Know Before You Go
Yangykala Canyon is located in the far northwest of Turkmenistan, about 260 miles northwest of the capital, Ashgabat. You can arrange a three-day tour to the canyon from Ashgabat, or visit it as a day trip from Balkanabat, which is about a four-hour drive from the canyon. The roads are in poor condition, so you need to go by 4x4. There’s also very little in the way of infrastructure or services along the way, so tours must take extra water and fuel in case of emergencies.
Once you arrive, you’ll likely be taken to a rock formation known as the “Crocodile’s Mouth” from which you’ll have excellent views of the canyon. To fully appreciate the stunning sunset (and sunrise), you can arrange to camp on a plateau above the canyon. Be prepared, however, as it can be extremely windy and very cold at night.