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Best trails in Aragatsotn

27 Reviews
Trying to find the best Aragatsotn trails? AllTrails has 28 great hiking trails, views trails, wildlife trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Aparan, Ashtarak or Yeghipatrush, we've got you covered. Ready for some activity? There are 18 moderate trails in Aragatsotn ranging from 3.1 to 31.5 miles and from 4,376 to 12,014 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Aragatsotn
Top trails (28)
#1 - Mount Ara
Ashtarak, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 4 h 41 m
Overview Mount Ara is located around 40km from the capital, Yerevan, towards the middle of the Aragatsotn and Kotayk provinces’ shared border, and can be accessed from both sides (from Saghmosavan and Yernjatap in Aragatsotn, or Aragyugh and Saralanj in Kotayk). The elevation of the mountain is 2,606m. Its name is said to originate from the legend of the mythical Armenian king, Ara the Beautiful. The weather is generally pleasant in the spring and summer, with long, warm, windless days making it an ideal hiking and rock climbing destination, as well as a favourite base from which local paragliders take to the air; whilst in the winter, a considerable snowfall makes it an ideal destination for ski-touring and winter mountaineering. A variety of sub-alpine and alpine flora, lush grassy meadows, steep rocky ravines and spectacular panoramic views also make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers. A number of routes exist up to the peak, following its crescent-like ridge, as well as easier hikes to the chapel at the heart of the crater, tall cliffs looming on either side. This route covers the majority of beautiful scenery this mountain has to offer, but feel free to wander around and discover some of the hidden beauties of its cliffs. Cultural and Historic Monuments The Monastery of Tsaghkevank or Virgin Varvara iscarvedstraight into the rock at the centre of the crater. Residents of the surrounding areas celebrate both Christian and Pagan holidays here, and visitors will often come purely for the healing spring within it, whose water source has been found to contain a significant quantity of zinc – said to be beneficial to eyesight, and help cure joint diseases and muscle spasms. Flora With over 650 species of plants growing on its slopes, Mt. Ara boasts an extensive biodiversity. Once the snow melts in spring, a vivid array of flowers, grasses, bushes and trees spring to life, awakening the abundant colours and fragrances, tangible from miles away. Found varyingly over its slopes in wetter months are blue and yellow bellflowers, snowdrops, violets and dark and light nuphars, whilst during the drier season, helichrysum species spring to life. Many of the plants found on Mt. Ara’s slopes, including the aforementioned helichrysum, camomile, and yellow dandelions are medicinal, and many more are edible and make for wonderful teas. Shrubs include the dog-rose (rosacanina), or masur in Armenian, whose large, red fruits are picked between September and March, and eaten or made into delicious jams and teas. Caucasian pines, oaks, ash trees and many other trees make up forests that cover the northern and eastern slopes. Fauna The fauna is evasive but prevalent, and although it is rare, visitors should mind potential poisonous snakes (including the black Armenian mountain viper and the green adder), wolves and brown bears – although the latter two tend to stay clear of humans, preferring instead to chill campers with their howls at night. The forested slopes of Ara provide an ideal playground for the bears to raise their cubs, whilst the wolves make their dens in the ravines and shallow caves. Other, less ominous wildlife include lizards and rabbits hiding out in the rocky crevices, foxes, squirrels and field mice in the woods, and a variety of birds including grey crows, starlings and woodpeckers. The Legend of Mount Ara Mount Ara was named after the mythical Armenian king, Ara the Beautiful, who in spite of externalpressures never betrayed his homeland. The legend goes that the Assyrian queen,Semiramis (Shamiram in Armenian) fell in love with him and wanted to unitetheir states, in order to create one powerful nationruled by the both of them, as the respective king and queen. Semiramis begged the Armenian king to consider it, trying to prove her love, though all she really wanted was to satisfy her lustful desires. However, the Assyrian queen did not take into account one importantfact: the Armenian king was already fulfilled, his wife(his beloved Nuard), his home, his child, his army and his homeland being all he wanted. King Ara rejected all of Semiramis’s dreams and desires, after which the queen attempted to capture the king's heartthrough battle, declaring war on Ara and the Armenian nation. During this war, one of herstrongest warriors injured and killed Ara, striking him with a poisonous spear. Semiramis, who could not come to terms with his death, commanded his body be placed on the mountaintop,so that thearalezs (dog-like mythological spirits) would come to lickhis wounds and revive him. King Ara the Beautiful is still allegedly waitingthere – hence the name of the mountain, Ara or Arayi(Ara’s) – and, according to legend, in some hidden and yet undiscovered place lies his tomb and final resting place. When looked at from Yerevan, the mountain reflects this in its ridgeline, which appears to be the king, lying down. Show more
#2 - Tsaghkunyats Peak
Ashtarak, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 3 h 12 m
This hike will take you to the Aragatsotn region in the Republic of Armenia. A heavenly place where evidence shows that life was really “boiling” in the past. In ancient times, people possibly reached these places with their animals for the purposes of trade, exchanging goods, selling precious stones or silver items. And now, in the 21st century, it is silent. The calmness of these verdant areas and semi-ruined churches is interrupted by the whistle of the light wind and the songs of perched birds. The beginning of the route is found at the Aparan water reservoir, where it is possible to get to by taxi. The St. Peter and Paul (Armenian: Surp Poghos-Petros) church is located on the left bank of the reservoir, where the weather is sunny and favorable for walking most times of the year. The lake and route to be followed lie within the center of the Aragats and Teghenyats mountains. The route passes through fields, over lush green meadows, through the forest, and then little by little it reaches the mountain peak (2,300 m). The way back is a trail which takes you down the opposite side of the mountain. The Aparan reservoir is a blue, mountainous lake surrounded by high snowy mountain peaks, old monasteries and ancient cross stones. The reservoir has an earth dam – 50m high and 200m in length. It freezes in winter, and its main fish species is the local, Sevan khramulya. The villages of Qasak and Zovuni were flooded by the waters of the reservoir and the inhabitants of these areas were resettled near Yerevan. The St. Peter and Paul church is the first example of a domed hall with basilic layout – built in the 5th century. The temple was reconstructed in the 6th century by prince Grigor Gntuni, who gave it a horseshoe shape inner appearance and from the outside, huge dome supporting pillars were attached to the church (with a rectangular altar) walls. This church remains underwater for 3-4 months every year, for this reason the eastern wall is now in ruins. While walking the trail you will come across immense covers of yellow flowers. They are called ascension flowers, as they bloom on Ascension Day (celebration). Here you will also see yellow dandelions, chamomile, blue forget-me-nots, colorful violets, and flowering thorn plants growing here, which have a recognized importance in the field of pharmaceutics. There are edible herbs (falcaria, nettle, lilium, goatsbeard) growing all around, which are collected by the local inhabitants of the community in the months of spring. If you are fond of mushrooms, you can take a small knife with you while passing this route and collect mushrooms in the months of April, May and June. But don’t forget to show them to a local community member, so they can assure you that the mushrooms are not poisonous. Snakes (viper, grass snake), lizards, frogs ( in swampy areas), brown bears (in the mountain forests), hares, wolves, foxes and other animals can be found in these beautiful meadows, corn fields can be seen on the mountain slopes up to the peak, along with the dilapidated buildings of the Aparan reservoir. Birds, like the field and wood lark, eagle-owl, quail, woodchat shrike, and many others can also be found here. Show more
#3 - Mount Tegenis Trail
Yeghipatrush, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 6.1 mi • Est. 4 h 23 m
Teghenis 1 Mountain, in the Teghanyats Mountain Range, lies on the shared border of the Aragatsotn and Kotayk provinces. This hike commences in Aghveran, near the “Arthurs Aghveran Resort”. This region is known throughout Armenia as a resort destination, which also includes Hankavan, Bjni, Arzakan, and Buzhakan. The Dalar River flows alongside the road (for 14 km until it joins the Hrazdan River). Beautiful views open from the mountain range towards the large and small communities of Kotayk and Aragatsotn provinces, as well as towards the sharp, snowy and rocky peaks in the distance. Teghenis 1 Mountain, at an altitude of 2,851 m, is located such that the central, significant mountain peaks of Armenia are all visible; to the north lies the Pambak Mountain Range, to the south, Mount Ara stands tall, to the east are the Geghama Mountains, and to the west looms Mount Aragats. Further to the southwest, the symbolic snow-capped Mount Ararat rears above the clouds. An aircraft radar station, linked to Zvartnots Airport, operates on the mountain peak, and a community permanently lives there. The vegetation around Teghenyats is dense and lush. The nature is beautiful, particularly from the second half of May until August. However, other seasons also provide their own beauty and charm. In spring, the slopes of the range are covered in snowdrops, ascension flowers, forget-me-nots and poppies. During the summer months, the slopes are blanketed with bluebells, chamomiles and asters. Many useful plants grow on the mountain slopes, which are commonly used by locals to supplement their nutrition. Among them are sorrel, nettle, spinach, thyme and mint. Locals collect herbs for teas from these fields, not only for themselves, but for export to foreign countries (thyme, mint, felty germander, etc.). Different species of vegetables and herbs also growing these fields up until heights of 1,200-1,800 m. There are small pockets of forest along the mountain and hillsides, in which birch, Siberian pine and fir grow. The Teghenyats Mountain Range is home to species of bears, wolves, foxes, wild rabbits, mice, lizards, and many birds – including falcons, eagles, sparrows, hoopoes and woodpeckers. Show more
#4 - Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank Monasteries
Armenia, Aragatsotn
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Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 2 h 43 m
This hike, in the Aragatsotn region, will take you through beautiful mountainous scenery and to the Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank monasteries. You will see the Hatis mountain (2,524 m) to the east, Ararat (5,165m) to the west, Ara (2,605 m) to the south, and Aragats (4,095m) - Armenia’s highest peak - to the north. The hike will first take you to Hovhannavank, then down into the river gorge, and along the river up to Saghmosavank. Chapels and monasteries made of stone can be found in ruins along the way. Caves and animal dens are spread along the canyon. The return is from Saghmosavank village. Saghmosavank Monastery stands on the edge of the deep Kasakh river gorge. Built by Prince Vache Vachutyan and his dynasty in the 13th century, the monastery consists of the St. Sion and St. Astvatsatsin (St. Holy Mother of God) churches, a narthex and a scriptorium. St. Sion is the main church of the complex; it is a domed church with several aisles and a four-pillared narthex on its west side. The scriptorium-church is located on the southeast of St. Sion. It differs from other scriptoriums of its time through its unique layout, wherein its walls have niches and it has an altar on its east side. A cemetery, full of remarkable cross stones and monuments is located on the north end of the monastery. Hovhannavank Monastery (built between the 5th - 13th centuries) rests on the right edge of the Kasakh river gorge in the Ohanavan village. It was dedicated to John the Baptist, and was a part of the historic Ararat province of Greater Armenia. Legend credits its’ founding to Gregory the Illuminator (3rd – 4th centuries). According to Arakel of Tabriz (17th century), the monastery was named Hovhannavank after Hovhann, who Ghazar Parpetsi appointed as leader of the monastery. The main church of the monastery was built between 1,216-1,221 by the order of Vache Vachutyan, whose son later added the narthex in 1,250. The church, now surrounded by cemeteries, used to have wide arable lands, gardens, pastures, mills and villages. It was also a remarkable center of education, with a rich repository of manuscripts (some of which have been preserved up to this day). In the 17th century, Zakaria Sarkgavag Kanakertsi lived here. It was he who wrote the story of Hovhannavank. Hovhannavank became inactive in the 19th century. Yellow flowers are spread throughout the hike, and are commonly known as ascension flowers, as they bloom on the eve of Ascension Day (a religious event). There are also yellow dandelions, chamomiles, blue forget-me-nots, colorful violets, flowering thorn plants, edible mushrooms, and herbs; the herbs are collected by the villagers in spring and used in cooking, especially in dishes that include eggs. There are apricot, peach, and apple tree orchards adjacent to the hike. The flora is lush on either side of the hike in the spring and summer. In Aragatsotn, the meadows, cornfields, and slopes up to the summit are abundant with reptiles; the dilapidated monuments are full of snakes (like vipers and green adders) and lizards. In the mountain forests brown bears can be seen, as well as their tracks and dens. The sightings of hares, wolves and foxes are also common. Birds like wood and field larks, owls, quails, woodchat shrikes, griffon vultures and others inhabit the forest here. Show more
#5 - Mount Teghenis Summit Trail
Yeghipatrush, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 6.8 mi • Est. 4 h 49 m
#6 - Eastern Summit of the Mount Aragats
Aparan, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 5 h 5 m
#7 - Geghadzor, Aragats North Lake Mountain Biking Trail
Sipan, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 19.1 mi
Description of the Trail Mount Aragats is situated on the border of the Aragatsotn and Shirak provinces. The North Lake of Aragats is the target of this trail. The trail begins from the village of Geghadzor, in Aragatsotn province. The local residents and tourists mainly climb Mount Aragats from the south, near Stone Lake. The beginning of the trail is marked at the main road for the village of Geghadzor (1-2 km of a paved road). The road from the village up to the foot of Mount Aragats is gravel and is covered with sandstones. In spring and summer, this trail is a perfect place for lovers of active recreation activities. The Aragats mountain slopes are extremely rich with volcanic stones, that seem to describe the nature of the mountain. The biking trail ends near a lowland lake, at an altitude of 3,010 m, but continue walking up to the North Lake (3,450 m), which is the end of the trail. Description of the Monument The Aragats Massif Mount Aragats is considered the highest peak in Armenia (4,096 m). It has four peaks and covers an area of over 4,000 sq. km. There are frosty lakes on the slopes of the mountain. You will be able to admire the alpine meadows, variegated flowers and purling streams. It is an isolated shield-like massif of about 200 km in circumference. Aragats used to be one of the world’s largest volcanos. It has a gigantic 400 m-deep crater, 3 km in diameter, and 4 peaks. The highest is the North Summit- 4,090 m; the West Summit is second at 3,995.3 m and is followed by the East-3,908.2 m and South Summits-3,887.8 m. The Aragats crater is a large drainage basin. The Gegharot River, the affluent of the Kasagh, outflows from the crater. Aragats is famous for its water sources, which together with snowmelt waters and glaciers are the headwaters of a number of rivers and streams (Gegharot, Amberd, Mantash, Getadzor, Tsaghkahovit, and more). Flora The semi-desert, dry mountain grasslands and alpine zones follow each other along the slopes of Mt. Aragats. Rivers, flowing through beautiful gorges and valleys covered will low grasses, create waterfalls in some spots. There are lots of fragrant flowers in the meadows - forget-me-nots, alpine violets, wild lilies, poppies, bellflowers, among others. Variegated ‘alpine carpets’ and snow-vegetation are well-spread in the high mountain zone (2,800-3,400m). Fauna Animals are rather rare in this territory because of severe weather conditions. One may come across a bear, wolf, fox, rabbit, lizard, or sometimes turtles and snakes and lots of birds. Safety The Viva Cell-MTS network is partially available on the way up to the North Lake of Aragats. Beware of thunderstorms during rainy periods in spring and summer. Please, avoid climbing up the mountain in gloomy and rainy days. In case of emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia. Beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep. Technical Specifications of the Trail The best time is: July – September Yerevan is 81 km away from Geghadzor, so the road there takes 1 hour and 25 minutes, and costs 8,100 – 8,500 AMD (by taxi). The distance of the biking trail is 24 km. The duration of biking is 5-6 hours. The area is located at an altitude of 2,232-3,454 m above sea level. 95% of the road is covered by sandstones, and the other 5% is paved. The best drink to have on hand is bottled water. How to Reach the Trail To reach the above-mentioned trail, you need to get to the village of Geghadzor from Yerevan. It is most convenient to travel by taxi. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. Taking a cab with a taximeter is recommended. Show more
#8 - East Summit of Mount Aragats Ski Run
Aparan, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 10.5 mi
Description of the Ski Run (Piste) To start skiing on the slopes of the East Summit of Mount Aragats, you need to set off to the Aragatsotn province. The nearest settlement is the village of Aragats (1,970m): this is where the skiing begins. The piste runs over a series of small hills that overlook deep gorges on the right hand side and stretch up to ‘merge’ into the Eastern Summit. When following this ski run, you will have reached the surroundings of the Aragats Summit. The Eastern Summit is the third highest peak of Mount Aragats. The Aragats Massif Mount Aragats is considered to be the highest peak in all of Armenia (4,090m). It is an isolated shield-like massif of about 200km in circumference. Together with its fan-shaped slopes, it covers approximately 4,000 sq. m, situated simultaneously in both the Aragatsotn and Shirak provinces. Aragats used to be one of the world’s largest volcanoes. It has a gigantic 400m-deep crater, 3km in diameter, and is comprised of a total of 4 peaks, the highest of which is the North Summit- 4090m; the West Summit is the second highest at 3995.3m and is followed by the East - 3908.2m and South Summit - 3887.8m. Nearby Attractions: Traveling between the East Summit of Aragats and Yerevan, you can visit the Hovhannavank, Saghmosavank Monasteries, Armenian Alphabet Monument. Fauna While passing the piste, you are likely to see traces of wild animals. It is not uncommon to come across wolves, foxes, and wild rabbits while skiing in this territory. Safety Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are almost always available within the village of Aragats all the way to the East Summit of Mount Aragats. In case of an emergency, call 911, a service which is available all throughout Armenia. Technical Specifications of the Ski Run The best time to ski on the slopes of the East Summit is: January, February, March, April. Yerevan is 84km away from Aragats village, so the road there takes approximately 1h 25m and costs 9,000 AMD (by taxi). The distance of skiing is 18km. The duration of skiing is 8 hours. The area is located 1,970-3,408.2 meters above sea level. The East Summit is the third highest peak of Mt. Aragats - 3908.2m. The best drink to have at hand is warm tea. How to Reach the Ski Run To take the above-mentioned piste, you need to get to Aragats village in the Aragatsotn province. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. It is recommended that you take a cab with a taximeter. Show more
#9 - Dzoraglukh Hanqavan
Dzoraglukh, Aragatsotn, Armenia
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Length: 15 mi • Est. 8 h 32 m
This trail can be done either as a point to point or as an out and back. This trail is located in Dzoraglukh village of Aragatsotn province. The trail passes through solid path, forests and the peaks of Tsaghkunyats sierra. The panoramic view of the trail is wonderful, hikers can see many peaks of other sierras and the peaks of Aragats. It ends in Yeghipatrush village near Yeghipatrush church. Mount Teghenis 1 is situated on the border of Aragatsotn and Kotayk provinces and has 2801 m altitude from the sea level. On the slopes of the mount are situated the recreational zones of Armenia: Hankavan, Bjni, Aghveran, Arzakan, Buzhakan that are known with their healing mineral waters, wet and fresh air, and soft climate. Hankavan village is considered as a spa and recreational zone, it is 2000 m above from the sea level. The village is surrounded with mountains covered with forests and has many mineral sources. Also, it is recommended to visit Kecharis Monastery, ropeway and Hankavan natural mineral pool. Tsaghkunyats sierra is mainly forested. The climate is wet that is why the mountains are covered with oak, hawthorn, sesame trees. On the slopes of the sierra various herbs are growing. Tsaghkunyats sierra has very rich fauna. On the way hikers can meet wolves, foxes, wild rabbits etc. The birds are forest and field loose, whale, quail, reindeer, woodpecker. Also, during hot season the snakes are also evident on the slopes of the mount. The mobile connections of Ucom and Viva Cell-MTS functions without interruptions. In case of emergency, call 911 or 112. Be aware of leashed-off dogs in the villages. Skiers must reach to Hankavan village by car. Please, use taxi service with taximeters. Show more
#10 - Mount Hol from Charchakis
Derek, Aragatsotn, Armenia
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1)
Length: 4.1 mi
From Charchakis village to Mount Hol: Ski trail (2714m) Description of the trail We suggest you take a ski trail on Aragatsotn marz. Mount Hol, as well as the village of Charchakis which is at the foot of the mount, are 8 km away from the Aparan-Yerevan highway and are hidden behind the picturesque wooded mountains. The road is less passable in winter, as public transport does not work. People drive with their own cars or taxies. But it is impossible to describe how beautiful it is to view the west from the peak of Mount Hol. It is seen in the highest mount of Armenia, Aragats (4095 m) and Mount Ararat, which is behind it. It is a rare beautiful sight. The trail from beginning to the end is promising with picturesque mountains, the snow quality. It is interesting to know the life of this village to get acquainted with it. Organizing your dinner and lunch in the village where the trail begins and ends is suggested. Here you will see the love and longing of the residents towards the guest. The trail starts at the last house of the village. Many skiers have passed through this trail, admired by the snow quality and spectacular views of the peaks. Description of the Monuments The Pambak sierra is bordered by Aragatsotn and Lori marzes. There is the 2714m high Mount Hol in here. The highest peak of the sierra is Mount Tezh, 3101m, which is located in the central part of the Pambak sierra. One of the highest peaks is the Maymekh, 3094m. The slopes are center slopes and are very clipped. Charchakis or Derek village of Aragatsotn marz, on the slope of the Mount Pambak. The distance from the center is 48 km, and the height from sea level is 2180 m. Only the southeast wall of the 4-6th century church has been preserved in the village. According to the villagers testimony, the church was destroyed in 1988 by the Spitak earthquake. On the way back it is recommended you visit the Armenian Alphabet Monument, Saghmosavank, Hovhannavank Monasteries, and the other sights of Aragatsotn marz. Fauna One of the main animal species of the area is the brown bear (Ursus arctos). The gray wolf (Canis lupus), the wild cat (Felis silvestris), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are also encountered . Security issues From Charchakis village to Mount Hol, Ucom and Viva Cell-Mts mobile connections are always available․ In the case of an accident 911 rescue services operate in Armenia 24/7. Beware of dogs in the village. Trail technical parameters Best period: January - March Distance: 71 km from Yerevan, by taxi Duration: 1 hour 20 min Cost: 7100-7500 AMD Ski trail length: 7.5 km Ski run: 3 hours Height from sea level: 2120-2750m The best drink is hot tea. How to get to the trail In order to reach the above mentioned ski trail you should take a taxi from Yerevan to Charchakis village(Derek) of Argatsotn marz, from where the ski trail starts. Please use the taxies with counters are installed. Taxies throughout Armenia are quite affordable. Show more
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