Moon Canyon (Uzynbulak canyon)

About the canyon

This area is a part of long Charyn canyon buy not as famous as the popular “Valley of Castles” and, accordingly, less visited. But it is real natural masterpiece which is not so developed as Valley of Castles and that is for good. Moon canyon is located 50 kilometers from Valley of Castles to the south on the road to Kyrgyzstan border.

The canyon is called “yellow” because of the yellowish color of the clays from which it is composed. However, depending on season and day time, the color of the canyon walls can become green, yellow, reddish or white. It is never the same. The canyon is also called “Lunar” due to its resemblance to the landscape of the Moon. Another name for the Yellow Canyon is “Valley of Yurts.” Wind and water erosion have created amazing architectural forms from yellow sedimentary rocks, reminiscent of yurts, placed in one row. The lower part of the canyon lies between multi-colored bedrock. 

A small river appears there, flowing into the Charyn River. From the end of the road you can climb up to a wide plateau on the south side of the canyon, which offers beautiful views of the Kurtogay Canyon at a considerable distance. From the plateau in the east there is the best panorama of the Moon Canyon. 

A primitive human site and stone tools were found in the canyon, and Jurassic period fossils were found in the exposed rocks. Here you can find countless grottoes, caves, and huge cracks that form intricate patterns. In the canyon you can thoroughly enjoy the trills of nightingales living in the tugai bushes.

Uzynbulak canyon is a specially protected natural area with the status of an environmental and scientific institution. The canyon is part of the territory of the Charyn National Park, formed in 2004. The security of the facility is entrusted to the administration of the Sharyn State National Park.

Recommended visiting periods: all year round. In summer in day time can be too hot as this is semi desert area. Exploring the canyon is spectacular at any time of the day, including night time. SUV is required for visiting Moon Canyon contrary to Valley of Castles where any car can go as good paved road goes till the canyon.


Location on the map

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