Tsaghkunyats Peak

MODERATE 1 reviews

Tsaghkunyats Peak is a 8.4 kilometer lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ashtarak, Kotayk', Armenia that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

DISTANCE
8.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
497 m
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

hiking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

no dogs

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.