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Wakhan Range

Wakhan Range

Wakhan Range

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Afghanistan, Asia

Lat/Lon: 37.14789°N / 73.21555°E

Object Title: Wakhan Range

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 9843 ft / 3000 m


Page By: secretcompass

Created/Edited: Nov 23, 2011 / Dec 4, 2011

Object ID: 761758

Hits: 2995 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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The Wakhan Range is a subset of the Pamir Mountains and is located in the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan. The highest peak in the range is Koh-e Pamir (6,320 m). The range is the southern extent of the Pamir mountains. It has the area known as the "Big Pamir" stretching to Lake Zorkul and the Pamir River in the north, and is bordered to the south by the Wakhan River.

To the east of the Wakhan Range is the Nicholas Range, which separates the Big and Little Pamir in the Wakhan Corridor. These two areas are high altitude (around 4000m)valleys with good summer grazing. They are inhabited year round by the Kyrgyz nomads of the Wakhan, and in summer some areas are used by the Wakhi people for summer grazing.

The Wakhan Corridor is currently considered safe and has seen a steady trickle of intrepid trekkers and climbers over the last few years,
a recent expedition to the Big Pamir is documented in Time Out magazine

Getting There

Access to the Wakhan Range, or Afghan Pamir, is through the village of Ishkhashim at the western end of the corridor. There is one road heading east down the corridor to the various villages inhabited by the Wakhi people. From this road, there are various routes which can be taken into the Big or Little Pamir Juldu has a good breakdown of trekking routes

Access to the western edge of the Big Pamir is from the village of Gaz Khan, on the eastern side of the confluence of the Wakhan and Pamir rivers. From this village you travel east up the Pamir River to the Big Pamir.

Alternatively, you can travel north from Sarhad e Broghil over the Showr Pass to Lake Zorkul and the eastern end of the Big Pamir. There is also a route from Sargaz, over a high pass (4800m) into the south west of the Big Pamir. This would be a very strenuous day.

Access to Ishkhashim is from Tajikistan. It is a 2 day drive from the Capital, Dushanbe, along the stunning Pamir Highway via Khorog to the Afghan border at Ishkhashim.

Red Tape

Tajikistan - you will need a multiple entry Tajik visa and a permit for the GBAO area with Ishkhashim listed.

Afghanistan - you will need a 1 month single entry Afghan visa. In Ishkhashim you will need to pick up a Wakhan Permit, which will require a day of bureaucracy.

External Links

There are a number of press articles about travel to the Wakhan Corridor:

BBC Magazine

New York Times

Information on an attempt on Koh-e Pamir


Camping is excellent. Ensure you have a decent tent as even Marco Polo spoke about the strong Pamir winds which are brutal. Water is freely available in numerous streams. If staying at villages you may be invited to sleep in a guest yurt by the Wakhi or Kyrgyz people.


Pamir River Valley AfghanistanBuzkhashi in the Big pamirBuddhist Tombs, Big PamirTravelling across the Big PamirRiver Crossing Big PamirYak, Big PamirKyrgyz Boy
Wakhi WomenKyrgyz YurtKyrgyz Yurts in SnowKyrgyz father and son, Big Pamir