Trekking in Tajikistan
The northern ranges, Pamirs and Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor
Guidebook to trekking in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Contains 21 treks exploring 5 different mountain areas, including the Northern Ranges, Pamir Mountains and Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. Also includes a handful of shorter day hikes. With advice on trekking, backpacking equipment, permits and visas, and transport.
SeasonsMost trekking routes in the northern ranges of Tajikistan are accessible from May to October whereas the best time to trek the Pamirs is from June until mid-October.
CentresPenjikent is the jumping-off point in northern Tajikistan, while Sarytag, the village close to Iskanderkul, connects several trekking itineraries. Khorog is the best hub from which to venture into the Pamirs. The guide also includes five day hikes near the capital, Dushanbe.
DifficultyRoutes vary from easy to very hard. While most trails are clear, solitude, river crossings, route finding, high altitude and the wild terrain of the Tajik mountains all pose varying degrees of challenge. Some treks include travel on small glaciers that require the use of crampons.
Must SeeLocal hospitality; untamed wilderness; pristine Alpine lakes including Alaudin Lake, Iskanderkul, Leilakul, Zarojkul and Sarez; Dukdon Pass; Ravmeddara Valley; the remote Pamiri villages of Bardara and Vezdara; Shakhdara Valley, with views of Pik Engels and Pik Karl Marx; Afghan Wakhan Corridor
Known as 'the Roof of the World', Tajikistan is one of the most mountainous countries on Earth, with 93% of its landmass considered mountainous territory. This is where the mighty Himalaya meet the Tian Shan, Karakoram and Hindu Kush, and a centuries-old network of trails criss-crosses the remote terrain, linking isolated villages and shepherds' camps. Although infrastructure is fragile and tourism in its infancy, this Central Asian nation presents some outstanding opportunities for the adventurous trekker.
This guide describes twenty high-altitude treks of 2–9 days in the mountains of Tajikistan, covering the Fann Mountains, Pamirs and northwestern ranges, plus five day hikes near the capital, Dushanbe, and a 10-day trek in the Afghan Wakhan Corridor. As well as detailed route description and 1:100,000 mapping for each trek, there is a wealth of practical advice on transport and visas, trekking support, equipment, cultural awareness, safety and security, as well as background notes on history, flora and fauna and a Tajik-Russian-Pamiri-English glossary. The guide can be used either to plan an independent trek or to select, prepare for and enhance an organised expedition.
The hand-picked routes showcase Tajikistan's breathtaking landscapes of lofty snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes and sweeping high-altitude plateaus. Trekking here is also a rich cultural experience: in addition to wild camping, many of the treks include the opportunity to experience the fascinating local culture and warm hospitality in a traditional homestay, meeting those who call this remote wilderness home. This guide will be your companion to discovering Tajikistan, a country with so much to offer and one of Central Asia's best kept secrets.
Trekking on the Roof of the World
Preparations and practicalities
When to go
Visas, permits and border crossings
Accommodation and food
Phones and the internet
What to take
Low impact trekking
Trekking in Tajikistan
Safety and security
Using this guidebook
Plants and wildlife
Tajik National Park
Dushanbe day hikes
Route 1 Leilakul
Route 2 Gusgarf Waterfall
Route 3 Begar Waterfall
Route 4 Shirkent dinosaur tracks
Route 5 Sioma Valley
Route 6 Mura Pass
Route 7 Dukdon Pass
Route 8 Fann Lakes circuit
Route 9 Kaznok Pass
Route 10 Sarymat Pass
Route 11 Chimtarga Pass and Bolshoi Allo Lake
Route 12A Sarymat River
Route 12B Munora Pass
Zerafshan and Hissar ranges and Yagnob Valley
Route 13 Darg to Ziddi Valley
Route 14 Yagnob Valley and Tabaspin Pass
Western and Central Pamir
Route 15 Gardan-i-Kaftar Pass
Route 16 Jizev Valley
Route 17 Ravmeddara Valley
Route 18 Pamir mountain lakes 1: Bachor to Sarez Lake
Route 19 Pamir mountain lakes 2: Yashilkul and Shtik Lazar Pass
Route 20 Turumtaikul Lake
Route 21 Oykul Lake
Route 22 Vrang Pass
Route 23 Darshaidavan Pass
Route 24 Vezdara to Tusion
Route 25 Pik Engels Meadow
Route 26 Afghan Wakhan Corridor: Little Pamir
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Language notes
Appendix D Further reading
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