Kanas is a Mongolian word meaning "beautiful and mysterious lake". Kanas Lake(喀纳斯湖) is China's deepest freshwater lake famous for its picturesque view, and home to 798 species of plants and 117 varieties of birds. Kanas is a comprehensive scenic spot area integrating glaciers, lakes, forests, grasslands, pastures, rivers, ethnic customs and rare animals and plants, which is known as the "Oriental Switzerland, photographer's paradise". Embraced by snow-capped mountains and dense forest, Kanas Lake in Burqin takes on different colors in different seasons.
Kanas Lake is located in the northern part of Burqin County, Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 150 kilometers away from Burqin County. The lake water comes from the melting water of the mountains such as Kuitun Peak and Friendship Peak and the local precipitation. The lake is 1374 meters above sea level, with an area of 45.73 km2, the lake depth of 188.5 meters and a water storage capacity of 5.38 billion cubic meters. Kanas Lake in Burqin is the deepest moraine-dammed lake in China.
Kanas Lake Comprehensive Natural Reserve, a golden zone bordering four countries of Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and China, is the only drainage basin of the Arctic Ocean in China. In Xinjiang, the reserve, minimally influenced by mankind, preserves the completeness of a primitive state with the largest number of tree species of coniferous forest and wildlife species. Abundant species of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and beasts live here. In 2002, Kanas Lake in Burqin was approved as the protection site of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The best time to visit the Kanas Lake is in June and September. In June, flowers bloom and trees turn green and everything are full of vigor. The flowers are at their best and Kanas lookes like an ocean of flowers. Entering September, Kanas entered the pure golden season. This is also the best time for photography.
Winter operation period (October 16 – April 30) is an ideal choice for visitors with limited budgets. Kanas does not close the mountain in winter, and the scenic spot is open for business. Visitors will see the fairyland-like original snowy scenery. Kanas will also host five major themes activities, namely, Snow and Ice Festival, Snow Carnival, Winter Ice and Snow Photography Season, Snowboard Invitational, Snow Sculpture Invitational.
High season: May 1 – October 15
Off season: October 16 – April 30
Admission for Kanas Lake: 160 RMB for high season; 80 RMB for off season