Barskaun gorge (Barskoon) is located on the southern shore of Issyk Kul lake near Tamga village. You can reach there by car rent or get a private car from Bishkek or Karakol. It is one of the most beautiful gorges in Kyrgyzstan and is famous because it was visited by the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. There is a famous monument of him inside of the gorge which you can visit during your tour in Kyrgyzstan.
The road inside of the gorge is asphalted by becomes bumpy and rough from time to time. The length of the gorge is 30 km, and leads to Arabel pass (almost 4000 m). The gorge has a beautiful landscape, with a mountain river, a cascade of mountain waterfalls and dense spruce forests. There are interesting names for the waterfalls: Tears of the snow leopard, the Bowl of Manas (a national hero from the world’s largest epic), the Sparkling Champaigne, and Beard of ak-sakal (a respected elderly man in a Kyrgyz society). Besides there is a base camp named Tagai Biy (in the name of historical figure of the 16th century who united the Kyrgyz tribes, mainly known as Muhammed Kyrgyz among locals).
Despite the natural silence is disturbed by big trucks going back and forth from the largest gold mining company, Kumtor, the gorge still remains popular for stopovers during the tours in Kyrgyzstan. Tourists can take great photos, enjoy the murmur of river with crystal clear waters and make a picnic by one of the small waterfalls.
If you have time, do not regret couple of hours of deviation to visit this amazing gorge on a rent car.