Kanas Lake is a well known alpine lake lying in deep mountain area with thick trees and vegetation. The lake lies to north of Burqin County and is 150 km to the county.
The lake covers an area of 45.73km2 with an average depth of 120 meters. From its crescent shape geologists assume the lake was formed by the gigantic movement of paleo-glaciation.
It is said there are 10-meter-long water monster “large red fish” in Kanas Lake. Some scientist think it may be Hucho Taimen – a kind of carnivorous large freshwater fishes. While till today people don’t know what exactly it is.
There is a legend about Kanas Lake and local people. Long long ago, Genghis Khan (1162-1227), a great Khan of Mongol Empire, mounted Western Expedition. On his way to central Asia, he passed by Kanas Lake which had no name by then and they made a stopover in that charming place to refresh his army and warring horses. Genghis Khan drank the water of the lake and was satisfied with the water quality here. Then he asked his livery :”what is the lake’s name?” the slavery answered “Kana Wusi” (in Mongolia language it means water of Khan). The others repeated the slavery’s answer once again “Kana Wusi”. So the lake has its name “Kana Wusi”. Hundreds later the lake’s nae was gradually shortened as Kanas Lake. So in legend of Tuwa People, they are offspring of Genghis Khan. And after Genghis Kha died his body was plunged into Kanasi Lake. As the bodyguard of Genghis Khan, the ancestor of Tuwa People settled around the lake to continue guard the burial place of Genghis Khan. And in Tuwa People’s mind, the water monster is also the guard of Genghis Khan’s soul in water.
Nowadays Kanas Lake is a national 5A scenic area which is surrounded by snow mountains and forest, the mainly residents are Tuwa people. In 2005, Kanas Lake was listed into the Top 5 Beautiful Lakes in China.
The annual rainfall in Kanas lake remains around 1000mm and the maximum rainy altitude is 2100. The winter here lasts longer than most of other areas in China. Usually from early August local area will appear frost. In the altitude above 1400 meters, it begins snow in late August; In the area above 3000 meters, the first snow comes in early August and the snow will end in the next years late May or early June. The snowfall period will last 8 months. The depth of the snow on ground can be 1-2 meters thick. The snowy days are usually more than 73 days. The snow line has an altitude of 2850 meters. And the evaporation also remains at about 1000 mm, which is generally the same as rainfall.
The humidity level in lake area is higher with the normal relative humidity at 59—90%. And in forest it becomes more damp as the altitude gets higher.
Highlight spots in Kanas Lake Scenic Area
Camel Neck Gulf
The gulf is the first highlight scenery on your way to Kanas Lake. It lies 1km to the lake. The camel neck shaped gulf has a pretty islet at its first turn. To east side of the gulf is meadow. And on the west bank there is virgin forest.
White Lake is at the foot of Youyi Peak which stands northeast of Kanas Lake. The lake has an altitude of 1954 meters and an area of 10km2. White lake area has the well preserved Siberian taiga. The lake is called so because the lake water is white all the year. The lake is also the ovulation place of cold-water fishes. Each year in Autumn, groups of cold-water fishes will swim here to spawn.
Colorful Lake lies in center of Kanas Lake. In spring and summer days, the lake water would vary with changes of season and weather. From April when the lake ice begins melt to November when the lake begins covers with snow and ice, the Colorful Lake treats visitors with different colors in each season. In May when the ice begins melt, the lake water is gloom and it looks grey. In June, as the plants around the lake turn to green, the lake appears jade-green or clear blue. In July water supply from White Lake comes and the lake also turns from jade-green to grey and powder blue. In August, due to the lots of rainfall, the lake looks green black. When it turns to September and October, when water supply of Colorful Lake declines remarkably and the plants surrounding the lake display their various colors, the emerald color lake will catch visitors’ eyes.
Wolong Gulf is on the way from Burqin to Kanas Lake and is 10km to the Lake. The gulf has an area of 90000m2. In the center of the gulf there is a sandbar with vibrant plants. On the discharging open there is a wooden bridge. Standing on the bridge one could have a far look of Kanas Lake.
Kana Lake visiting tips:
Entrance fee of Kanas Lake: CNY 185 per person
Shuttle Bus from Jiadengyu to Kanas Lake: CNY 50 per person per way.
Transportation to Kanan Lake: Take a flight to Kanas Airport which is 50 km to Kanas Lake. Or you can take the overnight train K9791 from Urumqi and get off at Beitun Station. The train departs Urumqi at 23:55 and arrives Beitun Station at 07:50. In both Kanas Airport and Beitun Train Station there are buses to Kanas Lake.
Tours including Kanas Lake:
12 Days Xinjiang Group Tour
13 Days North Xinjiang Group Tour
11 Days Silk Road Highlights Tour
22 Days Grand Xinjiang Tour