Mount Ara

HARD 1 reviews

Mount Ara is a 6.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ashtarak, Kotayk', Armenia that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6 km
ELEVATION GAIN
651 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

skiing

trail running

views

snow

historic site

Mount Ara, with its sliced, steep, timbered slopes, is located on the borders of the Kotayk and Aragatsotn provinces, 33km north of Yerevan. Besides housing a skiing, biking and hiking trail, the Mountain is also a launching place for paragliding pilots. The ski trail begins on the north of the mountain, at the edge of a summer resort. The road leading to the summer resort may be covered with heavy snow in January and February. In this case, you should start skiing from Yernjatap village to reach the resort, which will add 2km to the route. The snow is mostly solid here, but the surface is always melted a few centimeters, which is very favorable for skiing. The road runs through pine and oak forests, which make for a beautiful combination in the winter. From the top of Mount Ara, you can view the four highest mountains of Armenia: Aragats, Azhdahak, Teghenis 1, and Hatis. You can return using the same trail. Description of the Monuments Heading for Mount Ara from Yerevan or vice versa, you can visit: Ohanavank (5th-13th centuries) Ohanavank Monastery is located in Ohanavan village, in the Aragatsotn province of Armenia. It is beautifully perched on a gorge, high above the right bank of the Kasagh River. The monastery overlooks Mount Ara and the Geghama Mountains in the southeast. Over different periods of time, the monastery used to maintain vast plowlands, gardens, pastures, mills, and villages. It also used to be a significant center for Armenian writing, with a rich library; some of the manuscripts created there have been still been preserved to this day. Saghmosavank Saghmosavank is located in Saghmosavan village, of Aragatsotn province, Armenia, at the edge of the deep Kasagh River gorge, and is ‘backed’ by gigantic Mount Ara from behind. On the other sides, the monastery overlooks Mount Aragats (4,095m) and Mount Ararat (5,165m). The monastery was built in the 13th century by Prince Vache I Vachutyan and his noble family. The complex is comprised of the Church of Zion, the Church of Holy Mother of God, a book depository and a narthex. The Church of Zion is the main church of the complex. It is a cross-shaped and domed church and differs from other churches built in that epoch by the layout of the narthex. The eastern part of the church features an altar and niches inside the walls. The Saghmosavank manuscript repository was built in 1255. It neighbors the ancient khachkars (cross-stones) on the western facade of the church. The Armenian Alphabet Monument after M. Mashtots The Armenian Alphabet Monument is located on the eastern slope of Mount Aragats, near Artashavan village, in Aragatsotn province, on the left side of the Yerevan-Aparan highway. The Armenian alphabet was created between 405-406, by Mesrop Mashtots, a prominent linguist, religious and political leader, and has been used for Armenian writing ever since. The monument was built in 2005 to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet. It features 39 beautifully ornamented letters of the alphabet and statues of key Armenian figures. Each letter is 1.5m-2m high. According to tradition, anyone who visits this monument takes a photo with the first letter of their name. By the Monument, you can see the statues of the great minds of Armenia – Mesrop Mashtots (with the letters in his hands), Grigor Lusavorich (holding the cross beyond), Anania Shirakatsi (a symbol of the earth and the universe in his left hand), Mkhitar Gosh (with “Datastanagirk”, the Book of Reprisal, in his hands), Khachatur Abovyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan. Fauna In the territory of Mount Ara you’ll most probably come across wolves, gray or yellow foxes and rabbits. You may also meet a bear that has woken early from hibernation. Safety All the networks operating in Armenia are always available from the Mount Ara summer resort to the top of mountain. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia. Technical Specifications of the Ski Trail The best time: January- mid April Yerevan is 42km away from Yernjatap village, so the road there takes 1 hour and costs about 4,200-5,000 AMD (by taxi). The distance of the ski trail is 6.6km. The duration of skiing is 3hr. 46m. The area is located 1,873-2,528m above sea level. The best drink to have on hand is warm tea. How to Reach the Ski Trail To reach this trail, you need to get to Yernjatap village. If the road is open, you should go on up to the summer resorts of Mount Ara. It is most convenient to travel by taxi, which is quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a working meter, and making sure the driver uses it.