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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.