Karakuli Lake is 3,600 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Maztagata Mountain, about 1,500 kilometers from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Karakuli means" black sea" in the local dialect, and resembles a glittering pearl embedded among the alpine peaks, reflecting the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Karakuli Lake is located at the foot of Mirshitage Glacier "Father of Glacier and cradle of Chinese mountaineering" - The Muztagata Mountain range 7546 meters high being 191 kilometers away from Kashi. The railway from China to Pakistan bypasses the lakeside. From here is not to far from the base camp for climbing Muztagata Mountains (you can either go on foot or by camel, 5 hours needed).
People say that you haven't been to Xinjiang unless you have been to Kashgar. Kashgar means a "gathering place of boulders" in the Uygur language. It is one of the oldest but richest oasis at the west end of China. For thousands of years, it has been regarded as the economic, political, cultural and communication center south of the Tianshan Mountains. Benefiting from its geographical position, the climate is temperate and pleasant with four distinct seasons. Kashgar is also well known as a tourist destination. In addition to the beautiful natural scenery, there are many tumuli (burial mounds) and ancient buildings of Islam and Buddhism in and around the city.
The clear water is a deep blue almost black "Karakuli" means black in Uygur language". It is at the altitude of 3600 meters above sea level with a depth of 30 meters and covers an area of 10 square kilometers. Actually Karakuli Lake is a glacier lake. Surrounded by mountains, the lake has plenty of water and lush grass, where Kirghiz herdsmen usually settle down and graze their herds.
In fine weather, silver peaks are reflected in blue water with landscapes of lakes and mountains integrated into a whole. Sceneries are just like those drawn in paintings and described in poems, intoxicating people. There is a tourist reception center beside the lake where tents, Mongolian yurts, yachts, camels and horses are made available to tourists.
Grass is luxuriant on the Subashi grasslands near the lake, with herds of cattle and sheep grazing on it. There are Tadzhik yurts, log cabins, and professional base camps for mountaineers. Bulunkou transportation station is 30 kilometers away to the north of lake for visitors' boarding and lodging.
Karakuli is one of the exceptional plateau lakes in the world, it is encircled by glaciers. Especially, Kongur Peak, Kongur Tube Peak and Muztagata Peak nearby add magical and beautiful luster to it. On a calm and tranquil day, silver peaks pure and white with green grasslands and herds of livestock around the lakeside are reflected in lake and is extraordinarily graceful. During summer and autumn, it becomes the base camp for mountaineers and also a scenic spot for tourists.
1. Owing to the high altitude and low temperature of the Khunjerab Pass, please carry an oxygen tank and quick-acting for heart resurrection, wear down coats and muffler.
2. You must have a valid Identity Card or Passport to get a Border Permit (CNY 10 per person) at the Border Checkpoint of Tajik Autonomous County.
3. There is no bus to the Khunjerab Pass, so it is necessary to charter a vehicle (bus, car, taxi) in Kashgar.
4. Spring (March - May) and autumn (September November) are the best tourism seasons to visit the Khunjerab Pass.