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Merzbacher Lake

Merzbacher Lake

The high-mountain glacial Merzbacher lake can rightly be called one of the mysterious wonders of the region. Being at the confluence of the northern and southern branches of the Enilchek glacier - the largest Tien Shan glacier, the lake is formed by feeding off the melting waters, and completely disappears twice a year.

Good to Know

Mountain glacial-dammed lake. Length - 6 km, width - 1 km. The greatest depth is 75 m. The average depth is 35 m
3304 meters above sea level
Best Season:
Spring, Summer, Autumn

In the eastern part of the Central Tien Shan on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, among the majestic Tengri-Tag and Sarydzhaz ridges lies the mysterious Merzbacher Lake. This unique reservoir of irregular shape with icebergs floating in it was named after the German geographer and mountaineer Gottfried Merzbacher, whose expedition discovered the lake in 1903. The expedition climbed the Khan-Tengri peak and stumbled upon a lake, between two branches of the Enilchek glacier, covered by icebergs. Suddenly, in front of the members of the expedition, the lake disappeared with a noise, leaving huge blocks of ice at the bottom.

The lake has two basins, called the Upper and Lower Merzbacher Lake. And it is Lower Lake that disappears and replenishes. This phenomenon takes place when the temperature of the lake rises above 10-15 degrees Celsius, under-ice channels are formed through which all the water of the Lower Lake goes into the Enilchek River. The water speed is so high that the lake can be completely drained in 2-7 days.

“Disappearing Lake” is one of the most popular attractions among lovers of active, adventure and extreme types of tourism. Merzbacher Lake beckons, despite its inaccessibility, not only with its breathtaking scenery and chilling mountain air, but also with the hope of witnessing this unusual process of lake disappearance.