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Janapar Trail 12 - Andzavner to Zuar

Difficult

Trail

11.5 mile 18.5 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,469' 448 m
Descent: -2,737' -834 m
High: 7,084' 2,159 m
Low: 4,589' 1,399 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Cross a high mountain pass through rugged pastoral terrain, then descend to a forested canyon and soak in a hot spring.

Janapar Trail

Features Commonly Backpacked · Hot Spring · Spring · Views

Need to Know

This is considered a more remote and difficult section of the trail. Blazing may be sparse in some areas, requiring some navigational experience and a good level of self-sufficiency. The trail starts in Andzavner, a tiny mountain settlement about 20 kilometers from Vank by jeep or on foot. This section can be best combined with Janapar Trail 11 - Vank to Andzaver for a 2-day overnight trip from Vank to Zuar. There are a number of wet river and creek crossings. Weather can be cooler and wet in the pass. To return to Stepanakert or Yerevan, you may need to make advance arrangements or hitchhike.

Description

From the Poghosyan Ranch, the trail climbs steeply through high pastoral terrain for approximately 4 kilometers to Andzavner Pass (2,166 meters). The trail follows disused Soviet-era jeep tracks that are heavily eroded in spots, but quite manageable on foot. Once over the pass, you'll begin a gradual descent to Zuar.

About 1 kilometer after the pass, look for a right turn off the jeep track on to a poorly-defined singletrack going steeply down to a gorge and small creek. The trail improves somewhat as you get closer to the creek, then turns left to follow its course downstream about 1 kilometer. The trail may be a bit overgrown along the creek, and you may need to cross it a number of times. The singletrack ends at the junction with the Yeghjerunik River. You'll need to make a shallow ford of the river to continue on the jeep track on the other side.

You'll follow the Yeghjerunik River downstream for about 2 kilometers toward an abandoned village of the same name. You'll follow the contours of the valley with river well below you at this point for another 2 kilometers, eventually entering some nice bits of forest. Watch for a left fork in the road which will lead you away from the Yeghjerunik and descend steeply on disused roads 3 kilometers toward the Tutkhun River.

As you approach the river, look for a left turn off the main road onto a singletrack going upstream about 1 kilometer to a shallow river crossing. (Caution: If the river is flooded and impassable near the hot spring, you can follow the river downstream 3 kilometers on an unmaintained trail to a road bridge.) After the river, you'll continue briefly upstream to Zuar Hot Spring. There are two natural pools on the river bank that are popular with locals and visitors. There is a parking area, water, outhouse, changing stalls, and picnic areas. Entry is free and open to the public.

After enjoying the hot spring, the trail continues downstream along the river on the main road to the tiny village of Zuar. There is a very small store and a private campground in Zuar (ask locals to direct you to Yessai's campground).

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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#1

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Photos

Climbing up to Andzavner Pass in spring.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Poghosyan Ranch in Andzavner can host up to 6 guests in their off-grid hostel.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Passing the abandoned Yeghjerunik Village on the way to Zuar.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Passing friendly cows on Tutkhun Canyon Road on the way to Zuar.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Resting at the Poghosyan Ranch Hostel after a long day on the trail.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ
Spring wildflowers growing in abundance in the mountain pastures of Artsakh.
Aug 20, 2019 near Kerbakhiar, AZ

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