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Timur Dara Lake, Shimkent, Sughd, Fann Mountains

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

Karatag Valley, Karatag, Tajikistan, Timur Dara, Timur Dara Lake, Fann Mountains, Shimkent

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

Karatag Valley, Karatag, Fann Mountains, Hakimi, Hakimi Village, Tajikistan
Looking down toward the Karatag Valley & Hakimi

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

Packing List

For Day Trippers Only

Multi-Day Trekkers

Camping Gear

Electronics

Maps

Food

  • Dehydrated meals such as Mountain House (you’ll need to stock up before leaving home)
  • Trail mix
  • Jerky
  • 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)

Toiletries

Clothing

Guide Books

  • 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.
Karatag Valley, Karatag, Tajikistan, Timur Dara, Timur Dara Lake, Fann Mountains

Have Any Questions About Visiting Timur Dara?

Ask in the comments section below.

Need Travel Insurance for Tajikistan?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

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