Fann Mountains Hiking and Ski


Visit Guide to Fann Mountains Hiking and Ski

The Fann Mountains in northwest Tajikistan are easy to travel to from Dushanbe, and offer a wide variety of treks with both camping and homestay opportunities. The region hosts some of the best trails in Tajikistan, along stunning places like Iskanderkul, Alauddin Lake, Kulikalon, Bolshoi Allo and Haft Kul. There are a number of routes, depending on your level of fitness.

Main image: Oleg Brovko from Halle (Saale), Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Getting There

There are a number of options to get to the Fann Mountains, but it is wise to use a professional trekking or ski tour company who can arrange transfers. These transfers are either by helicopter, by car from Dushanbe via the Anzob Pass, by car from Panjakent in the direction of Aini, or by car from Khujand via the Shahriston Pass.

What to Expect

Near the lakes in the mountains one can sometimes see rabbits, foxes, wolves, red marmots, black and brown bears, mountain goats and their companions – palang (snow leopards) and other animals. Birds including snowcocks, stone partridges, griffons and quails are also found here.

The best time to visit is between the second half of June and October when the weather is usually dry and warm, and the days are usually sunny. Sometimes, even at the relatively low altitude of the Kulikalon lakes (2,800m) it can suddenly snow, even in summer. In November to May there is a high risk of avalanches on mountain slopes and numerous mountain passes become practically inaccessible. Ski touring can be undertaken in this region with professional local guides.


Many legends are connected with the lakes, passes and valleys of the Fann Mountains. According to one of them, Alexander the Great, during his march to India, reached Iskanderkul Lake and camped on its shores. After a very hard march through the mountains, his favourite horse became sick after drinking water from the lake. Alexander did not wait for it to recover and continued his march, leaving the horse with several soldiers on the lake shore.

After a short time the horse recovered, but one day it suddenly started behaving strangely, and threw itself into the lake and sank to the bottom. Now, during the full moon, it is said that it is possible to see a white-maned horse coming out of the lake, which grazes and plays in nearby meadows during the night, then at dawn returns to the lake’s depths. According to the legend, when Alexander’s horse went to the bottom of the lake, it was a prediction of the death of its master, who fell ill and died on his way back from India.

Facilities Available

  • Camping
  • Homestays
  • Tour guides