Timur Dara Lake, Tajikistan
Updated April 2020, Timur Dara Lake, Tajikistan was originally written in December 2019
Timur Dara Lake is situated in the southern Fann Mountains, nestled in the Karatag Valley. Timur Dara Lake can be reached as a long day trip from Dushanbe, or as a multi-day trekking trip including nearby Payron Lake, Mura Pass and onto Sarytag.
Starting to plan your Tajikistan adventure? Check out the Ultimate Tajikistan Travel Guide
How To Get To Timur Dara Lake
Step 1: Take a shared taxi or marshrutka to Shahrinov
Head to Zarnisor Bazaar on the western outskirts of Dushanbe (marshrutka #8, 1.50 TJS, will get you there). Once to Zarnisor Bazaar look for marshrutka signed for Tursunzoda (Турсунзода) or Shahrinov (Шаҳринав). The marshrutka to Shahrinov should cost about 5 TJS for a seat.
Plan your time in Dushanbe: The Dushanbe Travel Guide + 10 Things To Do In Dushanbe
Step 2: Hire a taxi to Hakimi Village (Or Try Your Thumb)
Once you’ve reached Shahrinov, it’s still another roughly 30 km to reach Hakimi, the village the trek to Timur Dara begins from. You’ll be hard pressed to find shared transport making the journey up the Karatag Valley, so you’ll likely need to negotiate a price for a car in Shahrinov to take you to Hakimi. You can expect to pay around 200-250 TJS for a car depending on your haggling skills. If the price of a car hire isn’t in your budget, you can try your thumb at hitchhiking and hopefully get a ride closer to Hakimi that way, or plan to walk the 30 km.
Step 3: Trek to Timur Dara Lake
Once to Hakimi, you’ll follow a fairly well-beaten path all the way to Timur Dara Lake. In total, the trail is roughly 7 km in distance from Hakimi to Timur Dara Lake (14 km return). There is one quite steep section where the trail is pretty eroded, so be careful along here. Otherwise, the trail is pretty smooth sailing.
Wanna connect Timur Dara to other hikes in the Fanns? Check out the Fann Mountains Trekking Guide for more info
Continuing On To Iskanderkul & Sarytag From Timur Dara
There are two routes you can take to get to Sarytag from the Karatag Valley, via Mura Pass or via Payron Lake and Angisht Pass.
Hakimi to Sarytag via Mura Pass
This 43 km trek will take you from the village of Hakimi, up and over 3,790 meter Mura Pass and down to the village of Sarytag. This trek is ranked at a moderate level and will take most hikers about 3 days to complete. For more info on Sarytag and Iskanderkul, click here.
Looking for more hikes? Read the 10 best treks in Tajikistan
Hakimi to Sarytag via Payron Lake & Angisht Pass
This variation of the trek comes in at about 45 km and is a bit more of a challenge as Angisht Pass is a bit higher at 4,095 meters. It is similar in difficulty as the Mura Pass Trek and will take about 3 days to reach the southern shores of Iskanderkul. Rather than follow the Karatag Valley up to Mura Pass as you would in the previously mentioned trek, you’ll veer east from the Karatag Valley at its confluence with the Payron River. Eventually, this will lead to the beautiful Payron Lake and from here continue through somewhat difficult terrain, up and over Angisht Pass and down to Iskanderkul. For more info on Sarytag and Iskanderkul, click here.
Plan your time in Iskanderkul & Sarytag: The Iskanderkul & Sarytag travel guide
For Day Trippers Only
- Inreach Explorer+
- Backpack (I personally recommend the Ariel 65 for women)
- Hiking boots (My favorite are the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX)
- Waterproof sandals
- Katadyn water purifier
- Fann Mountains Map
- Sleeping mat
- 3-season tent
- Hydration Pack
- Sleeping bag cold rated to -5ºC/20ºF
- Campstove and Cooking set
- Silicone squeeze tubes (for cooking with sauces, olive oil, etc.)
- Propane/butane canister (available for purchase at Greenhouse Hostel in Dushanbe)
- Trekking poles
- Trekking in Tajikistan by Jan Bakker (Written by a friend and includes the Fann Mountains, Yagnob Valley, and Pamir)
- Fann Mountains Map by EWP (can be ordered direct from EWP as well)
- Southern Tajikistan Map by Gecko Maps
- Dehydrated meals such as Mountain House (you’ll need to stock up before leaving home)
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit and nuts (easily purchased at a bazaar)
- Peanut butter
- Spice packets
- Olive oil for cooking
- Hot sauce (bring from home to jazz up bland food)
- Instant mashed potatoes (so unhealthy, but I love them after a long trekking day)
- Fresh veggies, noodles, bread, rice, and more can be purchased at a bazaar prior to setting out for your trek)
- Biodegradable shampoo bar
- Biodegradable soap
- Biodegradable wipes
- Toilet Paper
- First Aid Kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Warm outer shell jacket x1
- Down jacket x1
- Fleece x1
- Merino wool long sleeve base layer top x2
- Merino wool short sleeve base layer x2
- Trekking pants x1
- Merino wool leggings x2
- Trekking socks x2
- Warm socks x1
- Sports bra x2
- Mittons x1
- Warm hat x1
- Sunglasses x1
- Microfiber towel x1
- Trekking in Tajikistan by Jan Bakker & Christine Oriol. You’ll find detailed descriptions of these hikes as well as those in the Pamirs in this book.
- Tajikistan and the High Pamirs by Robert Middleton & Hue Thomas. This is a huge book, but it has so much good info on Tajikistan from history, great-game stories, travel information, and more.
- Bradt Guide Tajikistan by Sophie Ibbotson & Max Lovell-Hoare. The most comprehensive guide to Tajikistan in print.
- Central Asia by Lonely Planet. Handy to have with you, although don’t necessarily treat it as a bible. Things rapidly change and the currency can fluctuate so it’s not always dead on. A new edition published in 2018 and I heavily question whether the writer in charge of the Tajikistan section had ever stepped foot in the country, you’ve been warned.
- The Central Asia Phrasebook by Lonely Planet I found this to be a handy item for Tajik, Russian and Kyrgyz phrases, not so much for the Wakhi phrase section.
Have Any Questions About Visiting Timur Dara?
Ask in the comments section below.