Pamir Mountains

Pamir Lakes Trek

Duration 16 days
Distance 139 km
Max. altitude 4700 meters
Camping 7 nights
Homestay 8 nights
Difficulty
Extreme
Price
From €1253 $1253 / person
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Stunning landscapes in the core of the Pamirs

Head out for a trekking expedition on stunning trails through the heart of the Pamir Mountains. Designed for seasoned hikers, this trek uses the remote village of Bulunkul as gateway to the natural beauty of the central Pamirs. The region hosts innumerable amazing lakes. Among others, we visit the lakes of Yashilkul, Chapdarkul, Zarojkul and Turumtaykul. The trek provides a non-stop series of breathtaking landscapes and views. The trail goes up and down reaching heights of up to 4700 meter. The long and difficult trek allows for relaxation in natural hot springs at various places along the route. Furthermore, you can experience the local life in the mountain villages of Bulunkul, Bachor, Jelondy and Javshangoz. There is also time in the itinerary to explore Khorog, the capital city of the Pamir region.

Highlights

Lakes of Yashilkul, Chapdarkul and Zarojkul
Villages at the end of the world
Natural hot springs
Camping in complete remoteness
Vast and rough high-mountain landscapes
Turumtaykul

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Joinable group departures

09-09-2022
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Map and Profile

Elevation profile of the Pamir Lakes Trek

Itinerary

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.

Flag of Tajikistan
Day 1 – Dushanbe to Qul'ai Khumb

Pick-up is in the morning at your desired location in Dushanbe and followed by a briefing and collection of equipment and provisions. Then we take a car to head toward the east of Tajikistan. Half-way to the capital of the Pamir region, we reach the city of Qul'ai Khumb (1250 m), where we stay for the night.

Day 2 – Qul'ai Khumb to Khorog

On the second day, we continue our journey on the Pamir Highway deeper into the mountains. The bumpy road runs most of the day right along the banks of the Tajik side of the Panj river. The Panj river forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. You are treated on the first views of the majestic Pamir Mountains. In the late afternoon, we reach Khorog, the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan. We spend the night in Khorog (2100 m).

Day 3 – Khorog to Bulunkul

For the final part by car, we drive for about 6 hours to the village of Bulunkul. Bulunkul lies at an altitude of 3750 meters and arguably is the coldest village of Tajikistan. Temperatures in winter can drop to –40˚C. In Bulunkul, we spend the night in a homestay.

Day 4 – Acclimatisation in Bulunkul

We stay one day in Bulunkul to get used to the altitude. Today there is the option to see several places of interest around Bulunkul. There are several hot springs and even a geyser in the area. You can also choose to take it easy and wander around through the marshlands and along the small lake after which the village of Bulunkul is named.

Day 5 – Yashilkul – 24 km

The actual trek starts on the fifth day, when we head towards the western end of Yashilkul – one of the bigger lakes in the Pamir Mountains. The first day is directly the longest day of hiking of the entire trek. For 24 km, we walk along the shore of Yashilkul with all day impressive far-reaching views over the lake. At the end of the day, we set up our tents at the western tip of Yashilkul.

Day 6 – Chapdarkul Valley – 16 km

The day starts off with a short but steep climb to get to the valley that leads up to Chapdarkul. Here start the first serious climb of the trek towards Chapdarkul, which lies at 4500 meters. The entire hike to Chapdarkul takes two days. Today, we hike all day along a river to reach our campsite at an altitude of approximately 4000 meters.

Day 7 – Chapdarkul – 11 km

From the campsite, we take a side valley to hike up 500 meters and finish the ascent to Chapdarkul. At Chapdarkul, we pitch our tents to spend the night. At 4500 meters, it’s the highest campsite of the trek.

Day 8 – Tsaxinkul – 12 km

The hike of today is almost literally on the roof of the world. From Chapdarkul, we climb a little further to reach the highest point of the trek at 4700 meters. We continue our way along numerous mountains lakes to finally reach Tsaxinkul, where we set up camp at 4300 meters.

Day 9 – Zarojkul – ~18 km

Day 9 can be used to explore Zarojkul and several lakes in its vicinity. Leaving our tents at Tsaxinkul, we can set off without carrying the heavy backpacks. The area of Zarojkul, with its intense blue colors, is an absolute highlight of the Pamir Mountains. At the end of the day, we return to the same campsite as the previous day.

Day 10 – Andaravadzh Valley – 16 km

We start our way back to civilization. The hike of today leads down through the valley of the Andaravadzh river. Hot springs can be encountered in the valley. We spend the night in tents next to the river.

Day 11 – Bachor – 11 km

Continuing further down through the valley brings us to Gunt river and finally to the village Bachor. We spend the night in a homestay in Bachor (3300 m).

Day 12 – Jelondy

A car takes us today to the village of Jelondy (3550 m). The drive takes 1.5 hours and runs again over part of the Pamir Highway. Jelondy is renowned for its hot springs. Everywhere in the village steam is coming out of the ground. We move into a guest house in Jelondy. The afternoon can be spent relaxing in the warm natural spring waters.

Day 13 – Turumtaykul – 13 km

After a day of relaxing in Jelondy, the hiking starts again on day 13. The first part of the hike goes about 700 meters upward through a valley to eventually reach a mountain pass at 4300 meter. After crossing the mountain pass, there is a great view over the lake of Turumtaykul. We hike down to set up camp at the shore of Turumtaykul (4200 m).

Day 14 – Javshangoz – 18 km

From Turumtaykul, we head south over a vast plain. We cross a relatively easy mountain pass at 4300 meters. The rest of the trek only moves down from here on. On the way down, we get views over some of the highest peaks of the southern Pamirs, including Karl Marx Peak (6726 m) and Engels Peak (6510 m). The wide valley that we reach at the bottom of the descent is sparsely populated. We walk to the village of Javshangoz (3450 m) to spend the night in a homestay.

Day 15 – Javshangoz to Khorog

From Javshangoz, it is a 6 hours drive to Khorog. The road along the Shohdara river leads through many small mountain villages. Near the end of the drive, we make a stop at the botanical garden for a view over Khorog. We spend the night in Khorog.

Day 16 – Khorog to Dushanbe

In the morning we get back in the car for a 14 hours drive back to Dushanbe. We drive over the same stretch of the bumpy Pamir Highway that we took at the start of the trip. Arrival in Dushanbe is in the late evening, where you are dropped off at your desired location.

Included in the price

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Private transport (pick-up/drop-off at your desired location in Dushanbe)
  • All nights and meals in the homestays
  • Food (breakfast, dinner and snacks)
  • Cooking equipment and eating utensils
  • First aid supplies and water purification tablets and filter
  • All permits (except the tourist visa for Tajikistan)
  • Light-weight trekking tents and down sleeping bags can be rented at a small extra cost

Not included in the price

  • Porters/donkeys
  • Accommodation in Dushanbe before and after the trek

Check out the practical info page to see what we recommend you to bring yourself

Practical Info Page

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Traveling off the beaten tracks in unspoiled mountains. Back to nature without excess luxury.

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Equipment

All necessary camping equipment can be provided. Trekking accessible for everyone.

Flexible travel

Treks are adaptable to your personal needs regarding food, pick-up/drop-offs, and your fitness level.