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Karakul Lake 卡拉库里湖 Travel Guide

Karakul Lake Overview

In a stunning location adjacent to the Karakorum Highway and near the junction of the Pamir, Tian Shan and Kunlun mountain ranges lies Karakul (meaning black) lake. At 3,600m this high altitude lake is surrounded by much higher peaks including Muztagh Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). This is Kirgiz country here and accommodation is rough and ready in local Yurts. Karakul Lake is a natural overnight stop on the way between Kashgar and Tashkurgan.

Best Months to Visit Karakul Lake

karakul when to go

Best Reason to Visit Karakul Lake

The lake is a stunning spot on its own but the journey getting there along the Karakorum Highway is as much the reason as the destination itself. A truly spectacular drive.

Top Attraction at Karakul Lake

Quite simply, the scenery. Early morning and dusk offer the best chances of seeing the high peaks without their veils of cloud. Walking around the lake or riding horses or even camels (the latter very strange to see in this setting!) is possible as well as visiting Kirgiz families for meals nearby. If none of this appeals just taking it in with a cold beer (or more likely hot tea!) from outside your yurt will still be a memorable experience.

Weather Averages for Karakul Lake

karakul weather averages

Our Top Karakul Lake Travel Tip

The trip along the Karakorum Highway to Karakul Lake (and beyond) is one of China’s better kept secrets and a far cry from the sights in the south and east of the country. A must for scenery lovers.

Karakul Lake Accommodation

The only options are the Kirghiz yurts that dot the lakeshore. These are basic but also quite a unique experience if you have never stayed in a yurt before.

Explore More of China

Click the boxes below to explore further styles of destination in China.

By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.

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