TREKKING IN TAJIKISTAN’S FANN MOUNTAINS
HAFT KUL (7 LAKES) TO ALAUDDIN LAKE
Without any sense of hyperbole, the Fann Mountains are wholly and utterly magnificent. We spent eleven days trekking and camping in the region – it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. With high altitude lakes of dazzling blues and greens, welcoming locals, spectacular mountains, and dramatic river valleys, the Fanns are a trekker’s dream. Yet they remain largely undiscovered.
Jutting out of the north-western corner of Tajikistan, just across the border from Samarkand, the Fann Mountains are often overlooked in favour of the country’s most famous road trip, the Pamir Highway. But for those who linger longer, or prefer an adventure on two feet to four wheels, you’ll discover the true jewels in Tajikistan’s crown of jaw-dropping scenery.
While there are multiple trekking options in the Fann Mountains we settled on an 11 day itinerary taking in the most popular lakes and passes, as well as less trodden routes. We trekked independently, carrying all of our camping gear and food, however it is possible to hire guides and pack donkeys. While we’ve trekked at altitude before in Nepal and embarked on self-sufficient multi-day hikes in Korea, this was our first experience combining the two. It was challenging at times, and we changed our plan on numerous occasions along the way to adapt to our comfort levels. But it was also breathtakingly beautiful, every tough ascent rewarded with incredible vistas and picture-perfect camp spots.
What follows is an account of our trek, with practical information, tips and hints to help you plan your own Fann Mountains adventure. As you make your way through, check out each day’s Relive videos to get a sense of the landscape, and click into the pictures to read the captions.
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FANN MOUNTAINS TREK: HAFT KUL (SEVEN LAKES) TO ALAUDDIN LAKE
This map shows our trekking route from Haft Kul (Seven Lakes) to Vertical Alauddin, plus all of our camp spots, mountain passes crossed, and so on. Tap the menu button at the top left to see more details, toggle routes on and off, and switch between satellite and terrain view.