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3-Day Karakul Lake,Tashkurgan and Oytagh Glacier Tour

Activities: This 3 Days Karakul Lake,Tashkurgan and Oytagh Glacier Tour takes you to the world famous Karakoram Highway on Pamir Plateau. You will be visiting Opal Village, colourful Kunlun Mountain ranges, Mt.Muztagh Ata, Mt.Konger, Karakul Lake, Tashkurgan Stone Fort and Oytagh National Glacier Park.


Day 01

Place & Transport:Kashgar to Karakul Lake to Tashkurgan

Day’s Activities:Karakoram Highway, Opal village, Red Mountain, Corner Lake & Sand Mountain, MT. Muztagh Ata (7546m) & MT.Konger (7719m), Karakul Lake.

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Mt. Muztagh Ata
  • Karakul Lake

Place to stay: Tashkurgan.

Today we take a drive on the Karakurum highway, renowned as the highest paved border crossing in the world and regarded as one of the world’s most scenic highways. We will see the following on our drive: Opal village is a one hour drive from Kashgar. You will see some fine examples of village life and traditional activities like bread making and Uyghur food stalls. Half an hour’s drive from the village we will arrive at Oytagh Red Mountain. The valley is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi-coloured mountains topped by snowcapped peaks. Corner Lake (Bulung Kul) is a tranquil, shallow lake with stunning reflections of the sand mountains.

We will then enjoy our picnic lunch of fruits and fresh bread from Opal village in a beautiful picnic spot overlooking Karakul Lake. We will take a 1.5 hour drive from Karakul to Tashkurgan, which is a small town located at 3200m on the Pamir Plateau.  This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakurum highway in 1987 and even today the local community still lives in a very traditional fashion with only a single access road reaching here from Kashgar, so it has retained a certain uniqueness. This region is commonly known as the main branch of the “Old Silk Road” the main route leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters.

Day 02

Place & Transport:Tashkurgan to Karakul Lake (300Km)

Day’s Activities: Tashkurgan, Stone fort, Tashkurgan grassland, Subash Pass

  • Tashkorgan Stone City
  • Tashkorgan Grassland

Place to stay: Karakul lake (in a Kyrgyz Yurt)

After breakfast we will visit the Stone fort, located in downtown Tashkurgan. It has a history of more than 2000 years – in times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom. We will then hike over the Tashkurgan grassland from where we will be able to see Mt. Mutztah Ata and Mt. Pamir. Then, back onto the Karakurum Highway back to Karakul Lake, arriving in the early afternoon. Karakul lake is inhabited during the summer months by nomadic Kyrgyz people who live inside traditional houses called Yurts. We will drink some local yak milk tea and hear stories about traditional nomadic mountain life. We will enjoy the afternoon with trekking around the lake to the Kyrgyz villages on the other side, enjoying breathtaking views of mountains, valleys and glaciers.

Mt. Muztagata is said to be one of the five most beautiful mountains in the world. It provides a beautiful backdrop to Karakul lake at 7546 meters, on the opposite side the yet-to-be-conquered peak of Gonger rises to 7719 meters above sea level.

We will arrange for you to spend the evening with a local Kyrgyz family in their Yurt, where you will be able to spend some time with traditionally nomadic people.

Note: while it is not permitted to stay overnight with locals in the village, there are Kyrgyz yurts near the lake.

Day 03

Place & Transport:Karakul Lake to Oytagh Glacier then to Kashgar (260km)

Today’s Activities: Muztagh Ata, Konger Mountain, Oytagh Mountain glacier

  • Mt. Muztagh Ata
  • Oytagh Mountain glacier

Place to stay: Kashgar As soon as the sun rises at the lake with the beautiful scenery of Muztagh ata and Konger Mountain, we will drive to Oytagh mountain where we’ll spend the morning trekking towards the glacier. The early start will allow us to catch the clean morning air and will give us time to hike up to the glacier.

Oytagh in the Turkish language means ‘Low Land in Mountain’. Surrounded by rolling ridges and deep ravines, a strip of green land stretches out from Oytagh Valley. Lush grassland is overlooked by snow-capped mountains, and walking up is well worth the effort!

One may see lofty mountains, luxuriant trees, glittering glaciers and waterfalls in flight. In summer, huge cascades drop from high ridges, sounds echoing around the foggy valley.

We will make our way back to Kashgar in the afternoon.Note: Guests will need to carry their passports on this tour as they will be required to show these at the Gaz checkpoint both on the way and on the way back. Everybody at this point needs to be registered by the authorities due to its close proximity to many bordering countries. It is also advisable to bring warm clothes as temperatures can be lower than those in Kashgar.