An in-depth guide to mountain biking in Jyrgalan, a gorgeous village in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan!
Jyrgalan is a small village, in the far East of Kyrgyzstan at the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains.
It was once a prosperous coal-mining village, however following the fall of the Soviet Union the mine closed and the local economy collapsed. Many people had to leave the area to find new work.
In 2016, six families from the village joined together to form a community-based tourism project called Destination Jyrgalan.
They believed that based on the area’s outstanding natural beauty, it had the potential to become a favorite destination for tourists looking for outdoor activities.
Tourism in the Jyrgalan Valley has steadily been growing since. While the village could never be described as busy, there is a small but steady flow of tourists arriving.
While much of the tourism focus is on hiking, horse-riding, and ski-touring, there has never been any doubt about the potential of Jyrgalan as a base for excellent mountain biking.
Whether you are a beginner looking for an easy route, or a more experienced rider looking for a serious adventure there is something for you here.
Best of all it’s still completely undiscovered, you will almost certainly have the trails to yourself, bar the odd horse or sheep!
Interested in visiting Kyrgyzstan? NOMADasaurus runs small group tours to this fascinating country – find more info here!
When To Visit Jyrgalan
Mountain biking can be done as early as June and as late as September. However, July and August are the best months.
Getting To Jyrgalan
It is possible to arrange a private taxi to bring you directly from anywhere in Kyrgyzstan to Jyrgalan.
If coming by public transport you will first need to reach Karakol. From Karakol marshrutka (local minibus) number 331 leaves from Ak Tilek Bazaar at 8:30, 13:30 and 17:30. The journey to Jyrgalan takes about 2 hours, it is the very last stop.
Alternatively, it is possible to cycle from Karakol (62km 781m total elevation). The road is relatively quiet, navigation is very easy – there are even some signposts pointing the way.
Check out our complete guide to the best places to visit in Kyrgyzstan!