Hiking Trail Description
The hiking trail to the North Summit of Mount Aragats begins from Stone Lake, and takes approximately 2 days. To reach the trail, you should first get to Stone Lake (3,250 m), in Aragatsotn province. The North Summit of Mount Aragats is 9 km from Stone Lake. On the first day you must start walking from Stone Lake up to the saddle between the West and South Summits of Mount Aragats. When you pass the saddle you will notice the designated area to pitch your tent. All spots are indicated on the trail. At 7 am in the morning, pack your lunch for the long journey ahead of you, and start hiking toward the highest peak in Armenia. During the summer times, mineral streams are formed on the crater floor of Aragats, so there will be no lack of water․ You will reach the peak, using the marked trail, enjoying the silence and mystery of the four summits of Aragats, which are situated so close to each other.
The North Summit of Aragats has two peaks – one illusory and the other is real. To reach the real peak of Aragats, you should climb up the mountain with at least 30 meters of rope on hand. Please, take caution! Whether you reach the top or not, let’s say you did, because life is really precious! The real height of the Summit is 4,090 m.
The return path is on the same trail.
Aragats Mountain is the highest mountain top (4,090m) in the Republic of Armenia. It is a shield-shaped massif, with a diameter of about 200km and about a 4,000 square km area, together with its fan-shaped slopes, lying between the areas of the Aragatsotn and Shirak regions. Aragats was formerly one of the largest volcanoes in the world. It has four peaks and an immense crater (with a depth of 400m and 3km in diameter). The highest point is found on the northern most peak (4,090m), the second is the western (3,995.3m), the eastern peak is in third place (3,908.2m) and the southern is fourth (3,887.8m). The crater of Aragats is a water accumulating large pool, from which begins the river of Gegharot, a tributary of the Kasakh River. Aragats is famous for its coolwater sources, which form a number of large and small rivers (Gegharot, Amberd, Mantash, Narishd, Getadzor, Tsaghkahovit and others). Only the South Summit of Mount Aragats is visible from Stone Lake.
Stone Lake (Kari Lich) is situated at an altitude of 3,250 m above sea level. The Lake was named after the smooth-edged, sharp stones surrounding the lake, and also because it is cold like a stone. This not a unique Armenian mountain lake, it is covered with snow and ice till the middle of July.
You can also visit:
Aragats Research Station was founded by the Alikhanyan brothers. It is a unique place for this region of the world. The Alikhanyan brothers started research on rays composed of elementary particles coming from the Sun, stars and other parts of the Universe. For that reason they founded the cosmic ray station on Mount Aragats, in the summer of 1942. This Station was the first mountain station in the Soviet Union. Here, at the slopes of Mount Aragats, they were the first in the world, to discover protons in cosmic rays with new, unknown elementary particles and great energy. This discovery played an important role in revealing the secrets of cosmic rays.
Amberd is a 10th century medieval fortress located on a triangular cape, 2,300 m above sea level, on the southern slopes of Mount Aragats, 7 km north of the village of Byurakan, at the confluence of the Arkashen and Amberd rivers, in the historic province of Aragatsotn. This fortress is a typical example of Medieval Armenia fortress construction. The castle of Amberd, and some sections of the walls were constructed in the 7th century by order of the noble House of Kamsarakan. In the 10th century, the fortress and surrounding lands were purchased by the House of the Pahlavuni and Bagratuni kingdoms, becoming an important military base. At the end of the 14th century, Amberd lost its significance, after the Turkish-Tatar invasions and it was later desolated during the reign of Tamerlane. The Amberd church was built by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni in 1026.
The semi-desert, dry mountain grasslands and alpine zones follow each other up the slopes of Aragats. Rivers, flowing through beautiful gorges and valleys covered will low grasses, create small waterfalls in some places. People come here from different parts, to behold Aragats, enjoy the alpine zone of the Mount, and to see the meadows decorated with colourful flowers, such as blue forget-me-nots, alpine violets, wild lilies, poppies, bellflowers, and more.
This hiking trail is full of adventures, but rarely will you see animals here. Although, you may come across foxes and wolves, rodents and rabbits. During very hot days, there are lots of reptiles (lizards, snakes), and rarely turtles.
Safety and Security
The Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are partially available in the territory between Stone Lake and the North Summit of Aragats, but in the craters and valleys, a connection is not available. In case of emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia.
Best period: June – October
Distance: 84km from Yerevan
Duration: 1 hour and 25 minutes,
Hiking trail length: 8.6 km.
Walk duration: 3 hours (1st day) and 7- 8 hours (2nd day).
Altitude from sea level: 3,250- 4,095 m
The best drink to have on hand is bottled water.
How to Reach the Trail
To reach the above-mentioned trail, you need to get to Stone Lake from Yerevan. It is most convenient to travel by taxi. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a taximeter.