Nestled in one of the world’s most rugged, remote, and rarely visited corners lies a stash of priceless jewels and artifacts, guarded by staggering giants.
These jewels are the pristine, sparkling lakes and alpine scenes of the Fann Mountains.
The Fann Mountains of Tajikistan hide some of the most beautiful natural attractions and exciting trails in all of Asia. Crystalline lakes, barren mountain peaks, and the occasional nomadic family are all that is to be found in this remote land.
And for that reason, we are beyond stoked to take you there.
Join us on a new trek unlike any we’ve done before. Explore the Fann Mountains and visit the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in addition.
This expedition is a cultural and natural wonder for those who truly want to get off the beaten path.
|August 24th - September 6th||$500||$2690|
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Early morning arrival in Samarkand either via Istanbul or Tashkent. After meeting, we spend the rest of the day exploring the cultural sites of the old city, including the famous madrassas of Registan.
In the evening, we will meet again for a group dinner and will have a briefing outlining the rest of the trip.
We depart from Samarkand early and head for the Tajik border, situated only 40 km away (1 hour drive). We will walk across the border and meet jeeps on the other side.
From the border, we will drive to ancient Panjakent and stop at a local market before moving on Artuch Base Camp. We will spend the night here before beginning our 9 day/8 night trek.
6 km walking. 670m elevation gain. Sleep at 2830m.
Today is the first of our 8-days trekking, We depart from Arctuch Camp and make for the picturesque Kulikalon Lakes. Overall, today is a moderate hiking day and a good chance to get our legs warmed up.
5 km total walking. 160m elevation gain. Sleep at 2990m.
An easy trekking day as we walk a relatively short distance to a nearby group of lakes. Situated at the base of a mountain cirque, this is one of the most photogenic spots in our Fann Mountains trek.
9 km total walking. 870 meter elevation gain and 1080 meter loss. Top out at 3860m. Sleep at 2780m.
The first alpine pass we cross in the Fann Mountains! At the top, you will be afforded amazing views of the lakes below and surrounding mountains.
Following our descent of Alaudin Pass, we will arrive at the Alaudin (Chapdara) Lakes. Total trekking time should be around 6 hours. We will eat dinner at a local teahouse near the lakes and will pick up a food stash for the following days.
7 km total waling. 740m elevation gain. Sleep at 3520m.
Today we veer south and head for Mutney Lake: the halfway point of this trek. A moderate hiking day before the push up to the trek’s highpoint, Chimtarga Pass, the next day. Sleep at the lake.
6 km total walking. 1040 meters elevation gain. Sleep at 4560m.
A steep ascent up to Chimtarga High Camp just below Chimtarga Col. We will bivvy here and cross the pass the next day.
Note: our pack animals will only be able to walk until 4000 meters and will not be able to cross the pass. Porters can be hired in the place of pack animas but this must be done in advance.
9 km total walking. 190m elevation gain and drop 1,600 m. High point is 4,750m. Sleep at 3,150m.
Chimtarga Col is the highest pass on this Fann Mountain itinerary. But it won’t feel like a difficult crossing since we gained most of our elevation the day before!
Following a brief rest at the top of the pass – where we are afforded excellent views of the two highest mountains in the range, Chimtarga (5,489m) and Energyia (5,109m) – we make the long descent down to Big Allo Lake.
We arrive at Big Allo Lake and give our feet a much needed rest.
0 km total walking. 0m elevation gain. Sleep at 3,150m.
We spend a full day resting at Big Allo Lake after conquering Chimtarga Col. Those feeling EXTRA brave can attempt to go for a refreshing swim in the frigid lake.
6 km total walking. 810 meter descent. Sleep at 2,340m.
A moderate hiking day where we descend down to Small Allo Lake from Big Allo Lake. This is our last night camping in the wilderness.
6 km total walking. 560 meter descent.
We make our final descent and meet our jeeps at the end of the trail before saying goodbye to our hosts for the last week: the Fann Mountains.
From the trailhead, we head straight to the border and cross back into Uzbekistan. We spend the night in Samarkand again, where hot showers await.
We depart from Samarkand at midday and take the high-speed train to Bukhara: another fabled oasis city on the old Silk Road. Bukhara is similar to Samarkand but offers a superior sightseeing experience.
We check into a guesthouse upon arrival and spend a half-day exploring the city while guided.
We spend the morning in Bukhara before catching the afternoon train back to Samarkand.
We check into our hotel and have one last debriefing, talking all about our favorite moments from the trip.
The final day where we say goodbye to one another and the amazing country that has hosted us. Transfers from the hotel to Samarkand International Airport will be arranged.
Note: Epic Backpacker Tours will not be responsible for arranging transport for those departing from Tashkent International Airport or elsewhere.
Spend an extra two days with us as we go on a side trip to Uzbekistan’s least visited but arguably most beautiful oasis town: Khiva.
Khiva is far off the beaten path and much harder to access than Bukhara or Samarkand. For this reason, many exclaim that it offers the most authentic experience of all Uzbekistan’s oasis towns. It’s ancient walls, minarets, and madrassas are all impeccably preserved and can rival anything in Registan or Old Bukhara.
This trip extension includes additional accommodation in hotels, train ticket from Bukhara to Khiva, return flight to Tashkent, and a local guide for the entire 2-day duration.
Total price: $360
Dates in question: September 7th – 8th
Participants will need consider visa procedures for two countries on this trip: one for Uzbekistan and one for Tajikistan.
Many Western nations do not need a visa to visit Uzbekistan. US citizens will need to arrange a visa beforehand. Those who need visas can acquire them either via an online portal or by applying at your local embassy.
Note: you will need a DOUBLE-entry visa for Uzbekistan.
The visa policy of Tajikistan is much more relaxed. Most Western nations, including the USA and Canada, don’t need one to enter the country.
Always check before booking the visa policy of both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for your nationality.
The dominant language in Uzbekistan is Uzbek, a form of Turkic. In Tajikistan, it is Tajik, a form of Persian. Various communities also peak their own dialects.
Russian is the de facto language of both countries though and is widely understood by all.
The total length of the self-contained section of the trek is about 60 kilometers done over 9 days. Yet unlike hut-to-hut trekking common in Europe and Nepal, our trip involves wild camping, mostly on pristine alpine meadows above the treeline.
Remaining self-contained allows for more tranquility and enables a more intimate connection with nature. This also means no lodges, no showers and no maintained trails. We may spend days – or even the entire trek – without seeing any other humans.
The trekking season in the Fann Mountains is short, and sometimes made shorter by high snowfall in either spring or autumn. Summers are relatively dry but storms can happen at any time of the year. By September, it can be quite cold at higher elevations.
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