Pamir Mountains

Pamir Lakes Trek

Duration 15 days
Distance 115 km
Max. altitude 4700 meters
Camping 7 nights
Homestay 7 nights
Difficulty
Difficulty icon Hard
Price
From €1681 $1681 / 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 meters. 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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Map and Profile

Elevation profile of the main trek from Yashilkul to Bachor

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 via Danghara and Kulob through a variety of landscapes. 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. The views over the vast high mountain desert landscapes are spectacular. The lakes of Tuzkul and Sassykul are among the places that we get to see along the road. Bulunkul itself lies at an altitude of 3750 meters and is said to be 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 take it easy on the fourth day to get used to the altitude. In the morning, there is time to explore the surroundings of Bulunkul. There are several hot springs and even a geyser in the area that can be visited by car. You can also choose to take it easy and wander around through the marshlands and along the small lake right next to the village. At the end of the morning, we drive westward along Yashilkul – one of the bigger lakes in the Pamir Mountains. The road provides impressive far-reaching views over the lake. At the western tip of Yashilkul, we set up camp to spend our first night in tents.

Day 5 – Chapdarkul Valley – 16 km

The day starts off with a short but steep climb to reach the valley that leads up to Chapdarkul Lake, which lies at an altitude of 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 6 – 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, this is the highest campsite of the trek. The outside temperatures here can be very frigid at night.

Day 7 – Tsaxinkul – 12 km

The hike of today continues at sky-high altitudes. From Chapdarkul, we climb a little further to reach the highest point of the trek at 4700 meters. We continue our way along numerous small mountains lakes to finally reach the lake of Tsaxinkul. We set up camp at the shore of Tsaxinkul at an altitude of 4300 meters.

Day 8 – Zarojkul – ~18 km

The eighth day can be used to explore Zarojkul to the west and several lakes in its vicinity. Leaving our tents at Tsaxinkul, we can set off without carrying the heavy backpacks. The hike until the lakeshore of Zarojkul is approximately 5 km hike (one way) with 200 m height difference. From Zarojkul, we can venture even further to the north to see several other lakes at about the same altitude. 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. Anybody who is really tired can also stay in the camp this day.

Day 9 – 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 10 – 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 11 – 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 12 – 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 13 – 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 14 – 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 15 – 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)
  • Basic camp facilities, cooking equipment and eating utensils
  • First aid supplies and water purification tablets/filters
  • Baggage transport during the trek up to 15 kg/person
  • All permits (except tourist visa for Tajikistan, if required)
  • Light-weight trekking tents and down sleeping bags are available for rent

Not included in the price

  • Accommodation in Dushanbe before and after the trek
  • Luxury camp facilities, such as cook service, camp service, kitchen/toilet tents, tables/chairs. This can be arranged upon request.

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

Practical Info Page

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Why Go With Us?

Real adventure

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.