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Geghard to Tsaghkashen Route

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


31.2 mile 50.3 kilometer point to point
87% Runnable


Ascent: 6,042' 1,842 m
Descent: -5,328' -1,624 m
High: 11,699' 3,566 m
Low: 6,287' 1,916 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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A great multi-day run with unique petroglyphs and mountain scenery along the way.

State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia

Features Birding · Cave · Wildlife


This route is best done as a four day and three night journey. The run takes visitors from Geghard to summit Mount Azhdahak before continuing onto Lake Akna and the village of Tsaghkashen.

Need to Know

In order to run the above mentioned route, it is necessary to leave Yerevan by taxi to Geghard village; it will cost AMD 4500. The return is from Tsaghkashen village. Please use the taxis with speedometer. Taxies throughout Armenia are quite affordable.

Alternative transportation means: Bus/Minibus From Nor Norq to Yerevan, a minibus takes off to Geghard village, every 20 minutes with the fee of AMD 500.

Runners will want to come prepared with their own food and water.


The running starts from Geghard village in Kotayk region, located at 1,930 meters above the sea level. Before starting the route, it is worthwhile to visit Geghard Monastery and listen to Armenian spiritual music in the upper acoustic hal. This makes for a great start of the trip!

Day 1: From the village of Geghard, the road goes up to Geghardarch or Vishapalich. There are old drum stones called “vichapakhar” in the lake area. Swimming in the lake is not a good idea. Your overnight stay will be in a tent.

Day 2: On the second day, you'll climb the valley of Mount Azhdahak. Here, again set up camp for your overnight stay in a tent. Next morning get ready to climb to the peak of Mount Azhdah, at 3,795 meters.

Day 3: After climbing and descending the summit, you can begin your third day on a road which starts to go down to Lake Akna. Swimming is not allowed in this lake, where you'll set up your tent for your third night's stay.

Day 4: In the morning, the run continues in the Geghama Mountains, to the village of Tsaghkashen, Gegharkunik region. From Tsaghkashen Village to Gavar City, you can run (2 km) or catch a lift.

Flora & Fauna

The flora of the Geghama Mountains is rich, and the air is fresh and healing. The mountain range, which is 2800 meters high, lacks forests and trees. The northern shore of Lake Akna is snowy until the first summer. It creates a beautiful combination of colors in the vicinity. The alpine landscape is spotted with meadows and small lakes.

Various herbs and wild animals live on Geghama mountains. The number and diversity of their large and smaller groups are clearly visible in the pictograms of Geghama Mountains such as zubra, wild bull, caucasian honey, lion, hepard, wildlife, wild and wild horses, fox and wolf, many varieties of dogs, boar, moon, leopard, rabbit and some badly-defiled animals, reptiles various types, finally duck, goose ets.

History & Background

Ancient monuments can be found in the Geghama Mountains, on the northeastern shore of Lake Sevan, on the slopes of Aragats.

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