Heartland of Fann Mountains Trek - Tajikistan
Trip Type: Trekking
Region: Pamir - Alay Mountains Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Duration: 14 days
Max Altitude: 4780m
Batch Dates: Custom Trips only
Heartland of Fann Mountains Trek Overview
The Fann Mountains (also known as the Fanns) - a land of turquoise lakes, clouded peaks and ancient legends - is a unique part and one of the beautiful regions of the Pamir Mountains. Here, the clearest and unbelievably pristine lakes are surrounded by high, snow-covered, sharp rocky peaks. Walk an almost Lunar landscape enlivened with tangles of juniper’s trunks twisted by nature into improbable figures. View amazing peaks like Energia and Chimtarga rising above the Mutny lakes.
The Zarafshan and Gissar Ranges of the Pamir Alay Mountains run parallel east to west, their western ends joining at the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Fann Mountains are situated to the right of the place where the two ranges close.
This trekking route runs through the most picturesque paths of the Fann Mountains. Glorious valleys of Zindan River and Archimaidan River, mysterious beauty of Bolshoi Allo Lake, the beautiful chain of the Kulikalon lake, Alaudin lake and Iskanderkul lake, astonishing waterfalls - all surrounded by wonderful 5,000-odd metres high peaks: Chapdara, Bolshaya Ganza, Malaya Ganza, Mirali, Maria. The maximum altitude of the entire trek is 4780m (Chimtarga Pass).
We end the trek at the beautiful Silk route city of Samarkand and go on to explore Tashkent and Bukhara as well.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Heartland of Fann Mountains Trek Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Dushanbe
We shall begin our trekking the Pamir Mountains in Dushanbe, the colourful capital of Tajikistan. Check into the hotel. Your excursion to Dushanbe will include the Rudaki Park, which is the city’s central garden; botanical garden. We also visit one of the most famous tourist attractions of Tajikistan - the ancient castle of Hisor (Gissar fortress).
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Dushanbe - Artuch (2200m)
Duration: Drive: 2 hours | Trek: 4 hours
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart from Dushanbe. Drive via the Anzob Pass (3,373m), which crosses the Gissar Range from south to north. Continue our drive downhill from the pass along the rapid Fandarya River cutting the Zarafshan Range. Travelling further down the road we get to the small town of Ayni perched on the bank of the powerful Zarafshan River. After driving a little down the stream we turn to the south and make our way towards the mountain village of Artuch. A bit deeper into the mountains we shall find our destination point, stationary mountaineers’ base camp (BC) ‘Artuch’ (2200m). Wooden chalets and cottages of the base camp are set amidst a wide expanse of juniper woods. Artuch is a mini town with most basic necessities available.
Day 3: Artuch - Kulikalon Lakes - Bibidjanat Lake Camp 1 (2700m)
Duration: 5 hours
Today we start the trekking portion of the trip. We load our luggage onto donkeys and take the well-trodden up Urjam River valley through mixed juniper and deciduous groves. We cross two scree dams that serve as a natural filter making water in the stream absolutely transparent.
In 2-3 hours the trail levels and we top the upper dam, on the other side, are the 14 lakes of Kulikalon framed by jagged ridges and summits over 4000m-5000m. Maria (4970m), Mirali (5120m), Rudaki (4900m), Adamtash (4700m) (the four peaks together called “Kulikalon Wall”), Saryshah (4650m) and Aurondag (4573m) rise above the lakes. The first lake is the biggest, and its colour is turquoise.
Keeping the lakes on our left, heading to our Camp 1 set on the shore of the Bibidjanat Lake (2,700m) where cosy tents are already set.
Day 4: Bibidjanat Lake - Alauddin Lake (2,900m)
Duration: 6 hours
The trail today is steep. We make our way out of the juniper forest and pastures, through alpine meadows to reach Alauddin Pass (3,860m). On the way up we see vultures and eagles hovering in the blue sky. We enjoy a bird-eye view of Dushaha Lake and the entire Kulikalon Lake system. From the stony pass, get impressive views eastwards to Chapdara River valley. Left to right, we see snow-&-ice-clad Chapdara Peak (5,050m), Bodhona Peak (5,138m) and Zamok Peak (5070m), a clear-cut pyramid of Kaznok Peak (4200m) and a “bowing head” of Adamtash Peak (4700m). Down in the valley bottom, we see a blue speck of Alauddin Lake varying in colour from lilac to deep turquoise and providing a stunning contrast against the backdrop of the Chimtarga wall. We picnic on the green grassy spot 200m below the saddle near a spring. A steep rocky descent brings us to our campsite on the glade near the river flowing out of the Alauddin Lake (2,900m). Easy afternoon walk around the lakes is followed by relaxation in tent and more than welcomed dinner.
Day 5: Alauddin Lake - Mutnoje Lakes (3490m)
Duration: 4 hours
We steadily climb up the Alauddin River valley today. During the day we enjoy views of Kaznok Peak (4200m), Zamok Peak (5070m), Cherny Peak (5010m), Paygambar Peak (4800m), Energiya Peak (5105m) and the dominant Chimtarga Peak (5487m). Severe arctic zone climate conditions, overhanging glaciers, gigantic steep moraines, ice-polished valley sides are the reality of this area. On the way, one can see natural phenomena: a rarefied birch grove and a small "Piala Lake" named for its round-shape bottom.
Late lunch on the Mutnoje Lake shores where we set up camp. Optional afternoon walk to Kaznok Pass (400m) for a breathtaking panoramic view (4hrs).
Day 6: Mutnoje Lakes - Chimtarga Pass Base (4454m)
Duration: 6 hours
The day is going to be, perhaps, most strenuous and challenging of the entire trek. First, we bypass the lake on the right and cross over a stream running down from Chimtarga glacier. We carry on along the glacier, which is notched in small channels carrying water and stones down to bigger streams and into the river. We ascend along the level easy surface of the glacier and then through a steeper moraine to reach our camping site, among big boulders.
Zeravshanskiy Range and Gissarskiy Ranges converge here giving astounding panoramic views and feel of the whole Fann mountain highland in the rays of the setting sun.
Day 7: Chimtarga Pass Base - Chimtarga Pass (4780m) - Bolshoje Allo lake (3110m)
Duration: 7 hours
After breakfast, make our way to the Chimtarga pass itself and view the Fann mountains from the top. Reach the pass in an hour of walking along the simple scree trail. A fixed rope might be required 50m short of the pass on the snow depending on general weather conditions of the year.
From both sides of the pass there are Energia and Chimtagra Peaks, and on the opposite side - the peaks of the Mutnoye lakes circle: Pakhamber (4938m), Zamok (5020m), quite far away, on the south there seen the peaks of Hissar ridge and on the North - the peaks of Zeravshan ridge. From the top of the area’s highest pass, we see magnificent Fann mountains’ peaks: Bolshaya (Big) Ganza (5,308m), Malaya (Small) Ganza (4,956m), Energiya Peak (5,105m), Moskva Peak (5,046m) and others.
Descend to the Chimtarga River valley and trek along the beautiful and wide valley of the river to make our way to the Bolshoje Allo lake.
Bolshoje Allo Lake is a real wonder of Fann Mountains and surely one of the most beautiful alpine lakes of the region. You can even swim in this blue reservoir and enjoy the warm sun of Pamir. The lake owes its origin to the gigantic landslide happened in 1916. The path on the downstream side of the dam leads to the enclosed valley of Zindon river (literally meaning "prison" due to extremely tight and narrow gorge sides “imprisoning” water that disappears underground). We camp on the shore of the lake.
Day 8: Bolshoje Allo lake - Zimtut Village
Duration: Trek: 6 hours | Drive: 30min
Walk Downhill along the “imprisoned” Zindon River valley to the confluence with Amshut River. On the way, you will see Little Allo, a small emerald-turquoise lake situated in the Zindona Canyon at an elevation of 2,340m above sea level. It is filled with crystal clear water of strikingly unusual colour!
We introduce ourselves to the simple life of Tadjik shepherds, taste their traditional "airan" (kind of yoghurt), "round bread" and aroma tea. We shall go down into the Amshut River Valley, from where we shall be transferred to the village of Zimtut to stay for the night in a guest house.
Day 9: Zimtut - Samarkand
Drive: 4 hours
After breakfast, drive to Samarkand and check in to the hotel.
Day 10: Samarkand
Sightseeing program in Samarkand. Visit the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia - the Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids.
After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Samarkand: Bibi-Khanym mosque, architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek observatory. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Samarkand - Bukhara
Drive: 5 hours
After breakfast, drive 5 hours to Bukhara and check into your hotel. After lunch sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Visiting a showroom of Bukhara golden-embroidered factory and Karakul dressing (astrakhan fur) workshop.
Day 12: Bukhara - Tashkent
Train: 3 hours
Breakfast at the hotel. Continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch out-of-town guided sightseeing tour (4 km from Bukhara): Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Return to Bukhara.
Transfer by train to Tashkent. On arrival check-in and overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah, the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. After lunch visit Independence Square and Amir Temur Square. Return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 14: Departure
Early morning transfer to airport for departure. Trip Ends!
- Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats.
- Nutritious, high calorie vegetarian food will be served for the whole trek.
- Guide, cook and camp helpers.
- Porters/ Horses to carry loads on the whole route.
- Participants are not expected to carry any loads other than a small daypack with camera, some trail layers and some trail food.
- Two people will be accommodated in one tent.
- Transport Manali hotel to Road Head and Billing to Dharamshala.
- Hotel accommodations in Manali for 1 day before the trek and in Dharamshala for one day after the trek.
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Sleeping Bags. (We recommend to get bags which are comfort rated to - 5 to - 8 deg C)
- Accommodation and food in Manali.
- Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend purchasing a suitable insurance cover.
- Backpack 40 - 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
- 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
- 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
- Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) - Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
- Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) - Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
- Synthetic Fleece Jacket - 1 pair.
- Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket - 1 pair.
- Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket - 1 -pair ( optional - get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
- Thermal liners - 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
- Raincoat/ Poncho - what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
- Warm Beanie - make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
- Gloves - Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
- Sun Cap- 1 no
- Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
- Trekking Pole - Optional.
- Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)