A GUIDE TO TREKKING IN THE GEGHAMA MOUNTAINS
The Geghama Mountains form one of the most unique landscapes in Armenia. Inhabited only in high summer by Yezidi nomadic herders and snowbound throughout a long winter, this starkly beautiful range of volcanic cones and craters runs roughly 70 km northwest to southeast, separating Yerevan and the Ararat Plain from high-altitude Lake Sevan.
Proximity to the capital and the tourist hub of Sevan makes accessing the Geghama Mountains straightforward enough, but the climate, altitude, and lack of tourist infrastructure means trekking here can be a challenge. With no guesthouses or shops and a lack of plentiful natural water sources, hikers must be completely self-sufficient when setting off into the Geghama, and be prepared to trek through remote landscapes with no marked trail. The reward for undertaking this challenge is the opportunity to camp by scenic alpine lakes, hunt for 5000 year-old petroglyphs, climb the rust-hued slopes of Azhdahak for a birdseye view of its crater lake, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of this isolated, open expanse of colourful volcanic peaks.
Our intention when setting off on our own Geghama Mountains trek was to hike the Transcaucasian Trail route north to south, the first of a number of TCT sectors we would tackle in Armenia. Our timing was not ideal though, setting off in late September the morning after the region’s first significant snowfall. We hoped we could complete our intended 6 day route, but knew we may have to alter our plans last minute if snow blocked our path. In the end we made it to the foot of Little Spitakaser on Day 4 and decided it wasn’t safe for us to continue, instead descending to Goght the following day.
As such, this guide covers a detailed breakdown of a 5 day trekking route from Sevan to Goght via Akna Lake, Azhdahak, Badi Lake, and Vank Lake, along with broader practical info and advice for trekking in the Geghama Mountains that is relevant for any hike or route in the region.
So, whether you’re preparing for the full 114 km Transcaucasian Trail route or an Azhdahak day hike, you’ll find everything you need to know about hiking in the Geghama Mountains here, including a downloadable map for offline use.
WATCH OUR FILM
HIKE MAP & GPX DOWNLOAD
TREK BREAKDOWN & DETAILS
DAY 1: LCHASHEN → MT KOND
DAY 2: MT KOND → AKNA LICH
DAY 3: AKNA LICH → BADI LICH
DAY 4: BADI LICH → VANK LAKE
DAY 5: VANK LAKE → GOGHT
PLANNING YOUR TREK
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE TREK
GETTING TO/FROM TRAILHEADS
ALTERNATIVE GEGHAMA ROUTES
GEGHAMA TREKKING TOURS
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Dear Kim and Del, Thank you very much for your very useful informations and hints for this great hike including the GPS track. Before our trip we visitied HIKE Armenia (https://hikearmenia.org) in Yerewan. They supplied us with some more informations and with a hiking map (printed by AnuBars) in 1: 100,000 scale, which was very useful too. We followed your track at the end of August this year (2022). We did not meet any other hikers on our way. Our tent was the only one on the plain. We started in Lchashen, where we stayed overnight at the guest house… Read more »
Thanks for the great feedback! Very happy you experienced hiking in the Geghama, and sounds like quite a different experience to us as the nomad camps (and dogs!) were there! I bet that felt great to soak in the pool at the end : ) Many thanks for taking the time to share the info about your hike with us and other readers. All the best! Kim
Amazing post and very informative as well. I liked that you have given tickets booking section so the readers can book their trips easily. Keep sharing such interesting articles with the readers.