Trekking in Unexplored Shirkent National Park
Embark on a journey to explore the stunning southern Kuhistan region, known for its diverse and breathtaking landscapes. Witness the magnificent “Shirkent Barrier,” a towering rock mass with a grandiose and peculiar shape created over millions of years of erosion and weathering. This tour offers the opportunity to cross passes with a height of about 3000 meters and visit the stunning Payron Lakes located in the Karatag River gorge. Enjoy the added benefits of traveling at the beginning and end of the season when other mountainous areas are difficult to access, the area is rarely visited by tourists, and the trails are well-maintained with convenient access roads. Flexibility is key, as we allow guests to make changes and additions to the itinerary as per their request. With a reserve of time in case of bad weather and a gradual adaptation to high altitude conditions, this tour is suitable for those who are healthy, in good physical shape, and have prior experience in mountain hikes.
- Ascend to the Parmin plateau (2150m) through the picturesque Karatag and Sorbin gorges
- Picnic by the spring or river and camp overnight by the river
- Cross the Sutun-Komar pass (2750m) and descend through alpine meadows and wooded slopes to the Shirkent gorge
- Stay overnight in a tent camp near a spring or stream
- Walk along the Shirkent Barrier, a 5km reddish rock massif formed by sandstones and conglomerates
- Explore one of the canyons, stroll along the terraces, swim in one of the natural baths or under a waterfall
- Trek over the Khazor-Khona pass (3160m) in the zone of wide alpine meadows
- Walk up the Pariyon gorge to the mesmerizing Pariyon Lake (2120m) and stay overnight in tents by the birch grove
You will start your journey by being transferred from Dushanbe to the Karatag gorge. It will take about 2.5 hours and cover a distance of 70 km. Once you reach the gorge, you will start ascending to the Parmin plateau, which has an elevation of 2150m. You will hike along the beautiful Sorbin river gorge, and stop for a picnic by the river or a spring. The Parmin plateau was once inhabited by people, and you can still see the clearings made by them, the remnants of the irrigation system, and the walnut trees that they had planted. You will set up camp by the river, have dinner and spend the night in tents. The length is 5.5 km. Walking hours - 3-4. Ascent / descent: + 650m / -10m.
After breakfast, we will begin our trek towards the Sutun-Komar pass, which is at an altitude of 2750m. We will ascend to the pass by following an abandoned road and then continue on a path along the northeastern slopes. Along the way, we may encounter shallow snow in places where avalanches have fallen in winter, as well as near the pass itself. Once we reach the pass, we will stop for a picnic and enjoy the beautiful views. Afterward, we will begin our descent towards the Shirkent gorge, passing through alpine meadows and wooded slopes. We will set up our tent camp for the night on one of the meadows at an altitude of 2150m, near a spring or stream on the descent. In the evening, we will have dinner and spend the night in our tents, surrounded by the beautiful natural scenery of the Shirkent gorge. The length is 8 km. Walking hours - 6-7. Ascent / descent: + 700m / -700m.
We will descend to the Shirkent river and walk along the wooded slopes, approaching the impressive Shirkent Barrier. Then, we will continue our trek up the Shirkent gorge to the small Pashmi-Kukhna village, which is only inhabited during the summer. From there, we will cross a bridge and hike to one of our favorite meadows (2060m) by a stream under the magnificent Barrier rocks. We will have dinner and spend the night in tents. The length is 8 km. Walking hours - 4-5. Ascent / descent: + 240m / -330m.
Experience the stunning beauty of the "Shirkent Barrier" on a walk (2060m). This striking reddish rock massif made of sandstones and conglomerates extends for more than five kilometers and forms a fabulous fortress against the backdrop of gray granite rocks and snowfields of the Machitli mountain range. The erosion of water has carved and shaped the rocks into bizarre formations, creating towering "towers" and "castles." Guests can choose one of the canyons to explore, stroll along the terraces covered with bright juniper forest, and even take a dip in a natural bath or under a waterfall. It's impossible to traverse the entire array in a day, but you'll have ample time to experience its splendor. Enjoy dinner and spend the night at the same place in tents. If you have extra time, you can also hike towards the alpine meadows in the direction of our next pass, Khazor-Khona. The length is 8 km. Walking hours - 6-7. Ascent / descent: + 350m / -350m.
Embark on a thrilling trekking adventure and cross over the Khazor-Khona pass (3160m). The climb to the pass is long but gentle and takes you through the wide alpine meadows, which are bordered on the north by large moraines. These moraines were left behind by earlier glaciers that have since melted away. The trek requires you to cross two saddles, which are located a couple of hundred meters from each other. The descent to the east, into the Karatag River gorge, is not too challenging. You'll walk along slopes covered with large, ancient juniper forests. Spend the night in tents near the Khoja-Khasan thermal spring (2140m). The length is 18 km. Walking hours - 8-9. Ascent / descent: + 1100m / -1000m.
Hiking down the stunning Karatag gorge to where it meets with the Pariyon River. The trail winds through a lush forest of deciduous and coniferous trees, providing ample shade and tranquility. As we make our way down, we'll encounter the beautiful Pariyon tributary, where we'll take a short uphill climb to a picturesque birch grove (1820m) for a change of scenery. We'll set up camp for the night, unwind and take in the peaceful surroundings. Dinner will be served, followed by an overnight stay in tents. The length is 7.5 km. Hours of walking - 5. Ascent / descent: + 50m / -370m.
Explore the stunning Pariyon Lake (2120m). Start your day by descending along the Karatag gorge before embarking on a 3-4 hour walk up the Pariyon gorge to reach the lake. Pariyon Lake is fed by water from melting snowfields and glaciers, making the water level fluctuate throughout the year, and the color of the water changes too. During the spring season, the water is clear and reflects the vibrant green of the surrounding lush vegetation. In contrast, during other times of
the year, the darker glacial water absorbs the blue of the mountain sky, creating a breathtaking sight. According to local folklore, the lake is home to mythical female creatures known as Peri, who possess magical powers and show an unhealthy interest in visitors to the lake. This may explain the mesmerizing beauty of the lake, which is evident from its name. After exploring the lake, descend along the same path to the grove where the tent camp is set up and further down the Karatag gorge to reach the base of the "Support Center for Specially Protected Natural Areas of Tajikistan" (1600m). Here, you can take a break and visit the Amu Darya trout farm, which is working towards the restoration of this type of fish in the rivers of Tajikistan. Spend the night at the camp, and enjoy a relaxing dinner in the beautiful surroundings. The length is 15 km. Walking hours - 6-8. Ascent / descent: + 300m / -520m.
If timing and weather allows then we can walk to Timurdar lake (1980m). Visit to the picturesque Timurdar Lake (1980m), located in one of the side gorges near the base of the "Support Center for Specially Protected Natural Areas of Tajikistan". Lake of the dammed origin. It is fed by water from the glaciers of the Khoja-Mafrach peak (4600m), located above the lake. So swimming is not recommended. The walk to the lake and back takes about 3-4 hours. Additional trekking: 10 km. Hours of walking - 3-4. Ascent / descent: + 380m / -380m. Return by car to Dushanbe - 75 km, 3 hours.
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