Chegem Gorge: attractions, photos. Where is the Chegem gorge located?
The Chegem Gorge is one of the most popular sights of Kabardino-Balkaria and the Caucasus as a whole. It is here that you can relax for the glory, admiring the local beauty: the picturesque waterfalls, steep ridges and menacing rocks. A large number of archaeological sites attract historians from around the world.
Where is the Chegem gorge located? It is located in the middle of Kabardino-Balkaria: it originates in the northeastern part of the republic and moves to the north-west, crossing most of all the mountain ridges present here. At the intersection of the gorge and the Rocky Range is the famous Chegem gorge with several waterfalls.
The gorge stretches near the A-158 highway and settlements of Past, Zhanhoteko and Nizhny Chegem.From each of them you will need to walk a few kilometers on foot to be in the gorge itself or on its top. It should be noted that the mountain trails are rather winding, so experienced tourists recommend taking a guide with you, the role of which can be played by any of the locals.
The gorge is largely known for its waterfalls, which are next to each other and have different parameters. In some of them, water flows down in small streams from crevices in the rocks, while in others it falls in large strips of various widths. During the day, the sun's rays transform the water dust into a bright rainbow that illuminates the most hidden corners of this natural object.
In winter, the gorge is filled with ice columns and pillars that resemble stalactites. The walls consist of several rocks of different thickness, which for many years formed this rock formation. The Chegem gorge has a deep bottom, which is located at a height of a kilometer above sea level, while the height of the mountains forming it reaches 3 kilometers.
After passing through the gorge, it will become noticeable that the gorge is expanding, the road itself in this case will lead tourists to the southern slope of the ridge.This place is called the zone of the Northern Depression due to poor vegetation, a dry climate and the complete absence of fauna. Locals claim that the territory is cursed, and do not recommend anyone to be here for a long time.
The Chegem gorge, whose sights are among the oldest in the Caucasus, is best visited in the summer. In this case, tourists will be able to visit the open-air Museum, located in the village of Upper Chegem. This place, according to scientists, has great historical value for Russia.
In the center of the village there is a watchtower, built about three centuries ago, and next to it is a “stone of shame”, which punished criminals. The Dzhilgi-Su river, which flows into Chegem, was previously the location of ancient Greek temples, their remains can be seen when examining local rocks. History buffs can also admire the Kala-Tubu Grotto, which is the ancient site of man. Next to it are the remains of Lygyt - an ancient city that existed here about 2.7-3 thousand years ago.
The Chegem Gorge is literally surrounded by sights.On the right bank of the river, you can see the walls of an old caravanserai, broken on the trade route that was once actively used. Next to the gorge is Bulungu - a settlement located above all in the district, and behind it is a reserve, a pass to which can be purchased for a certain fee.
How to get there?
One of the most frequent questions asked by tourists, going to the Chegem gorge: "How to get there?" The easiest way to do this by car, it should be noted that the last gas station is located on the outskirts of the village Chegem, and it is best to stock up on additional fuel.
You can also use the offers of guides and travel companies, but this is not for everyone. There is another alternative - public transport. First you need to get to Nalchik, then use the shuttle or regular taxi. The route by minibus will take about 40 kilometers, however, about 15 kilometers will have to be walked from Nizhny Chegem (9 of them to the village of Khustosyrt). Easier to use a standard taxi.
The Chegem gorge and waterfalls annually attract the attention of tourists from all over the world. Not far from this object is Mount Tychtengen, which in its form resembles a volcano. Translated from Balkar, the name of the mountain means "Calming Peak", its height is just over 4.6 kilometers. At the foot there is a large pine forest, which houses the tourist base "Chegem", operating only in summer.
Next to the camp site is Silver Lake, and there are also a large number of mineral springs next to it. Local water has healing properties, which is why the inhabitants of the Caucasus annually come here to relax. During the summer months, several thousand people can recover from a variety of diseases. The local climate is very comfortable, in the afternoon in sunny weather is dry. The sun often shines here in summer and in winter, warming the valley and gorge.
Going to the Chegem gorge, a photo of which allows to conclude about its extraordinary beauty, remember that wild animals are also found here. Mountain goats, chamois, kekliks, hares, lynxes, foxes, wolves and even bears - all of them can be found on the territory of local ridges and ravines.
Forests through which hiking trails pass are also habitable. Roe deer, badgers, bears, martens, bison and deer live here. Some animals were specially brought here by employees of forest-hunting facilities, and their numbers are constantly monitored by local foresters and rangers. When staying on the territory of reserves and habitats of wild animals, it is recommended to observe safety rules.
Where the Chegem Gorge crosses the Rocky Range, there is a gorge - the narrowest part of this natural structure. Some stretches of the road, followed by walking tours, were punched under large canopies of rocks and pass alongside the river. There is always the noise made by boiling water.
In the very depths of the gorge there are several waterfalls, some of which flow into Chegem. Locals call this place Su-Auzu, which means “water throat”. Some sections of the gorge are so narrow that you can pass here only one by one. However, without a guide here, hardly anyone can walk on their own.
Now that you know where the Chegem Gorge is located, it will be much easier to decide on a place to rest. Prices for excursions are relatively low and range from 300 to 5000 rubles. If you decide to relax "savage", you can try to rent a house from residents of the Upper Chegem - they are happy to let tourists to themselves at moderate prices. Going to Kabardino-Balkaria, remember the local traditions and customs, try to be benevolent, and then the people of the republic will respond to you in return. Enjoy your holiday!