Chegem gorge in Caucasus mountains

Chegem gorge is located on the Northern slope of the Caucasus mountains, near the town of Nalchik. This is one of the most beautiful gorges in the Caucasus mountains. It stretches for more than 80 kilometers, but the most interesting part of the Chegem gorge for tourists is located between The Chegem waterfalls and the village of Eltybiy.

The most famous part of the gorge - the Chegem waterfalls and the Chegem canyon. This place is the end point of organized excursions. After the village of Nizhny Chegem, you should make a stop near the Aidai-su waterfall (30 meters).

Behind the village of Khushto-Syrt, the Chegem canyon begins. A few dozen kilometers from the turn from the Pyatigorsk-Nalchik highway, the road goes through a very wide gorge, but in the Chegem canyon, the rocks close. Their height reaches 300 meters, and at the narrowest point, the width of the canyon between the rocks is only 25 meters. The Chegem river flows along the bottom of the canyon.

The length of The Chegem canyon is 3 kilometers and there are Grand Chegem Waterfalls near the exit from it. They are emerging by rivers Sakal-tup and Kayarta. Thousands of jets fall from the cliff into the gorge. They are all of different shapes, heights, and strengths. Some dripping through the tangle of moss. There are small waterfalls that flow directly from the cliff face. These waterfalls make a great impression.

200 meters beyond the waterfalls, the Chegem canyon ends, and a wide valley with beautiful landscapes begins from the southern slope of the Rocky ridge. The distance from Chegem waterfalls to the village of Eltybiy is 20 kilometers. The riverbed of Chegem winds among the rocks, so at every turn you can see very beautiful views.

A few kilometers before the village of Eltybyu on the left slope of the gorge is a paragliding camp. There are also mountains for jumping. Then you can see the steep slope of the Pyramid mountain. Behind it village Eltybiy is located, which is also called Upper Chegem.

In the village, you should see the Necropolis, which also called “The city of the Dead”. It is located on the slope of the Kara-Tyubu mountain. The crypts in the necropolis are dated to the 11th-17th centuries. The most recent octagonal crypts were built in the 17th century, and the most ancient, quadrangular ones – in the 11th century. They belong to the Christian culture, although some suggest the influence of Zoroastrianism.

On the left side of the Jildy-Su river from the village of Eltybiy, you can go to the house-museum of the national poet of Kabardino-Balkaria Kaisyn Kuliyev. On the right side, you can go to the ruins of the ancient city Bicikle (8th century AD). Here is preserved the so-called "Greek staircase", which goes along a steep cliff to the cave. Most likely, it is the ruins of an ancient fortified settlement. People could control the trade route that in ancient times ran along the southern slope of the Rocky ridge of Caucasus mountain.

From the village of Eltybiy, you can drive another 5 kilometers to the village of Bulunga. Here, the peaks of the Greater Caucasus Range with a height of more than 3 thousand meters are already clearly visible. The road ends in Bulungu. There is a border Outpost, and then the road is possible only with climbing equipment.

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Chegem gorge on the southern side of the Rocky ridge of the Caucasus mountains
Chegem waterfalls - one of the most beautiful places in the Caucasus mountains
Picturesque bends of the Chegem riverbed in the Chegem gorge
The height of the Rocky ridge of the Caucasus mountains in the Сhegem gorge does not exceed 3000 meters, but the mountains here are very picturesque
Watchtower princes Balkorukov (17th century) in the village Eltyubyu in Chegem gorge
The view of the snowy peaks of the greater Caucasus mountain range from the village Eltyubyu
Peak Corgashiklitay (3813 m) is the highest mountain of the Greater Caucasus ridge, which is visible in the village Eltyubyu
The steep slope of the Pyramid mountain (2528 m), overhanging the village of Eltyby in the Chegem gorge
Muslim crypts (17 century) in the City of the Dead in the village Eltyubyu in Chegem gorge
Christian crypts (11th century) in the City of the Dead in the village of Eltyby in the Chegem gorge
At this point in the Chegem canyon, rocks overhang the road, the width of the gorge is several tens of meters
Alpine meadows on the mountain slopes in the Chegem gorge
Rocks at the exit of the Chegem canyon, their height is still 300 meters, but the gorge itself is already wider
The narrowest part of the Chegem canyon, where the width of the gorge is only 25 meters
In some places of the Chegem gorge the width of the Chegem river is quite wide
The structure of the rocky banks of the Chegem gorge differs in different places
Near these mountains there is the Aktoprak pass, which means White Сlay. It connects the Chegem and Baksan gorges
Eastern slope of the Chegem gorge
The waterfall of the Sakal-Tup river is one of the highest among the Chegem waterfalls
Chegem waterfalls - cascades river Kayarti
Cascades of Chegem waterfalls in the Chegem gorge
The streams of some Chegem waterfalls flow directly from the rock
In some places the Chegem river winds through fairly high rocks in the Chegem gorge
Beautiful cascades of Chegem waterfalls
At the entrance to the Chegem gorge the wide Chegem river becomes narrow and very rapid
The rocks on the North side of the Chegem gorge above the village Eltyubyu