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
This guide describes twenty high-altitude treks of 2-9 days in the mountains of Tajikistan, covering the Fann Mountains, Pamirs and northern 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.
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.
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.
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Jan Bakker was born in a village in the northwest of the Netherlands but fell in love with mountains and outdoor activities at a young age. He co-founded the very first mountain film festival in Tunisia and has been leading pioneering mountain expeditions in Tajikistan, the Afghan Wakhan Corridor and Iraqi Kurdistan. He has written articles about his adventures for Sidetracked, Trek & Mountain Magazine and Adventure Travel Magazine. Jan currently lives with his wife and two sons in Beirut and ventures out into the Lebanese mountains to hike, bike and rock climb whenever he can.View author profile
Born in France, Christine Oriol roamed around Central Asia for a few years before adopting Tajikistan as her second homeland. Settling in a village in the Fann Mountains to work on a rural development project, she enjoyed exploring both the surrounding mountains and the unmarked trails in the Pamirs. After four years, she realised that all this knowledge should be shared and so she suggested to Jan Bakker that they work together on a new trekking guidebook for Tajikistan. Christine is still eager to blaze new trails in this fascinating country and now trains young local women in the Pamirs with the non-profit organization Women Rockin' Pamirs.View author profile
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