Uzbekistan having no access to the sea still has several large lakes, including the Aral Sea and Aydarkul in its territory. Along with them the whole system of Uzbek lakes also includes picturesque mountain lakes, many of which are located in hard-to-reach places. Among them are the Lower and Upper Urungach lakes, also known as Jade lakes for their immense beauty.
Urungach lakes are situated just 160 km from the Tashkent. The lakes are located in the Ugam-Chatcal National Nature Park in rather hard to reach territory. Though being not that far from Tashkent it takes around 4-5 hours to reach the place as the condition of roads is just terrible. Ravines, boulders, talus, sometimes no road surface at all and steep ascents and descents force the transport to move at a speed not exceeding 20 km/h. This creates a feeling of even greater remoteness of the lakes.
After 5 hours of driving you will reach the place where the hiking part of the trip starts. There is a good path leading to the first lake. Lazily looping between the walnut plantations and the concrete aryk (with very clean and delicious water from Urungach Say) leads to a small plateau, from where it turns to the left and after passing through the small river gets you to the lower Urungach lake.
Skirting the thick trees, one can have a panoramic view over the beautiful jade-colored lake. The greenish-blue waters are inviting travelers to plunge into them. The water on the lower lake is very cold. The views are amazing, serenity is all around and bright beauty of the place just fascinates the view. The lakes were formed in a natural way after rocks collapse that created a natural dam. The level of the small lake varies greatly depending on the time of year. In the spring time the lakes are full and look brighter whilst after the hot summer they lose a lot of water and you will not recognize this same lake in the fall.
P.S. Don't forget to find a proper guide who could help with obtaining permission to travel to this area since it's very close to the Uzbek-Kazakh border. It's easy to obtain and cheap, but should be done in advance.
Visiting the lake is an absolute wonderful site. Be dressed well as it can be very cold. It's a bit of a drive, but well worth the journey.Read full
This is an absolutely must-go place if you are in love with hiking and getting to hidden beauties of the nature! We hiked there with a tour guide and had our 2-year-old son come with us. A few...Read full