Turye (aurochs) lake and / or Alibek waterfall itinerary is one of the most simple and popular. Most tourists go on a wide road to Alibek alpinist camp, and then the road is forked: one road leads to the Alibek waterfall, the other – to the Turye lake.
The itinerary starts at the «Snezhinka» (snowflake) hotel in Dombai. From there you will have to go 5 kilometers to the Alibek alpinist camp. It is the same alpinist camp of Soviet times where young people went to spend their time at a campfire singing songs to the guitar. There was built a rather large infrastructure: swimming-pool, stadium, and various exercise machines. Unfortunately, now all of this is abandoned, and the residential quarters of the camp has just been turned into a hotel. However, alpinists, habitually, stay just there – either in the residential quarters or in tents.
So, Alibek is five kilometers from Dombai. You will have to go on a common cart road. On the way you will see the cemetery of alpinists and two lakes. Straightly speaking, this section of the tourist itinerary is of no interest, and it would be much better for you to arrange with Dombai cabmen that they will bring you to Alibek and then take you back from there.
Just beyond Alibek the footpath is forked. One path leads to the Alibek waterfall (2 km), the other – to the Turye lake. The latter is 4 kilometers from the Alibek. Therefore, in a day you will have to go 8 km on foot, and can see two beautiful places of Dombai, and the uninteresting part of the road from Dombai to Alibek you will drive in a car.
You must take it into account that a big height difference is between Alibek (1840 m) and the Turye Lake (3000 m), so only trained tourists you will be able to visit both places in a day. Otherwise, you`d better limit yourself to one place, for example, the Turye lake. There is almost no height difference between the alpinist camp (1840 m) and the Alibek waterfall (2000 m).
The Turye lake is known for its incredibly beautiful turquoise water. Its temperature averages about 2-3°, and to the middle of July it is frozen because of its proximity to glaciers. It is reported that at night aurochs come down to the lake to drink water, hence its name is the Turye lake.