Janapar Trail - Karmir Shuka to Hadrut
ElevationAscent: 5,588' 1,703 m
Descent: -5,313' -1,619 m
High: 4,084' 1,245 m
Low: 1,957' 596 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)
“Many historic points of interest along this route in Beautiful Artsakh.”— Trails For Change NGO
Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed
If bikepacking the route, there are homestays along the way. Seejanapartrail.org for a list of homestays. In Karmir Shuka you can find stores and a few small restaurants.
Above the village of Shekher the route will get steep as it follows a ridge up the mountain. It will be a short hike-a-bike of around 1 km or less depending on your fitness level.
You may notice a small grave/shrine where people come to light candles. Here there may also be some remains of animals that have been sacrificed as offerings - usually the legs of chickens or lambs tied to the trees. This is a ritual leftover from Pagan times.
Past this point, the trail will become steep and rocky as you descend to Azokh Village. In Azokh you'll find a few small stores. The smoked fish makes for a tasty snack. If you want to explore the Azokh Cave, It is best to leave your bike at the base and hike up as the short route to the cave is steep. Human activity in the cave goes back 7000 years.
The climb up to Gtichavank Monastery can be bypassed by staying on the road and then turning right at the gas station. However, the climb up to Gtichank is not too bad until you get to the last 1 km or so. From that point, the jeep track becomes very steep, and only the fittest of riders will stay on the bike to the Monastery! As you are climbing up you pass the Janapar Trail sign and continue another 150 meters to the Monastery.
From the Monastery, you can drop down into Togh Village several ways. You can remain on the Janapar Trail or drop-down either side of the Gtichank Loop Trail. The segment just below the Monastery is the most fun in our opinion!
In Togh Village there are a few markets, the Meliks Palace and a couple of historical Churches. You can also hang around the square and play Nardi (Backgammon) with the locals in the evenings.
The route from Togh is mostly flat and downhill to finish up in Hadrut.
Keep an eye out for the Janapar Trail blue and white blazes and signs along the route.
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