Trekking in Tajikistan

The northern ranges, Pamirs and Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor

By Jan Bakker, Christine Oriol

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.



Most 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.


Penjikent 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.


Routes 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 See

Must See

Local 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
8 Nov 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 2.2cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    Trekking on the Roof of the World
    Preparations and practicalities
    When to go
    Getting there
    Visas, permits and border crossings
    Getting around
    Trekking support
    Accommodation and food
    Cultural awareness
    Phones and the internet
    What to take
    Low impact trekking
    Trekking in Tajikistan
    Staying healthy
    Safety and security
    Using this guidebook
    About Tajikistan
    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
    Fann Mountains
    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
    Link routes
    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
    Southern Pamir
    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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