Talgar River and a gorge of the same name are located 22 kilometers east of Almaty. Talgar city is located at the mouth of Talgar gorge. basin of Talgar falls into the territory of the maximum uplift and, accordingly, the zone of maximum glaciation of Ile Alatau. Almost all the peaks that exceed a height of 4500 meters, are located on this site. The highest point is Talgar peak, it is also located on this site and called Talgar node.
Talgar river basin is formed from two rivers – the Right Talgar and the Left Talgar. Another major river – Middle Talgar flows into the Right Talgar six kilometers above its confluence with the Left Talgar. The water of a small stream, flowing out of short Maralsay gorge, pours into Talgar river below the confluence on the left bank. The length of Talgar river is very small – about 10 km. Rivers, giving rise to Talgar river, are one of the most full-flowing in Ile Alatau.
A large mud-protection dam on the river, before entering the valley, was built to protect Talgar city from frequent mudflows on this river. There is a small power plant below the dam. The left edge of the dam rests on Verblyud (Camel) Mount, so named because of the double-humped peaks resembling the humps of a camel. According to some reports, the great Russian geographer N.N.Semenov (Semenov Tian-Shanskiy) was the first, who defined the height of Talgar peak in 1856 from this mountain. He made a mistake by only a few meters in his measurements.
The whole basin of Talgar river is located within one of the oldest nature reserves in Kazakhstan – Almaty State Natural Reserve. It was created in 1931. The reserve territory covers not only the basin of Talgar river, but the entire mountainous part of Ile Alatau with Talgar peak. The boundary runs along the Right Talgar river in the north. Then, above the Issyk lake, it goes to the eastern watershed of Issyk gorge and comes into the valley of Chilik river. The boundary runs along the southern slopes of Ile Alatau, Zhusandy Kungey ridge to its confluence with Glavnyi ridge of Ile Alatau, and then the boundary passes along the Left Talgar.
A visit of this beautiful region of Ile Alatau requires special permission from the Directorate of Almaty Reserve. Administration of the reserve is located in Talgar city, on Abay Street.
It should also be noted that the journey through the gorges of basin of Talgar river require some physical and technical training and the availability of special climbing and tourist equipment.
Every valley of Talgar river basin has its unique appearance, its history and its attractions. They are similar and recognizable somewhere and in some ways. Therefore, information on these mountain gorges, rivers and vertices is given in the respective descriptions.