history of life on Earth.

In addition to its paleontological significance, the Aktau Mountains also offer a glimpse into the ancient history of the region's flora. The preserved trunks of xerophilous forests found in the park give us a glimpse of the ancestors of modern poplars and oaks, and offer valuable insight into the evolution of plant life in the area.

Горы Актау
The Aktau Mountains

Katutau Mountains

The Katutau Mountains are shaped by volcanic activity that occurred thousands of years ago. These mountains boast a unique landscape composed of bomb-ash and lava flows, creating a bizarre and stunningly beautiful environment. At 1720 meters (5643 ft) tall, the highest point of the mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding region.

The red-brown mountain spurs of Katutau are also home to a variety of wildlife, including argali, goitered gazelles, and wild asses. Visitors to the region can observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat, adding to the already incredible experience of exploring the mountains.

Katutau Mountains
Katutau Mountains

Location: Kazakhstan, Jetysu Region, Altyn-Emel National Park

How to get there?

Getting to the national park from Almaty is easy – simply take the A-19, A-3, AN5, AN60, and E40 roads to the P-20 highway, passing through settlements such as Otegen Batyr, Bayserke, Konayev, Shengeldy, and Saryozek on your way to the village of Basshi, which is home to the main office of the park.

Additionally, you can visit the Aktau and Katutau Mountains with our tours which also cover other fascinating corners of the Altyn-Emel National Park, from vast sand dunes to ancient petroglyphs.

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