The most picturesque spot in the Kungey Alatau is a group of three mountain lakes which lie between northern spurs of the range. They are called Kolsai Lakes. The lakes are in idyllic locations amidst evergreen-covered slopes. At a height of some 1700 m above sea level there is the lower Kolsai Lake, which is also rather prosaically known as Kolsai 1. From Kolsai 1, it is a hike or ride of around 9 km to Kolsai 2, the largest and some argue most beautiful of the three, which sits at an altitude of 2250 m. the highest of the lakes, Kolsai 3, is a hard hike of another 6 km, and rests at a height of 2650 m. If one goes further across the Sorbulak Pass on the border with Kyrgyzstan, then it is possible to reach Lake Issyk Kul (itself a big lake) in Kyrgyzstan.
At the spot there are basic facilities available for hikers and urban dwellers. The distance from Almaty is 295 km. The road to the lakes has been upgraded recently so it is comfortable. To go back and forth takes almost a full day. Or can stay at the hotel/camp over there. Plus ancient Kazakh style yurts are also present.