Murghab + Eastern Pamir

The Eastern Pamir is a true remote wilderness. With an average elevation of 3,500 meters, the Murghab Plateau honestly lives up to its nickname of the Roof of the World

In the Eastern Pamir, you'll find yourself amongst windswept vistas, pyramidal peaks, and semi-nomadic Kyrgyz families with yaks and yurts in tow. 

The largest town in this part of Tajikistan is Murghab, a largely Soviet Creation, that sits in what must be amongst the most inhospitable places on earth.

At elevations this high, very little food grows and there are next to no trees. Somehow, people manage to carve out a simple living here, despite it being an incredibly difficult location to live.

Though the Eastern Pamir sounds quite bleak, it is a fascinating area with welcoming and friendly people- a culture likely a byproduct of the resilience and reliance on others it takes to survive in such an environment.

Expeditions Featuring the Eastern Pamir

See all of our departures that feature the Murghab Plateau and Eastern Pamir region.

SEE ALL TAJIKISTAN EXPEDITIONS
12 Day Pamir Highway Expedition

Dushanbe , Tajikistan

June 25 - July 6 2024

12 Day Pamir Highway Expedition

It's wild, it's vast, and it's absolutely stunning

FROM$1,800.00/pp

BOOK INFO
25 Day Tajikistan Expedition

Dushanbe , Tajikistan

June 12 - July 6 2024

25 Day Tajikistan Expedition

Fann Mountains + Pamir Highway

FROM$4,620.00/pp

BOOK INFO

Eastern Pamir Highlights


Murghab

 Murghab is the main ‘city’ in the Eastern Pamir, having been largely constructed during the Soviet era and named Pamirsky Post back then. It still is mostly a scattering of blue-trimmed white homes and serves as a great jumping-off point for further exploration into this lonely stretch of the Pamir.


Alichur 

Those who are arriving on the Murghab Plateau as they trundle down the Pamir Highway from the west will reach the lonely village of Alichur en route. Most only will stop in for lunch here at the Golden Fish Cafe, but stay a night and you’ll be welcomed in with open arms by Alichur’s residents.

Just outside Alichur to the east, make sure and stop at the beautiful Ak Balyk Spring which is exceptionally gorgeous in the morning light and before the wind picks up and ripples its water. The spring is thought to be holy by locals so keep that in mind while visiting.


Zorkul 

Zorkul Lake straddles the Tajik-Afghan border between Khargush Pass and Jarty Gumbez. A special permit is necessary to reach Zorkul from the Khargush Pass checkpoint which we can arrange for those wanting to add Zorkul to their Eastern Pamir itinerary.


Jarty Gumbez

Jarty Gumbez is a Marco Polo sheep hunting camp in the months of November-April but outside the hunting season, they typically welcome just about any passing traveler looking for a guesthouse for the night. It is set in what feels like an end-of-the-world valley and features a covered hot spring.


Shaimak

Get your Great Game fantasies on here at the world’s end here at Shaimak where it’s possible to see into China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan all at the same time- hence why it was such a strategic point as Britain and Russia vied for power in Central and South Asia. Shaimak is a small village clinging to the extreme southeast of Tajikistan and as such doesn’t receive many visitors.


Karakul

Karakul is a salty meteor impact lake that you’ll pass on the Pamir Highway as you travel north toward Kyzyl Art Pass and the Kyrgyz border. A village of the same name sits on its shores.

For those that opt to spend a little more time here, there is a day hike that can be done up nearby Aral Yuj Peak for stunning views of Karakul below, as well as a visit to Jangjir sheep hunting camp at the lake’s southwest edge. For those looking for adventure further afield, there’s plenty to keep you busy between Shurali Petroglyphs, Kök Jar, and Gudara Village in the Muzkol and Tanymus Valleys en route to the northern start of the Bartang Highway.


Ak Baital Pass

At 4,655 meters high flying Ak Baital Pass highest point on the Pamir Highway and is located just south of Karakul. Marco Polo sheep tend to frequent this area so keep your eyes peeled as you make your way up and over the pass.


Rangkul

An overnight trip from Murghab will take you to stay in the yurt camp at Rangkul Lake near the border with China. Keep an eye out for Bactrian camels out in this remote area as well.


Pshart Valley

The valley that delves westward just north of Murghab will take you amongst rainbow-swirled mountains in one of Tajikistan’s most fabulous and not well-known areas. A strenuous day hike can be taken on from the yurt camp in Pshart Valley and bring you over Gumbezkul Pass to reach Madiyan Valley to the south.


Madiyan Hot Springs

Madiyan Valley, cut by the Murghab River as it flows to the west, leads all the way to the eastern fringes of Lake Sarez. Most who venture to Madiyan Valley don’t venture that far. The most popular reason to visit Madiyan Valley is to make a detour to the Eli Suu Valley to the south to the lovely Madiyan Hot Springs, the perfect place to rest and relax following some serious travel out here in the Eastern Pamir.