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Janapar Trail 15 - Tsar to Vardenis



22.3 mile 35.9 kilometer point to point
93% Runnable


Ascent: 2,557' 779 m
Descent: -2,933' -894 m
High: 9,003' 2,744 m
Low: 6,351' 1,936 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)


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Conquer a remote, high mountain pass with breathtaking views and vast pastures as you cross between Arstakh and Armenia.

Janapar Trail

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Need to Know

This run is considered difficult because of its remoteness, elevation gain and distance. There are a couple wet river crossings but the trail itself is mainly on dirt roads and established jeep tracks with good benching. Springs are located in Tsar, at a picnic shelter and in the villages along the way. Tsar is a very small village which is accessible by car from Karvachar or by jeep from Vardenis. Sections 14 and 15 can be combined for a 2 day, 1 night trip from Karvachar to Vardenis with the added attraction of some hotsprings that can be enjoyed near Karvachar. Or sections 13, 14 and 15 can be combined for a 3 day, 2 night trip from Zuar hotspring to Vardenis through some of the most remote and spectacular scenery of the Janapar Trail.


The run begins in the village of Tsar, situated on the edge of a vast grassy plateau overlooking the spectacular Trtu River Canyon. Make your way north through the village following blue and white blazes. Look for a left turn between a house and an abandoned building on the edge of the village. The road will make a switchback that steeply descends a rocky gorge to a wet crossing of the Tsar River. On the other side, you'll climb gently for several kilometers until another stream crossing where you'll cross an abandoned village and begin to climb more and more steeply until you reach Tsar Pass after approximately 7 km.

Tsar Pass is the highest point of the Janapar Trail at 2750 meters (9022 feet) and uncontrolled border between Artsakh and Armenia. On a clear day from the top of the pass, you'll be able to see the distant Geghama Range and Lake Sevan to the northwest in Armenia. After the pass, the trail is all downhill to Vardenis. There are spectacular rocky outcroppings and volcanic domes in the surrounding mountains. An enclosed picnic shelter, spring then a wet stream crossing are approximately 3 km after the pass. Verin Shorza village is about 7 km after the pass. You can opt to call a taxi from the village to shorten the run by approximately 16 km.

The trail continues to follow the rural road to Vardenis and gradually flattens and straightens out through vast stretches of pasture with mountainous backdrop. You'll cross a road bridge over a river in a small gorge then pass a hydroelectric power station and take a left to continue to Ayrk village. Entering Vardenis you'll continue to the central roundabout where you'll find a variety of amenities from food, lodging to transportation. A WWII memorial statute marks the end of the Janapar Trail in Vardenis.

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Karvachar


  5.0 from 1 vote
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in Karvachar


in Artsakh


4 Views Last Month
25 Since Aug 8, 2019



View from Tsar Pass.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Rocky outcroping below the pass in fall.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Hay stacks near Verin Shorzha Village ready for the winter.
Aug 20, 2019 near Akunk’, AM
Descent toward picnic shelter and spring
Aug 20, 2019 near Akunk’, AM
Climbing toward Tsar Pass.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ


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