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Angels' Canyon Loop

Angels' Canyon Loop

2.5h
10.9 km
952m
1,187m
Easy

Things to see

Angels' Canyon
This beautiful little canyon is just an hour away from Yerevan, and yet many people, including locals, have never heard of it. Be among the first to discover Angels’ Canyon!

Just beyond the city of Vedi lies the small town of Dashtakar, a roughly 50 minute drive from Yerevan. Before you enter the gates of the village, you’ll see the first directional sign that points you down a dirt road to the Angels’ Canyon Loop on your left. Drive down this access road following the Barakaghbyur River for a little over 3km until you hit a shallow river crossing and park there, or cross the river if in a 4x4 vehicle. Just after the river, the dirt road leads to the second directional sign and the true start to this loop trail; the loop will bring you back to this second sign at the end of the hike. From this sign, follow the trail to the left to reach Angels’ Canyon (called Hreshtakneri Dzor in Armenian). 

The canyon itself is short but beautiful and quite unique. The jagged red rocks give Angels’ Canyon a Martian-like feel. It’s proximity to the Khosrov State Reserve also means there’s a  variety of wildlife to observe along the way, from the Armenian tortoise, which you may find putzing around your feet, to the steppe eagle soaring high above the ground. 

To continue hiking the trail at the end of the canyon, simply scramble up the rocks to the other side (it’s an easy climb) and follow the dry river bed. While the trail is on the wilder side, it is marked. But if you find yourself in doubt, just follow the clearly visible riverbed or animal paths made by the local grazing sheep (and the GPS tracks in our app). You’ll eventually see another directional sign once you meet the dirt road at the halfway mark. From there, simply follow the sign down the dirt road and from whence you came while taking in the view of the surrounding hills and Mt. Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia, just beyond them.

How to get there

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Meghety Kurdian
Tom Schreeder
I really enjoyed this hike! My wife and I hiked this trail August 19, 2020. Temperature was about 40 C. Just a few things... First, traveling highway H10 from Vedi to Dashtkar, you will pass the Dashkatar town sign. Immediately after the sign, the road forks. Take the left fork under the arch, then the first dirt road on the left (trail marker is at this corner). The road into the trailhead is about 2 km. We were glad we were driving a four-wheel drive with adequate ground clearance. At the trailhead, we hiked the trail counterclockwise. It's a pretty stiff climb, but manageable and the view are great from the beginning. The first half of the trail is very clearly marked and easy to follow. After the turnaround, the markings are a little more difficult, but you essentially just follow the river back. There is a rock wall about three meters high near the end of the trail. It is not easy to climb or descend. We found a way around. A ladder here would be very helpful. SPECIAL NOTE: This is the cleanest trail I have been on in Armenia. Almost no trash on the first half, very little on the second, and that mostly near the end. If you go in August, take plenty of water. There is very little shade. All in all, a great little walk.