trails in vayots dzor
In Partnership with Hike Armenia we have been busy restoring historic trails, building new trails, installing trail signs and blazes in the Vayots Dzor region. It is such a scenic area with many interesting historic trails. We now have several loops ready for your hiking and or biking adventures! Soon you will be able to download these tracks from the Hike Armenia site and App.
The Artavan Loop Trail
Distance 10 km
This loop can be accessed from Artavan Village or from the Kapuyt Loop Trail. This trail is a combination of newly built trail, dirt roads and two Historical Trails one of which we are told was part of the Silk Road, the other historical trail is a rocky trail which can provide quite a challenge for mountain bikers! The loop gives you spectacular views of Gomk, Kapuyt, Artavan, Rock formations and the heavily forested area on the Artavan side of the mountain. If you look carefully you may be able to spot some Bezoar Goats in the area. It's amazing how the scenery varies from one side of the mountain to the other.
Kapuyt Loop Trail
This loop begins in the Village of Kapuyt. From there you can hike up the canyon or take a side trip on the Arch Trail to see many Khachkars including some carved into a large stone wall and the natural stone arch. As you continue up the canyon the trail turns onto what appeared to be an old trail after a few hundred meters you turn onto a newly built segment which will bring you up to another historical trail with lots of rock retaining walls and armoring. It is obvious a lot of hard work went into this trail. We are told the trail was built in the 12th century but have not been able to confirm this. The trail is very steep so be ready for a good workout. Our ancestors must have been in great shape! You will pass a few springs along the way. Near the top, you will come to an old road bed which may have very well had been part of the silk road and this trail was likely a connector from Gomk/Kapuyt to the Silk Road.
There are some great places to pitch a tent near the top but there was no water source there at the time of constructing the trail. From the top the trail will now follow a dirt road to a connection with the Artavan Loop Trail. At this point, you have the option to continue to Artavan or complete the loop to Kapuyt. There is also another option lower on the mountain to continue to Artavan. The lower part of the loop as you near Kapuyt Village follows dirt roads, old trails, and cow trails. Navigation could be tricky especially in springtime when the grass is high and may cover the blazes.
Distance .4 km
This trail is a short out and back to a beautiful natural stone arch.
This trail follows old dirt roads from Gomk Village through the ruins of the historic Akhta Village. Here there are many options for camping. The trail can be done as an out and back to Akhta Village or continue up the road to connect with the Artavan Loop Trail or the Kapuyt Loop Trail.
Karmir Lake Loop
This trail follows jeep roads from Artavan Village to Karmir Lake. You can continue past the Lake to the Fortress Trail. From there you can continue up the trail to the Fortress though the last few hundred meters to the Fortress does not have a trail leading to it (hopefully we can build this in the spring) you can go cross country to reach it. The other direction on the Fortress Trail will lead you to a dead end at a small but scenic waterfall.
Bezoar Goat Trail
This is an ancient trail that our local Artavan crew members told us about. The trail comes very steeply down the mountain so we thought it was a nice Goat Trail and that's how it got its name! If you want a good workout this is the trail for you!
Iron Age Trail
This is another old perhaps ancient trail. It has some steep segments. This trail connects the Bezoar Goat Trail to the Artavan Loop Trail. It goes through an area with signs of early Iron working.