Trekking through the heart of the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan is an amazing experience. Starting at Iskanderkul Lake, this long 89 km trek brings you all the way to Alauddin Lake. You pass some of the best highlights of the Fann Mountains along the way including the Kulikalon and Chukurak lakes, which both offer great lakeside camping opportunities. The trek is designed to experience a mix of hiking through untouched nature and inhabited valleys, where you get to experience the local village life in the mountains. Four nights are spent in homestays in local villages, while the other six nights are spent camping in tents at some of the most idyllic places imaginable. The trek is physically quite demanding as it crosses two mountain passes at 3800 meters.
The day-to-day itinerary gives a detailed overview of the hiking and highlights planned for each stage of the trek. The itinerary has been carefully tested and tried. Although it rarely happens, unforeseen circumstances can force us to make (minor) adaptations to the schedule, even during the trek. For example, weather and road conditions may change rapidly while trekking and make certain parts of the route less passable. Flexibility is indispensable when traveling and hiking through the rugged lands of Tajikistan.
Departure from Dushanbe in the morning. Pick up from your desired location in Dushanbe. The drive to the start of the trek at the lake of Iskanderkul (2200 meters) takes about 3 hours. The road leads straight through the mountains and already offers the first scenic views. Arrival at the guest house at the shore of Iskanderkul is in the early afternoon. The remainder of the day can be spent swimming and relaxing. You can also choose to explore the nearby waterfalls and Kulimoron (Snake Lake).
Today’s hike leads along the shore of Iskanderkul up to the village of Sarytag (2380 m). The day directly presents the first stretches upward, covering a vertical elevation of 300 meters and passing along some waterfalls. The night is spent in a home stay in Sarytag along the river of the same name.
By leaving Sarytag, we also leave the last bit of civilization behind us. The first part of the day is an easy walk along the Karakul river through a green valley. The path then leads to the foot of the first major pass of the trek: Dukdon Pass. Today brings us up to an altitude of approx. 3100 meters, where we set up camp. Prepare for a cold night at the highest campsite of this trek.
Today marks the literal high point of the trek. Walking up to Dukdon Pass brings us to an altitude of 3805 meters. From the pass, a far-reaching view opens up over the mountains to the west and east. After a well-deserved break, we continue down the western flank of the pass, which usually involves crossing some small ice fields. The descent leads down into the valley of the Archamaidan river. The overnight camp is set up along the river at around 3000 meters.
Compared to the previous days, the fifth day presents a relatively easy hike. The hike continues down through the valley along the banks of the Archamaidan river. The valley becomes gradually more inhabited as we move down. We pitch our tents again along the Archamaidan river to spend the night.
On day six, we continue our way down through the Archamaidan valley. We pass through several small villages along the way. In the village of Zimtut, we end the day to spend the night in a homestay. This is the lowest point of the trek at around 1550 meter.
Straight from the start of the day, the path leads upward to Guitan Pass at an altitude of 2650 meters. The total height difference of the climb is more than 1000 meters, which makes it a very strenuous hike. From the top of the pass, the hike continues for a while over a flat path before dropping down to the idyllic Chukurak Lake (2430 meters). The Chukurak Lake is ideal for a refreshing swim. The night is spent in tents along on the shore of Chukurak Lake.
For today, a relatively short hike is scheduled that first brings us down from Chukurak lake into the valley of Artuch. We have a lunch at a local eatery to pick up energy for the climb to Kulikalon, which is located on an impressive plateau at 2800 meters altitude. It is a true heaven for wild camping, which is exactly what we are going to do this night.
Rest day at Kulikalon. The plateau where we camp is covered by various lakes and offers great opportunities for short hikes or to simply relax. During this day, we recover energy and force for the next day, which will prove to be a last tough challenge.
The final stretch of the trek goes over Alauddin Pass at 3780 meter, which is only a few meters lower than the highest point of the trek on Day 4 at Dukdon Pass. The top of the pass provides great views over both Kulikalon on one side and Alauddin Lake on the other. The descent from the pass brings us to Alauddin Lake, which is one of the most stunning lakes of Tajikistan. Several other lakes of a deep azure blue are located in the direct surroundings of Alauddin Lake. The night is spent in a homestay.
Today marks the return to Dushanbe. By car, we first drive for about two hours over dirt roads through an impressive valley. Along the way, we pass several villages to eventually reach the main highway M34. From that point, it is another two hours to get back to Dushanbe, where you are dropped off at your preferred location.
Check out the practical info page to see what we recommend you to bring yourselfPractical Info Page
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Traveling off the beaten tracks in unspoiled mountains. Back to nature without excess luxury.
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All necessary camping equipment can be provided. Trekking accessible for everyone.
Treks are adaptable to your personal needs regarding food, pick-up/drop-offs, and your fitness level.