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Ditch the tropical vacation; visit Nepal and climb Island Peak this autumn!

Trekking in the Fann Mountains

A Wild Expedition to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan


TOTAL DISTANCE: 63km trekking

MAX ALTITUDE: 4750 meters


LODGING: Mix of camping, hotels

GROUP SIZE: 10 people Max

trekking in fann mountains
Map of tour route


Nestled in one of the world’s most rugged, remote, and rarely visited corners lies a stash of priceless jewels and artifacts, guarded by staggering giants. 

These jewels are the pristine, sparkling lakes and alpine scenes of the Fann Mountains. 

The Fann Mountains of Tajikistan hide some of the most beautiful natural attractions and exciting trails in all of Asia. Crystalline lakes, barren mountain peaks, and the occasional nomadic family are all that is to be found in this remote land.

And for that reason, we are beyond stoked to take you there. 

Join us on a new trek unlike any we’ve done before. Explore the Fann Mountains and visit the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in addition.

This expedition is a cultural and natural wonder for those who truly want to get off the beaten path. 

Why We Love This Trip

  • Alpine lakes – The Fann Mountains hide some of the bluest and purest lakes you may ever encounter.
  • Trekking in remote areas – This is not a typical itinerary and features a lot of off-the-beaten-path locations in the Fann Mountains. It’s a true wilderness experience.
  • Interacting with local communities – Shepherd families regularly tend to their herds in the surrounding mountains, and they’re very interested in visitors.
  • Self-supported trekking – The terrain is rugged and the nearest civilization is very far away. If this excites you, you’ll be in your element.
  • Silk Road history – The legendary oasis cities of Samarkand and Bukhara are also featured on this itinerary. We spend several days in both.
  • Natural and cultural sites – Mosques, mountains, madrassas, and multi-colored lakes — this program has it all.

Upcoming Dates





July 28th - August 11th, 2024Limited$800$2950
August 10th - 24th, 2025Available$800$2950

Have a question or ready to book?

Whether you’re just curious about this trip or are ready to make a deposit, we’re here for you.

To submit an inquiry or make a trip deposit, please fill out and submit the form below.

Highlights of Trekking in the Fann Mountains

  • Trekking in some of the most obscure mountains in the world. 
  • High-alpine adventure and crossing a 4750-meter pass.
  • The chance to meet and interact with local shepherd communities.
  • Lots of opportunities to photograph the Fann Mountains famous turquoise lakes. 
  • Lakeside camping and plenty of stars.
  • 3 days exploring the legendary silk road oasis cities: Samarkand and Bukhara. 
  • Some of the most elegant madrassas and tilework in the Muslim world.
  • Comradery, new skills, and team-building with your fellow adventurers.

Fann Mountains Trekking Itinerary

Today is the day our team assembles for the first time. 

Plan on arriving in the early morning in Samarkand, Uzbekistan and settle in to the accommodation. We have our first group meeting and go over the plan for the next few weeks!

After meeting, we spend the rest of the day exploring the cultural sites of the old city, including the famous madrassas of Registan, with some free time sprinkled in so you can explore the bazaars and markets on your own. 

In the evening, we will meet again for a group dinner and will have a briefing outlining the rest of the trip.

Note: We always recommend arriving a day or 2 in advance if it is possible. 

We depart from Samarkand early and head for the Tajik border, situated only 40 km away (1 hour drive). We will walk across the border and meet jeeps on the other side.

From the border, we will drive to ancient Panjakent and stop at a local market before moving on Artuch Base Camp. We will spend the night here at a Tea House (guesthouse) before beginning our 9 day/8 night trek.

6.75 km walking. 720m elevation gain.  Sleep at 2840m.

Today is the first of our 8-days trekking, We depart from Arctuch Camp and make for the picturesque Kulikalon Lakes. Overall, today is a moderate hiking day and a good chance to get our legs warmed up.

We reach our first lake of the trip and set up camp by mid-afternoon. 

5.75 km total walking. 270m elevation gain. Sleep at 2990m.

An easy trekking day as we walk a relatively short distance to a nearby group of lakes. Situated at the base of a mountain cirque, this is one of the most photogenic spots in our Fann Mountains trek.


7.8 km total walking. 840 meter elevation gain and 1080 meter loss. Top out at 3860m. Sleep at 2800m.

The first alpine pass we cross in the Fann Mountains! At the top, you will be afforded amazing views of the lakes below and surrounding mountains. 

Following our descent of Alaudin Pass, we will arrive at the Alaudin (Chapdara) Lakes. Total trekking time should be around 6 hours. 

Here we get our last taste of civilization for a while – a beer or hot tea at a tiny tea house that serves snacks and beverages to trekkers! 

7 km total waling. 790m elevation gain. Sleep at 3520m.

Today we veer south and head for Mutney Lake: the halfway point of this trek. A moderate hiking day before the push up to the trek’s highpoint, Chimtarga Pass, the next day. Sleep at the lake.

5 km total walking. 850 meters elevation gain. Sleep at 4115m.

A steep ascent up to Chimtarga High Camp just below Chimtarga Col. We will bivvy here and cross the pass the next day.

Note: our pack animals will only be able to walk until 4115 meters and will not be able to cross the pass.

Porters can be hired in the place of pack animals to carry your things for the duration of the trip (up to 15 kg) but this must be done in advance.

Depending on weather, we spend a full day resting at Chimtarga High Camp after to take in the views and for acclimatization purposes.  

Today is a day to chill out, read your book, drink tea, and take in the glorious scenery of the alpine environment. 

Sleep at 4115 meters. 

11.3 km total walking. 725m elevation gain and drop 1,600 m. High point is 4,750m. Sleep at 3,150m.

Chimtarga Col is the highest pass on this Fann Mountain itinerary and offers up some of the best alpine views of the whole trip. The journey from high camp to the top of the pass is relatively short and it should not take more than 2 hours to reach the top from our high camp. 

Following a brief rest at the top of the pass – where we are afforded excellent views of the two highest mountains in the range, Chimtarga (5,489m) and Energyia (5,109m) – we make the long descent down to Big Allo Lake.

We arrive at Big Allo Lake and give our feet a much needed rest. 

10.85 km total walking. 810 meter descent. Sleep at 2,390m.

A moderate hiking day where we descend down to Small Allo Lake from Big Allo Lake to an area locally refered to as “Little Tuscany” for its rolling brown hills and trees. This is our last night camping in the wilderness.

6 km total walking. 560 meter descent.

We make our final descent  and meet our jeeps at the end of the trail before saying goodbye to our hosts for the last week: the Fann Mountains. 

From the trailhead, we head straight to the border and cross back into Uzbekistan.

We spend the night in Samarkand again, where hot showers, a celebratory meal/drinks, and a comfy hotel bed await.

We depart from Samarkand at midday and take the high-speed train to Bukhara: another fabled oasis city on the old Silk Road. Bukhara is similar to Samarkand but offers a superior sightseeing experience.

We check into a guesthouse upon arrival and spend a half-day exploring the city while guided.

Bukhara is such a fascinating and beautiful city that today is dedicated to taking it all in without any busy time schedule. 

In the morning, there is an optional guided tour of some of the most important UNESCO cultural sites in the city. 

In the afternoon, you are free to drink lattes in breezy cafes, hunt for ice cream at local Uzbek gelaterias, shop for local souvenirs, or simply just chill out and take in the vibe on this ancient Silk Road town.  

We spend the morning in Bukhara before catching the afternoon train back to Samarkand. 

We check into our hotel and have one last debriefing and final team dinner, reflecting on the incredible last few weeks we have shared. 

The final day where we say goodbye to one another and the amazing country that has hosted us. Transfers from the hotel to Samarkand International Airport will be arranged. 

fann mountains trekking

Extra Excursions and Ad Ons​

Spend an extra two days with us as we go on a side trip to Uzbekistan’s least visited but arguably most beautiful old Silk Road oasis towns: Khiva

Khiva is far off the beaten path and much harder to access than Bukhara or Samarkand. For this reason, many exclaim that it offers the most authentic experience of all Uzbekistan’s oasis towns. It’s ancient walls, minarets, and madrassas are all impeccably preserved and can rival anything in Registan or Old Bukhara. 

This trip extension includes additional accommodation in hotels, train ticket from Bukhara to Khiva, return flight to Tashkent, and a local guide for the entire 2-day duration. 

Inquire with us for the price. 

What People Have to Say

Trekking in the Fann Mountains FAQ

Participants will need consider visa procedures for two countries on this trip: one for Uzbekistan and one for Tajikistan.

Many Western nations do not need a visa to visit Uzbekistan. US citizens will need to arrange a visa beforehand. Those who need visas can acquire them either via an online portal or by applying at your local embassy.

Note: you will need a DOUBLE-entry visa for Uzbekistan.

The visa policy of Tajikistan is much more relaxed. Most Western nations, including the USA and Canada, don’t need one to enter the country.

Always check before booking the visa policy of both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for your nationality.

The dominant language in Uzbekistan is Uzbek, a form of Turkic – though in the areas we visit, locals are more likely to speak a form of Tajik.

In Tajikistan, the language is Tajik, a form of Persian. Various communities also peak their own dialects. 

Russian is the de facto language of both countries though and is widely understood by all. 

The total length of the self-contained section of the trek is about 60 kilometers done over 9 days. Yet unlike hut-to-hut trekking common in Europe and Nepal, our trip involves wild camping, mostly on pristine alpine meadows above the treeline.

Remaining self-contained allows for more tranquility and enables a more intimate connection with nature. This also means no lodges, no showers and no maintained trails. We may spend days – or even the entire trek – without seeing any other humans.

The trekking season in the Fann Mountains is short, and sometimes made shorter by high snowfall in either spring or autumn. Summers are relatively dry but storms can happen at any time of the year. By September, it can be quite cold at higher elevations and a dusting of snow at the Chimtarga High Camp is possible even in August. 

For the first five days of the trek, we will have a team of pack mules helping to carry a bunch of our group gear and some personal luggage (like tent and sleeping bags). 

We will then get to a point where we need to cross Chimtarga pass in which the mules can not cross.

Recommended: You can hire a porter to carry your bag for the duration of the trip including Chimtarga Pass at an additional cost. 

Additional Trip Resources from the Blog

Adventure Guide

Hailing from the Toronto region of Eastern Canada, with a background as a former standout athlete (hockey of course) and a  love of mountain adventure, Clark is a welcomed addition to the Epic team.

In addition to being a keen photographer and adventurer, Clark brings his brilliant sense of humor, leadership skills, and positive attitude to everything he puts his mind to. 

When he is not leading trips, he is working on taking over the hard apple cider game in Canada as a skilled craft brewer. 

Adventure Guide

Noemi grew up in the mountains of German-Speaking Switzerland where she naturally developed a deep love and respect for mountain environments.

She is a talented photographer, aspiring climber, and speaks at least 5 languages fluently including Arabic (and probably a few more that we don’t know about), which she taught herself in a matter of months by watching YouTube videos. 

Noemi has spent the last several years traveling, hiking, and photographing her way around many different countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe, and we could not be more stoked to welcome her to the Epic team! 

Adventure Guide

As our man on the ground in Mongolia, there is not much this legend can’t do. As a native the Bayan-Ölgii province of the Western Mongolia Altai, Syerik has been working as a guide and tourism entrepreneur…

for the past several years and is one of the rising stars in Mongolia adventure travel industry. 

He is currently building a beautiful Ger (Yurt) camp near his hometown where he will host Epic Mongolia team members on our trip as well as other travelers from around the world! 

He is the perfect guide for your trip to Mongolia. Serik did an amazing job giving us a well rounded experience in the Altai NP region and down in the Gobi…
The food was fantastic and Serik gave us many opportunities to learn about the Kazakh culture in that region including traditional meals. (I can’t recommend enjoying the milk tea enough!)

– Coastal

Head of canine operations

Choriza started off life as a care-free vagabond on the streets of Madeira Island without any place to call home. From the moment we met her, we knew this dog was just different, and it was pretty much love at first sight. 

She gave up the dog street life in favor of joining her new dad Chris to become a full-time member of the Epic family towards the end of 2022.

These days she can be found listening in on the fringes of important Epic business meetings while half-asleep on the couch. She is a keen hiker, lover of mud, rare steak, and might just be the sweetest little dog we have ever seen. 

Adventure Guide

An experienced trek leader and
IFMGA aspirant ski guide, avid alpine climber, devoted adventure photographer.

Organized and guided trekking expeditions, climbs and ski tours in Tajikistan’s Pamirs, Patagonia, Peru, Morocco, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Russian Caucasus and Kamchatka.

A full member and meets the organiser of the British Alpine Club. Visited over 40 countries, lived in the UK for four years. Certified first-aider.

We joined Andrew on a fantastic trip to the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan, pure nature and magnificent scenery! Andrey was super prepared and led us safely up and down numerous passes and through some rough and icy cold rivers. Thank you for a very memorable trip, your planning and prep was excellent!

– Monika Steinlechner

epic expeditions team

Adventure Guide

Our man in Nepal, Sandip is what we like to call a “Swiss Army Knife”. There is not much Sandip can’t do when it comes to helping Epic to run our expeditions smoothly in Nepal.

His tireless work ethic, passion for all things trekking in the Himalayas, and smart decision-making mean that Sandip is a truly invaluable member of our team.

Sandip is passionate about showing visitors to his country an amazing time, and he goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. 

His company Himalayan Masters is Epic’s trusted partner in Nepal and one of the country’s top new tour agencies.

We really enjoyed the entire journey, and I would like to say that Sandip is truly professional. He guided us and he is a hardworking person, providing us with the best service and taking care of each one of us. Plus, he is super funny! The kind of professionnal you always want to find on your path for your explorations! 

– Alexandra Ruth

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare. 

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, and sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions. 

After trekking to K2 Base Camp and exploring all over Northern Pakistan, he fell in love with the country and the local people. His experiences resulted in his desire to share these feelings with the world.

João is one of the most experienced guides at Epic and his skillset and positive mindset in the mountains is second to none

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro lead his 11th tour in Iran with Epic in spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Expeditions, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Coastal

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Expeditions and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 gondogoro la trek

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Expeditions, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin

Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

Since he started exploring the world, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 70 countries along the way. 

Over the last 10 years, Chris has logged more than 7000 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

A few years back, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and the people of Pakistan led Chris to co-found Epic Expeditions at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 20 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

He lives in Madeira Island when not leading expeditions in far-flung lands. 

Chris also works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan.  

Read this interview our staff did with Chris to learn more about him!

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Pakistan is a magical country! Had 3 of the best weeks of my life thanks to Epic Backpacking Tours with owner, and one of our awesome guides, Chris. From detailed itinerary, preparation with an equipment list, and visa assistance. To amazing food, great porters, helpful guides, and great accommodations. Epic really hit home run after home run. […]

Their desire for adventure and amazing trip is just as high as yours. Bring a good pound of coffee for the trip. French press coffee every morning and no average tin coffee, plus you’ll be in your guides good books.

– Clark Tyler

epic backpacker tours

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