Mobile telephone coverage is always available on the trail between Yeghipatrush up to Iztok Mountain. It is not advisable to climb the mountain in rainy or bad weather. The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents.
Be aware of bears and be sure to bring bottled water!
The start of this run is located in the Yeghipatrush village, in the province of Aragatsotn. The St. Mariam Astvatsatsin Church (built between the 10-13th century) is also located in Yeghipatrush. From here, Armenia’s tallest mountain peak, Aragats, can be seen to the west.
The village (2,000m) is located 27 km north-east of the administrative center of the Aragatsotn province, about 15km south of Aparan, on the south-east side of the Aparan reservoir, and 10km to the right of the Yerevan-Aparan roadway. The houses within the village are all made of stone, unlike most homes within the area, which are made of tuff. Cool, potable water is brought to the village from nearby mountain slopes, 5km from the village.
In order to reach the start of this run, the most convenient option is to take a taxi from Yerevan to the church. The cost to get from Yerevan to Yeghipatrush (by taxi) is about 6,000 AMD (1km -100 AMD). The best time of year to visit is April to November.
The run starts from the church, where a scenic path leads up to Mount Iztok (2,850m). The first half of the trail is a steady and, at times, steep uphill leading to beautiful views of the area. After the trail levels off, near the summit, you'll have some easy running before the trail heads back west and downhill on an equally steady but not quite as steep descent to finish back at the church.
Flora: Forests here occupy an area of about five thousand hectares. Oak, maple, birch, pine, wild apple and pear trees are common here. The cool and bracing air is filled with a unique fragrance of the flowery slopes and the forests that surround the mountain.
Fauna: On the beautiful meadows, cornfields, and along the mountain slopes up to the summit, sightings of reptiles like snakes (viper, adder) and lizards are common. In the swampy areas, many large frogs can be seen, and in the mountain forests there are traces of brown bears, hares, wolves, foxes and many other animals. Bird species like wood and field larks, owls, quails, woodchat shrikes, falcons, eagles, sparrows, hoopoes and woodpeckers are found here, whose songs are heard throughout the forest.