Aparan Reservoir Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,587' 484 m
Descent: -1,513' -461 m
High: 7,514' 2,290 m
Low: 6,004' 1,830 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 59% (31°)
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“A trail through divine scenery and historic sites with evidence showing that life was really bustling in the past.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
The trail starts on the east side of the Aparan Reservoir, and it is possible to get to the start of the trail by taxi (cost of approximately 7,000 AMD - 1km/100AMD). The St. Peter and Paul (Armenian: Surp Poghos-Petros) church is located on the left bank of the reservoir. The lake and route to be followed lie within the center of the Aragats and Teghenyats mountains. The trail passes through fields, over lush green meadows, through the forest, and then little by little it reaches the mountain's peak (2,300 m). After reaching this high point, the trail which takes you down the opposite side of the mountain is a steady descent.
The Aparan Reservoir is a blue mountain lake surrounded by high, snowy mountain peaks, old monasteries, and ancient cross stones. Swimming is not allowed in the reservoir, because the water is intended for irrigation. The reservoir has an earth dam that is 50m high and 200m in length. It freezes in winter, and its main fish species is the local Sevan khramulya. When the reservoir was formed, the villages of Qasak and Zovuni were flooded, and the inhabitants of these areas were resettled near Yerevan.
Runners will want to spend some time sightseeing at the St. Peter and Paul church which is the first example of a domed hall with a basilic layout; it was built in the 5th century. The temple was reconstructed in the 6th century by Prince Grigor Gntuni, who gave the building a horseshoe-shaped interior. From the outside, you'll see a huge dome supported by pillars which were attached to the church (with a rectangular altar) walls. For 3-4 months of the year depending on the water level of the reservoir, the church remains underwater, which is why the eastern wall is now in ruins.
There are also edible herbs (falcaria, nettle, lilium, goatsbeard) growing all around, which are collected by the local inhabitants of the community in the spring. If you are fond of mushrooms, you can collect mushrooms in the months of April, May, and June (bring a small knife). But don’t forget to show your collection to a local community member so that they can assure you that the mushrooms are not poisonous.
Fauna: Snakes, frogs, brown bears, wolves, foxes and other animals can be found in the area. Birds, like the field and wood lark, and many others can also be found here.
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