Mount Ara - Ara Ler

Mount Ara (or Ara Ler) is one of the most favorit hiking & ski touring destinations, especially that it is located not so far from Yerevan. The Mountain is a volcanic cone; the northern & eastern slopes are forested, with a rich biodiversity. Beware of snakes and bears, especially if you take the northern slopes to hike. Spring is the best time to hike Mount Ara, as the nature will be blooming, promissing an astonishing scenery around. The town of Zoravan and Gharghavank Monastery are located along the slopes. There are several options to ascend the Summit, whether through the slopes or a gorge covered with vegitation and cutted cliffs. At the bottom of the Gorge, you will find the shrine of Kuys Varvara (the Virgin Barbara), also known as Tsaghkevank, with saint’s tomb, altar, ferns, and candle vendors, which is built into a mossy cave, complete with sacred spring. You ight ascend from the Southern slope and descend from the Gorge; however, beware of animals and avalanche risk specially in warm winter days or early spring. 

Monument description

  • Location: Kotayk Province, New Yerznka village 
  • Yerevan - Demirchyan Gardens: 1 hour
  • Altitude: 2,577m
  • Coordinates: ****
  • Mountain type: Polygenetic stratovolcanic cone

How to get to the Trail?

The best option to get there is whether to go by your personal vehicle or to take a taxi as there is no public transportation heading to the Lake. You'd better arrange your return in advance to avoid the risk of 'no network coverage' on the Mountain. 

  • Distance from Yerevan: ***km
  • Duration: 1h 
  • Cost: **** AMD

Where to stay?

You can camp around on the slopes or stay in nearby hotels or B&B's (check out our Accommodation page).

Nearby destinations

Do not miss visiting the below destinations:

  • Tsaghkavank Monastery
  • Kasagh River Gorge
  • Hovhannavank Monastery (5th-13th centuries) in Ohanavan village in Aragatsotn province
  • Saghmosavank Monastery (13th century) in Saghmosavan village in Aragatsotn province
  • Mount Teghenis - Bujakan Village
  • Nairian Cosmetics production facilities - Ara Village

Trail characteristics

  • Start point:  Demirchyan gardens
  • Trail length:  
  • Duration:  4-6 hours
  • Elevation gain: ~840 m
  • Difficulty level: moderate
  • Some dangerous passes in the Gore; beware of avalanche risk
  • Max elevation: 2,577m
  • Min elevation: *****m

Fauna

You will find Sympecma paedisca, Colias aurorina, Parnassius mnemosyne rjabovi, Armenohelops armeniacus, Cylindronotus erivanus, Conizonia kalashiani, Parnassius apollo kashtshenkoi, Dorcadion kasikoporanum, Papilio alexanor orientalis, Proterebia afra hyrcana and Tetralonia macroglossa on Mount Ara. Conizonia is endemic. The Mountain also holds high variety of bird species, including Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Caucasian Black Grouse, Red-billed Chough, White-throated Robin, and others. Therefore, the area was recognized as Important Bird Area. 

Safety precautions

Mobile connection is available. In case of incidents, rescue services function in Armenia with 24/7 principle; call 911.

Photo album

 

Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead & be prepared
  • Dispose the waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect the wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors

Roads conditions

It is winter time! Check out road conditions before heading to the road! Beware of the snow & ice layer!

Vanadzor - Alaverdi section of the M6 Interstate highway stretching from Yerevan to Georgian border is temporarily closed. You can use Vanadzor-Stepanavan-Odzun-Alaverdi bypassing road.

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