Mount Ara Trail
ElevationAscent: 3,091' 942 m
Descent: -3,057' -932 m
High: 8,475' 2,583 m
Low: 5,601' 1,707 m
GradeAvg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 50% (27°)
Popular runs nearby
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“Mount Ara's name is said to originate from the legend of the mythical Armenian king, Ara the Beautiful.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
There are also buses to the neighboring villages that leave from the Northern Bus Station (check with the drivers/passengers to find out where they are going and if they can drop you off along the way), and usually cost around 1,000 AMD one-way.
The elevation of the mountain is 2,606m. The weather in the area is generally pleasant in the spring and summer, with long, warm, windless days making it an ideal rushing and rock climbing destination, as well as a favorite base for local paragliders; in the winter, a considerable snowfall makes it an ideal destination for ski-touring and winter mountaineering. A variety of sub-alpine and alpine flora, lush grassy meadows, steep rocky ravines and spectacular panoramic views also make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
A number of routes exist up to the peak, following its crescent-like ridge, as well as easier trail leading to the chapel at the heart of the crater with tall cliffs looming on either side. This route covers the majority of beautiful scenery this mountain has to offer, but feel free to wander around and discover some of the hidden beauties of its cliffs.
The Monastery of Tsaghkevank or Virgin Varvara is carved straight into the rock at the centre of the crater. Residents of the surrounding areas celebrate both Christian and Pagan holidays here, and visitors will often visit the monastery for the healing spring within it, whose water source has been found to contain a significant quantity of zinc which is said to be beneficial to eyesight and help cure joint diseases and muscle spasms.
Fauna: Although rare, visitors should mind potential poisonous snakes (including the black Armenian mountain viper and the green adder), wolves and brown bears–although the latter two tend to stay clear of humans, preferring instead to frighten campers with their howls at night. The forested slopes of Ara provide an ideal playground for the bears to raise their cubs, and the wolves make their dens in the ravines and shallow caves.
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