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Best Hiking Trails in Tajikistan

Overview

Like its Central Asian neighbour, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan is mainly mountainous and is increasingly attracting hikers to its breathtaking mountain landscapes.  The Pamir mountains and the Fann mountains provide endless opportunities for hiking; the majestic Pamirs get all the attention and are suitable for the intrepid hiker who is able to navigate high altitude territory with little hiking infrastructure (ie. no marked trails or mountain huts).  The Fann mountains are much more accessible, close to Dushanbe (the capital) and while lower altitude compared to the Pamirs, they are  no less stunning. The summer months are the best time to go hiking in Tajikistan. Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Tajikistan.

Capital: Dushanbe

When To Hike in Tajikistan?

June – September
October: Early part may be warm enough still in the Fann mountains
November to May: Cold and snowy

Climate: Arid continental (cold winters and very hot, sunny summers)

 

Tajikistan Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – Hard: It is much easier to hike in the Fann Mountains, but quite difficult in the Pamirs as there is very little infrastructure, changing conditions, very little English spoken. 

Transportation required: Sturdy vehicle

Where to stay in Tajikistan for hiking:

  • Khorog
  • Dushanbe
  • Penjikent

 

Most popular hikes in Tajikistan

The main mountain ranges are the Fann Mountains (western part of country) and the Pamir Mountains (eastern part of country). Highest Mountain: Ismoil Somoni Peak (7495 m) in the Pamirs.

Filter out hiking places of Tajikistan by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Pamir Mountains

  • Very remote, known as the ‘roof of the world’, amazing trekking destination for those who are experienced trekkers
  • Tajik National Park (not sure how accessible this is as there are no roads leading to it)
  • Wakhan Corridor (more info on this in Afghanistan page) but a narrow corridor half in Tajikistan, half in Afghanistan, very remote, little infrastructure
  • Jizeu Valley
  • Khorog is the largest town in this region

Fann Mountains

  • Close to Dushanbe in the western part of the country, much more accessible than Pamirs, lower altitude but fantastic hiking nonetheless – the Fann mountains are actually part of the Pamir-Alay mountain system which is an extension of the Pamirs
  • Shirkent National Park – no info on this
  • Zarafshan range
  • Dushanbe or Penjikent are good bases for this area
  • Sample hikes include:
    • Marguzor Lakes (Seven Lakes)
    • Iskander-Kul 
    • Kulikalon Lakes
    • Archa Maidan Valley

Long Distance Trails of Tajikistan

  • The Pamir Trail – currently, a 1000 km trail through the mountains is in the works; would be the country’s first long distance trek – Pamir Trail
  • Mura Pass – 57 km
  • Dukdon Pass – 68 km
  • Many of the treks undertaken in Tajikistan are multi-day treks

Tajikistan's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Tajikistan Hiking Books:

  • Trekking in Tajikistan: The northern ranges, Pamirs, and Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, by Jan Bakker & Christine Oriol, 2019, Cicerone Guide – https://amzn.to/3VgGZwy
  • Tajikistan and the High Pamirs: A Companion and Guide, by Robert Middleton, Huw Thomas, and Monica Whitlock, 2011, Odyssey Books & Guides – https://amzn.to/3VgpHQb
  • Lonely Planet Central Asia, 7th Edition, by Stephen Lioy, Anna Kaminski, Bradley Mayhew, Jenny Walker, 2018, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/3VgpPz9
  • Tajikistan: A Bradt Travel Guide, 3rd Edition, 2020, by Sophie Ibbotson & Max Lovell-Hare, published by Bradt Travel Guides – https://amzn.to/49GbAbf

 

Hiking Associations:

Best Hikes in Tajikistan: More information on these hikes can be found in the guidebooks listed and internet resources

  • Seven Lakes (Marguzor Lakes)
  • Iskander-Kul
  • Kulikalon Lakes
  • Archa-Maidan Valley
  • Chapdarkul
  • Jizeu Valley
  • Shakdara Valley
  • Leilakul
  • Sioma Valley

 

Tajikistan Hiking Tours:

 

Tajikistan Hiking Websites:

 

Tajikistan Weather Website:

 

Tajikistan Hiking Companies:

  • Women Rockin’ Pamirs: Women Rockin Pamirs (a non-profit organization that trains women to be trekking guides as well as offer trekking services) – may no longer be operating anymore
  • Eco Tourism Tajikistan

 

Tajikistan Official Tourism Site:  

 

Tajikistan Hiking Apps: 

 

Tajikistan Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Travel the Pamir Highway
  • Silk Road architecture in Ferghana Valley

Other Important Points

  • There is a homestay network 
  • Quite the divide between western Tajikistan (where it is more verdant, Shia Muslim) and eastern Tajikistan (where it is more barren, remote, Ismaili Muslim)
  • Be aware of altitude sickness, especially if you haven’t had time to acclimatize before embarking on a higher altitude hike
  • The Pamir Highway, a high mountain highway, is infamously known for its ‘challenging’ conditions
  • The Pamir region is also known as Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO)