Katon-Karagay National Park

The highest ridges are Katunsky, Southern Altai, Tarbagatai (Altai), Sarymsakty, Listvyaga - the extending chain from the east to the west of the country. Katun highland relief and southern Altai alpine ridges are steep rocky slopes, billows, cirques, U-shaped valleys. Other ranges have a smoother terrain. The most elevated parts of the ridges and highlands are covered with snow, and glaciers. There are two centers of modern glaciation - the Katun and the East Ridge of the South Altai glaciers that feed numerous mountain streams.

The fauna of national park is also diverse and includes 65 species of mammals, 275 bird species, 3 species of amphibians, 6 species of groveling, 9 species of bony fish and over 10 thousand of invertebrates, including beetles, butterflies, dragonflies and arachnids.

The territory of the national park has a developed hydrographic network. The main waterway is the Buchtarma River, originating in the Ukok high plateau, supplying Byhtarma water reserve with waters. The main branches within the national park are the Kalmachiha, Kurtu, Tau Tekeli, White Berel, Sahatushka, Fadiha, Tihaya, Chernovaya, Kamenushka, Sarymsakty, and Belaya rivers, In the southern part of the park the significant rivers are the following: Kara-Kaba, Arasan-Kaba, Ak-Kabah, running to the south.

Katon-Karagay National Park

Mountain streams are very fast and clear. Katon-Karagai national park has several picturesque waterfalls: Kokolsky, Rakhmanovsky, and a range of waterfalls on the Yazovaya river. The presence of ridges and intermountain cavities led to formation of numerous lakes. The largest of them are the Buhtarma, Rahmanov, Yazevoye, Maraliye and Chernovsloye lakes.


The main advantage of the nival zone of the national park is the magnificent line of mountains with white glaciers and snowy mountain tops. The lower boundary of the zone is at the height of 2800 meters above sea level. Its flora is in the fine grained soil, accumulated in the cracks of rocks and cavities of slopes.


The main asset of the national park is the Forests, that surround the mountains, mitigating and controlling the climate, performing soil and water regulating role, keeping the mountains from erosion, that are the source of many rivers, flowing into Buhtarma. The forests are changed insignificantly by the economic activity and have small losses from forest fires.


Mountain forests are at the altitude of 2200-3200 meters above sea level. These are the evergreen pines, spruce and fir, and larch, birch, poplar, trembling poplar and many different kinds of willows, growing in the mountain rivers and streams.


Shrubby flora contains more than 50 types of plants - currant, rose, meadowsweet, willow and dwarf birch, etc.


The national park is a home for 5 species of hoofed animals; in the forest you can meet a brown bear, sable, squirrel, wood grouse and hazel grouse, nutcrackers, and ducks.


Belukha Mountain. It's a trans-border object, on the border of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The Queen of the Altai Mountains is majestic and beautiful. Its cliffs rise above the level of the world ocean by 4506 meters. It is the highest mountain of the Altai and Siberia, its slopes are covered with permanent snow and glaciers. White Berel and Katun rivers originate from the Belukha glaciers.


The Yazevoye Lake (Karakol) Alpine Lake. The Yazevoye Lake is light and quiet. It offers a glorious view on the Belukha mountain, which is reflected in the lake on a clear day. It ‘s located on the main way to the Belukha, the upper Katun river and to Kokkol waterfall and Kokkol mine. The Lake ‘s surrounded by the pine forest, stretching into the mountains and going up to the Alpine meadows. The lake is famous for good fishing. There are many deer and bears in the area. This is the only lake in the region, where there are ides.


Waterfall Kokkol. It is located 23 km to the north-east from the resort town Rakhmanovskie springs. It is formed py the Yazovaya river and the right branch of the White Berel river. About 2 kilometers to the south from the Yazevoye Lake, the river runs into the rock massif of granite, cut by century-long work of the water stream. It has many small ledges, forming waterfalls, bars, and overflows. In total, there are about a dozen of cascades in the 200-m section of the waterfall.


Arasan waterfall is a powerful and picturesque waterfall of a cascade type on the Arasan river. It is formed of the river that flows from the Rahmanovskoe Lake. The heavy water cascades are falling down into a deep gorge Berel, and running among the shale rocks and huge boulders. The top stage of the cascade is especially impressive as it is the longest and the highest. In this part the rapid water flow rushes down with a deafening roar, crashes into the rocks and turns into white foam and spray.

Below, near the foothill, the water brakes through huge stones and falls down as a second small cascade. The drop height and the width of the flow of the waterfall in this stage are about 6 meters. The cascade ends with a deep basin, developed by the water during a century-long process.


Rakhmanovsky waterfall is a picturesque waterfall of a cascade type, located in the Rahmanovskoe lake area. The waterfall is formed by a nameless creek, situated on the right side of the Rahmanovskoe lake basin. This stream originates from a small high-mountain lake (2265 meters above sea levell and goes into the Rakhmanovskoe Lake. It runs in a deep hollow, separating the two unnamed mountains with the absolute marks of 2400 and 2280 meters respectively. The waters of the unnamed creek have three cascades.

The waterfall is located near the resort village Rakhmanovskie springs, in the Rahmanovskoe basin on its north-east coast and the valley of the Arasan River. Watef of the Rakhmanovskie springs is colorless, very clean. The temperature of different sources fluctuates from 39 to 40 °C. Thermal waters are used to treat a variety of diseases of legs, spine, peripheral nervous system and skin.

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