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Baghaburj to Storot to Mount Khustup

Baghaburj to Storot to Mount Khustup

9h (2 days)
14.6 km
3189m
1125m
Hard

Things to see

Mount Khustup

On this challenging but rewarding day and a half hike, make your way up to the summit of the imposing Mount Khustup, and get a taste for what it feels like to be on top of the world. This trail makes up days 13 and 14 of the Legends trail, but can also be hiked on its own. If you’d like to skip the first portion of this hike, you can start from Storot village rather than from Baghaburj. 


Starting from Baghaburj, follow the 4x4 track up out of the village and along the ridge, dipping in and out of dense woodland. Though this track can get muddy, it’s well-used and easy to follow. Just above the treeline on the south-facing hillside below the ridge sits the seasonal farming hamlet of Storot, which means either “foot” or “base” in Armenian. From here, there are several trails leading to more remote farms, but you’ll instead head up through Storot until you reach a flat area on the edge shoulder, just above the highest cottage and near a drinking water source. Storot is the closest off-road vehicle access point from Kapan to Mount Khustup’s summit, and thus serves as a basecamp for those hikers wishing to hike up to the summit in a day. You camp here for the night, or take a 4x4 to Kapan for overnight accommodations. 

 

The final stretch of the Legends Trail takes hikers up to Mount Khustup’s summit and back to Storot. Though the path is relatively easy to follow, pay close attention to navigation if visibility is low as you can get seriously lost in the fog. Exposure to the elements as well as an oftentimes inhospitable terrain and the steep nature of the path all make for a challenging hike. But with preparation and motivation, this last trek should be both enjoyable and visually rewarding.

 

The first half of the climb continues along the same ridge used to reach Storot, just on a narrower path. You’ll pass through rock formations before reaching a spring, at which point the trail grows steeper and steeper. You’ll soon notice that here above the tree-line, the environment shifts towards treeless meadows characteristic of high-alpine steppes. A second spring can be found about 50 meters south of the trail, before you reach the main ridge south of the summit. As you reach the main ridge, you’ll see a 4x4 track coming from the village of Shishkert. Climb north up the ridge to the peak base. To reach the very top of the mountain, you’ll have to scramble, quite literally, up the jagged rocks.

 

If you’d rather head to Shishkert instead of retracing your steps back down to Kapan, descend the ridge south and follow the 4x4 track you saw earlier 10km down. Keep in mind though that the village has no services and is a 50km trip back to Kapan.

 

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This trail constitutes Days 13 and 14 of the 15-day Legends Trail (with Day 15 counting as a travel day) starting in Goris and ending in Kapan but can also be hiked on its own. Although the Legends Trail doesn’t have a website, you can find further information and stay up to date with official announcements by following its Instagram and Facebook pages. If you’d like to purchase the physical guidebook in preparation for your journey, you can buy one at the HIKEArmenia office or order online. The Legends Trail was created as part of the EU-funded "EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on the historic trails in Syunik " project, implemented by People in Need in partnership with Armenian non-governmental organizations ARK Ecological and Trails for Change (TFC).

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