a mountain pass between the Dzungarian Alatau on the west and the Birliktau and Mailitau ranges on the east. The pass extends from the southern end of Lake Alakol’ (USSR) to Lake Aibihu (western China). Its width at its narrowest point is 10 km. Lake Zhalanashkol’ lies at its northern edge. The climate is dry, and there are frequent strong winds, the skvozniaki; a semidesert landscape predominates.
In antiquity the Dzungarian Gates were a passageway for the nomadic peoples of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. On Soviet territory, the Aktogai-Druzhba railroad passes through the Dzungarian Gates.