The Kanas Lake , a frigid highland valley lake, nestling at the foot of the Youyi (Friendship) Peak of the Altai Mountains, is actually the widest section of the Kanas River, a tributary of the Erix River. Kanas is the only outstretched belt of Siberian taigas forest in China, the only distribution area of Siberian plants in China, the largest branch river head of Etix River—the only water system to the Arctic Ocean in China.
The Kanas Lake, which means "beautiful, rich and mysterious" in Mongolian, can be found 150km north of Bu'erjin Town in Xinjiang. Located in a valley in the Altai Mountains near the very northern tip of Xinjiang, the lake is 1,374m above sea level and covers an area of 45sqkm with the deepest point of 188m.
part 2.General Introduction
Kanas Lake was formed through severe glacial erosion by glaciers. The lake is estimated to be 200,000 years old and is China's deepest fresh water lake (184 meters in one spot). 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.
Besides, the famous legends about "Kanas Monster" , the "Emei Spectacle”, which lights up the clouds after a morning rain, adds another air of mystery to the lake. The practices of the Tuwa Tribe and Altai Mountain rock-paintings have been attracting explorers and travelers to this area for decades.
part 3.Animals and Plants
Embraced by snow-capped mountains, the Kanas Lake area is covered with dense forests and is the only region where animals and plants of South Siberia species can be found in China. A glorious stretch of primeval forest rings the lake, and the river which feeds it. Larch, red pine, spruce and birch, the classic continental trees still grow in profusion here, where they make a home for all manner of noble creature too self-respecting to linger near human settlements.
A thousand plant species, three hundred kinds of animals and a hundred of birds, big numbers that do little justice to an area of teeming biodiversity unique for being the southwest tail of the Siberian taiga.