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Janapar Trail 09 - Patara to Kolatak



11.2 mile 17.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,108' 947 m
Descent: -2,650' -808 m
High: 5,463' 1,665 m
Low: 2,879' 877 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)


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Hike over a forested mountain to Khachaghakaberd, a ruined 9th century fortress perched high atop a sheer rock pinnacle.

Janapar Trail

Features Geological Significance · Historical Significance · River/Creek · Spring · Views

Need to Know

This is considered one of the more challenging sections of the Janapar Trail due to the steepness and elevation change. Navigational aids are also recommended as the trail is not well defined in some areas. Khachaghakaberd can be best viewed on the approach from Kolatak and cannot be seen from Patara because it's behind the mountain.

This section begins and ends in small villages with no public transportation. Pre-arranged transportation is advised. A longer suggested trip combines routes 08, 09 and 10 for a 3-day, 2-night adventure from Stepanakert to Vank (end points where there are better taxi and shuttle bus options).


Begin your hike in the quaint mountain village Patara. Fill your water bottles from the public spring located in the school yard and grab a last-minute snack in the small village store. Wind your way through the village streets that soon give way to pasture on the way toward Surb Prkich, an unassuming, partially-restored little church.

After passing the church and picnic area, you'll begin a steady ascent along a forested ridge. (If you end up in a shady gorge, go back and look for blue and white blazes near the picnic area). After about 3 kilometers, look for a left turn at a junction and continue another 2 kilometers to contour and climb the mountain toward the forested summit. You'll pass in and out of clearings where there are some nice views of the surrounding terrain.

As you make the final approach to the summit, the trail becomes less defined and braided as it crosses through clearings on the ridge line. Keep heading up steeply until you reach the summit where there is an old faded interpretive sign. You'll find a small saddle between the summit and the pinnacle with the fortress ruins.

You must descend the saddle, then carefully scramble up the steep rock face of the pinnacle to reach the fortress. Caution: there are no safety devices on the rocks, so please take care with your footing in this section. This is the most accessible route as the other sides of the fortress are surrounded by sheer rock walls.

After enjoying the ruins and spectacular views from Khachaghakaberd, descend again to the saddle and continue along the trail going down around the western side of the mountain. The trail drops steeply off the mountain for about 500 meters until you reach a logging road. Follow the road until it takes a sharp left turn. Turn off the road, following a small path to the right. You'll reach another road which you'll follow through some clearings.

Look out for the left hairpin turn which you'll take you back into the forest. Continue along this road. Then, follow the trail down to the river. Cross a suspension bridge over the river. On the other side of the river, follow the dirt road about 3 kilometers which will wind up and out of the forest to the paved main road to Kolatak. Turn left, and follow the road into Kolatak where you'll find a small village store and public spring.

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5 Views Last Month
23 Since Jul 28, 2019



Approaching Surb Prkich Church on the edge of Patara.
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ
Kachaghakaberd is a 9th century ruined fortress. A turret can still be see clinging to the sheer wall of the fortress. Foundational walls and some battlements are also visible on top of the once mighty stronghold.
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ
Surb Prkich near Patara is a simple village church with a lot of history and still very much in use today despite its appearance.
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ
Scrambling up to the top of the pinnacle. The natural defenses of the ruined fortress are still a challenge today. Take care on last little scramble to the top!
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ
Khachaghakaberd (fortress of the magpies) towering above the Kolatak River.
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ
Crossing the Kolatak River. There is now a foot bridge just upstream from the jeep track crossing.
Aug 20, 2019 near Xocalı, AZ


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