Tajikistan · June 12 - 23 2024

12 Day Fann Mountains Expedition

Trekking through lakes and villages in the idyllic Fann Mountains

BOOK NOW
LakeAlovaddinFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Overview

Trek through the idyllic Fann Mountains of Tajikistan’s northwest fringes with us for 12 days in June 2024, taking in some of the most beautiful mountain scenery on Earth. This is one of my most favorite expeditions to share with you, showing you around a place that has become a second home to me. Starting from the capital city of Dushanbe, we will make our way north by road to the massive lake of Iskanderkul to begin our trek into the Tajik wilderness. From there we will continue on to cross over four mountain passes and numerous villages getting a taste of Tajik mountain culture, and visit several unbelievably beautiful lakes in the Fanns including Bolshoi Allo, Chukurak, Kulikalon, and finally ending at the gorgeous Lake Alovaddin. After completing the trek, the tour will finish up in Dushanbe. Note that the next group departure will take place in June 2024, but we can help arrange private tours between the months of May and October. Get in touch if you’d like to set up a private or even a customized trip.

Highlights

Beautiful Bolshoi Allo

Beautiful Bolshoi Allo

One of our day hikes from camp will bring us to the gorgeous Bolshoi Allo Lake, surrounded by an amphitheater of craggy mountains

Exploring Kulikalon Bowl

Exploring Kulikalon Bowl

The Kulikalon Bowl features a scattering of stunningly beautiful lakes in every direction.

Sunrise Over Lake Alovaddin

Sunrise Over Lake Alovaddin

One of the most unforgettable mornings will be our final day of the trek over the mirror-like Alovaddin Lake.

Delectable Meals

Delectable Meals

We'll have a local cook with us for the trek, which means tasty homecooked meals as we explore the Fann Mountains.

Itinerary

Previous

Next

RudakiStatueRudakiParkDushanbeTajikistan1080

Dushanbe

Day 1: Dushanbe City Tour

In the morning, meet your guide and fellow trekkers and head out on a city tour of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s unimposing capital city. You’ll have a chance to see many of Dushanbe’s highlights including the Somoni Monument, the world’s second-tallest flag pole, Rudaki Park, the parliament buildings, the historic Hissar Fort, and the Navruz Hall. Later that evening, we will have dinner at a luxury Tajik restaurant with live music and a dance show.

Accommodation: Atlas Hotel

Included

Lunch

Dinner

IskanderkulFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Iskanderkul & Sarytag

Day 2: The First Glimpses of the Fann Mountains

Starting early after a lovely breakfast, we will hop in a 4WD van with all of our gear bound for the Fanns. After a stop for lunch near Sarvoda we will continue our way to the largest lake of the Fann Mountains, Iskanderkul. We should arrive in the early afternoon, giving us plenty of time to explore the shores of this dazzling turquoise lake. Later in the afternoon, we will head to the nearby village of Sarytag, from which we will begin our trekking expedition into the Fann Mountains. 

Accommodation: Guesthouse
Drive time: 4 hours by car
Altitude: 2200 meters 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

KarakulRiverFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Sarytag to Dukdon Pass

Day 3: The Start of the Trek

After breakfast, we begin our Fann Mountains trek. The path begins from our guesthouse in Sarytag, following the beautiful blue Sarytag River for a few kilometers through an enchanting forest before we begin our uphill incline toward Dukdon Pass. In the late afternoon, we'll reach our camp in a verdant pasture at the foot of Dukdon Pass.

Altitude: 2380m
Distance: 11km | 7 hours | +950m/-30m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

DukdonPassFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Dukdon Pass to Sugarkhona

Day 4: Crossing the Stark Dukdon Pass

Gradually, we begin our ascent up our first pass on the Fann Mountains expedition to cross Dukdon Pass (3800m) today. The path we'll follow to the top is rocky and features patches of scree but is straightforward eventually bringing us to the top of the pass. 

We will break for lunch at the top of Dukdon Pass before taking on the descent alongside a glacier covering the pass partially. 

In the late afternoon, we will arrive at our camp in the Sugarkhona Meadows. In the Tajik language, sugharkhona means “Marmot house", so keep an eye out for marmots here. There are many other small mammals, birds, and medicinal herbs and plants to be seen along the way today too.

Altitude: 3300m
Distance: 7 km | 7 hours | +520m/-840m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

SarykhodanFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Sugarkhona & Archamaidon Valley

Day 5: Onwards to Archamaidon Valley

Today, we will continue trekking, surrounded by the spectacular mountains and glaciers enveloping Sarykhodan Gorge in the distance, heading toward Archamaidon Valley. We will stop to take a small detour on the way to visit the beautifully tucked away Pushtikul Lake (2500m).

Tonight we will set up camp alongside the Archamaidon River.

Altitude: 2980m
Distance: 13km | 7-8 hours | +140m/-830m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

MaloyeAlloFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Archamaidon Valley to Zindon Valley

Day 6: The Narrow Zindon Valley

After breakfast, we continue along the Archamaidon River to eventually reach the narrow Archamaidon Gorge. By afternoon we will reach the confluence where the Archamaidon and Amshut meet. From here, we leave the Archamaidon Valley to begin our ascent along the Zindon River. We will camp near the shores of Maloye Allo Lake or nearby.

Altitude: 2290m
Distance: 13km | 8 hours | +1230m/-1140m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

BolshoiAlloFannMountainsTajikistan10802

Maloye Allo & Bolshoi Allo

Day 7: A Journey to Bolshoi Allo

Today, we begin a challenging day hike towards the Bolshoi Allo Lake (3150m), well worth the effort to witness one of the most beautiful lakes in the Fann Mountains, surrounded by an amphitheater of jagged peaks. On the way, we will pass through the beguiling natural scenery of the Zindon Gorge. The gorge is surrounded by soaring mountains on either side.

We will plan to begin out return to our camp in the Zindon Gorge in the late afternoon, arriving back at camp this evening.

Those that want to rest today are free to relax at camp and enjoy free time around Maloye Allo.

Altitude: 3150m
Distance: 17km | 9-10 hours | +790m/-790m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

ArchamaidonGorgeFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Maloye Allo to Vin

Day 8: Onto Ancient Villages

Today, we will make our descent from Maloye Allo. back to the Amshut River, and finally to the Archamaidon Valley. We'll follow the course of the river along a rough dirt road for most of the journey today to arrive in the stunning village of Vin in the early evening where we will have a lovely dinner in a homestay. Alternatively, we may stay in a homestay in nearby Zimtut.

Altitude: 2380m
Distance: 17km | 6-7 hours | +20/-860m
Accommodation: Homestay

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

ChukurakLakesFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Vin to Artuch

Day 9: Easy Passes & Beautiful Lakes

We descend from Vin this morning and begin our trek that will take us past the village of Zimtut from where we begin our way up and over Guitan Pass (3000m) and back down again to Chukurak Lakes (2450m). We will reach Artuch village in the afternoon where we will have a night at the lovely Artuch Base Camp.

Altitude: 1900m
Distance: 17km | 8 hrs | +1600/-1000m
Accommodation: Artuch Alp Camp

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

KulikalonFannMountainsTajikistan10802

Artuch & Kulikalon

Day 10: The Dazzling Lakes of the Kulikalon Bowl

After a leisurely breakfast, we will start our trek up to the Kulikalon Bowl. Following a tumbling river, we should reach our camp in the early afternoon and with time for exploration around the beautiful Kulikalon Bowl Lakes. 

Altitude: 2200m
Distance: 12 km | ~4 hrs | +600/- 60 m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

AlovaddinPassFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Kulikalon & Alovaddin Lake

Day 11: Our Final Pass

We begin our day with an ascent up the spectacular Alovaddin Pass. From the top of the pass (3860m), we will be rewarded with mindblowing panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and lakes spread out below. From the top of the pass, we will make our way to our campsite located beside the impossibly blue Alovaddin Lake.

Altitude: 2800m
Distance: 12 km | ~6-7 hrs | +1060/ - 1100 m
Accommodation: Tent

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

LakeAlovaddinFannMountainsTajikistan1080

Lake Alovaddin & Dushanbe

Day 12: Back to Dushanbe

We'll catch a gorgeous sunrise today over Alovaddin Lake before we pack up our camp and say our goodbyes to the Fann Mountains. It's not much of a trek today with only a 1.5 km hike down from Alovaddin Lakes to the base camp where our van will be waiting to pick us up.

We will arrive back in Dushanbe in the afternoon, where we'll have a bit of time to do some last-minute shopping before we have our goodbye dinner in the heart of the Tajik capital. 

Altitude: 2750m
Distance: 1.5 km
Drive time: 5 hours
Accommodation: Atlas Hotel

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What's included

What's Included

Meals as noted on itinerary

English speaking guide

Pack animal support

Cook

4WD transportation

Accommodation on twin room sharing basis in Dushanbe

Same gender shared room at homestays & guesthouses

Shared double tent on trek

Eco tax

OVIR registration

Tajikistan visa fee (if applicable)

Personal kit and equipment

Sleeping bag (rental available)

Alcoholic beverages

Travel insurance

Tips to local staff

Hosts

Nicole Smoot

Nicole Smoot

Expedition Lead


Despite being born and raised in the mountains of Alaska with plenty of backyard adventures that could have kept her busy for a lifetime, the unusual dragon blood trees of Socotra, the truly bizarre landscapes of Iran’s far-flung Sistan and Balochistan Province, the gingerbread-house-like architecture of Sana’a, and the dazzling turquoise lakes of Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains lured Nicole to the other side of the planet and on to get to know these locations extremely well.

the.adventures.of.nicole
12 Day Fann Mountains Expedition

12 Day Fann Mountains Expedition

Jagged Peaks & Dazzling Lakes

FROM$2,730.00/pp

BOOK NOW

Extras & Options

Sleeping Bag Rental

Sleeping Bag Rental

Don't want to carry yours? Save space in your luggage and rent ours.

FROM$52.50/pp

ADD THIS
Single Supplement

Single Supplement

Opt for a private room. Only available for nights in Dushanbe. Subject to availability.

FROM$262.50/pp

ADD THIS

FAQs

With a low crime rate and welcoming population Tajikistan is generally a safe country to visit. Visitors should exercise regular precautions they would anywhere in the world while traveling in Tajikistan. 


The most common problems a traveler may face include corruption, altitude sickness, and stomach upset. 


In terms of natural disasters, Tajikistan is prone to earthquakes.

This 12 Day Fann Mountains Expedition will begin and end in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The trip starts the morning of June 12th and ends the evening of June 23rd.

This 12 Day Fann Mountains expedition is rated as difficult and rugged. This means that we will be tent camping for much of this expedition, sleeping in primitive camps, and will be trekking for long hours at higher altitudes. We will have several nights without access to showers, so it can be a bit uncomfortable for some.


You can expect long days of trekking, up to 18 kilometers | 11 miles (7-10 hours) at the longest. As mentioned in the itinerary, we will trek over high mountain passes, the highest just over 3800 meters. We will have pack animal support for the trek to carry food and tents, but you should still expect to carry a pack with roughly 5-10 kg of weight each day. 

Most visitors from western countries can enter Tajikistan with either the Tajik e-visa, visa on arrival, or may enter visa-free. 


Some nationalities will need to apply for a Tajik visa issued by an embassy or consulate to enter the country.


You can read an overview of Tajikistan's visa policy here but it would still be wise to check with your nearest Tajik consulate or embassy as visa schemes are always subject to change.


Note that if you will be entering Tajikistan visa-free and you will be staying in the country for more than 10 business days, you must register with OVIR. We will handle this process for you after you've checked into the hotel on the first day.

To join any Safar Expeditions departure you will need to carry an active travel insurance plan. Be aware that the remote nature of the Fann Mountains poses very real challenges in the event of medical emergencies and serious illnesses and injuries. Because of this, it is recommended to select an insurance plan that covers both medical care and evacuation. 


We recommend using IATI travel insurance for medical coverage and an evacuation plan from Global Rescue


Prescriptions and over-the-counter meds are usually possible to find in Dushanbe, but we still recommend to make sure to bring any meds you need or may need with you. 

The Tajik Somoni (TJS) is the official currency of Tajikistan. The value of the Somoni fluctuates a little but seems to have steadily stayed around 10-12 TJS to $1 USD for the past few years.

Yes, we do provide a suggested packing list and preparation guide for our Fann Mountains expedition that can be viewed here

The food you'll encounter during your time in Tajikistan will be simple and tasty. In the cities and towns, we will have the chance to try different Tajik and Central Asian dishes in local restaurants. Once the trek begins we will have a cook with us who serves up some delicious meals as we make our way through the mountains. You can expect flavorful soups and salads, plov (a traditional Central Asian take on fried rice), noodle dishes, and meat dishes. Of course, almost any meal in Tajikistan is accompanied by a hot glass of chai. 


Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or allergies in advance so that we can accommodate your needs. 

It is possible to purchase a Tajik SIM card in Dushanbe, with T-Cell and Megafone being the best local carriers. 


Once we begin our trek in the Fanns, we won't have access to the internet from Sarytag to Artuch, where we'll have Wi-Fi (for a fee) for the evening at the base camp. Again we won't have any internet access until we depart Lake Alovaddin back toward Dushanbe. 


Once we begin the trek we will not have access to regular electricity. I highly recommend purchasing a solar charger and external batteries to bring with you to keep your electronics charged out here. You can expect to have electricity to charge items on the nights in Dushanbe, Sarytag, Vin, and Artuch.

Yes, a minimum of 4 passengers will need to be on this expedition in order to run. If the minimum isn't reached, we will contact you about the potential to still operate the trip but at an additional charge or you will be given the option to cancel and your deposit/payment can either be returned to you or applied toward a different expedition of your choosing. 

Reviews

CynthiaFannMountainsTajikistanreview

"My trek in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan was a truly great experience. The group was small, the trip well-planned, the itinerary interesting, and the scenery beyond beautiful. Nicole's expertise in backpacking and in this part of the world is unparalleled. Really, she is a walking-talking guidebook (in addition to being very kind and helpful)."

Cynthia

KamilFannMountainsreview

"Nicole is an outstanding guide. Her tour in Tajikjstan was impeccably organized. From start to finish, she made it smooth, safe and enjoyable. I highly recommend her!"

Kamil

FannMountainsTajikistan

"The Fanns are remote & beautiful. Highly recommend a visit & this was my second trip under the expertise of Nicole."

Tony

12 Day Fann Mountains Expedition

Tajikistan · June 12 - 23 2024 · 11 nights

FROM$2,730.00/pp

BOOK NOW