I spent some quality time in the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh this year, hiking on the Janapar Trail and along with the help of others, we whipped the trail markers back into shape. The trail is now not only very well marked, there’s a whole trail guide online (which I highly recommend taking along), high resolution topographic maps, and even an iPhone/Android unlock iphone 4 app that can be used to follow the trails without even looking up from your phone screen! Hikers from Israel, Russia, Austria and Belgium have already hiked the newly worked on trail, and no doubt others who I haven’t heard about.
It’s a beautiful time of year to hike in Karabakh, but I realize most people reading this won’t be able to make it over there before the winter. You do, however, have loads of time to plan a great hike next year! The trail takes you from the southernmost city of Hadrut, all the way up to Stepanakert. The sights and nature along the way are really beautiful, and the hospitable people are even more so. Your hike will be unforgettable, unless you accept too much of the mulberry vodka hospitality, and your memory is impaired by drinking too much.
The hike takes a week, and each night you’ll end up in a different village where you can stay the night at a villagers home if you don’t want to bring your own camping gear. It’s not terribly difficult terrain, you’re hiking in the foothills, and most of the time the trail is wide and clear.
So plan on spending a little time hitting the trail on your next visit to Armenia!! And meanwhile, please help spread the word about the Janapar Trail… posting the link to the facebook page, emailing it to friends and talking about it will all help spread the word. Here are the important links – please visit the facebook page and like it!