A journey on the legendary Pamir Highway to Kyzylart Pass
Kyzylart Pass is an international high mountain pass located on the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border, at an elevation of 4.292m (14,081ft) above the sea level. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.
Navigating the Kyzyl-Art Pass
It's renowned as one of the world's highest border crossings and is a significant segment of the M41, also known as the Pamir Highway. The road leading to the summit, called Kyzyl Art, is predominantly unpaved and quite rugged, lacking bridges, which necessitates crossing small creeks. Due to heavy winter snowfall, the pass is often closed during the winter months.
The Challenging Route: From Sary-Tash to Murghab
Spanning 223 km (138 miles) in a north-south direction, this road connects Sary-Tash, a village in Kyrgyzstan's Alay Valley in the Osh Region, to Murghab, the capital of Tajikistan's Murghob District in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Sary Tash provides essential amenities such as a gas station, shops, and restaurants, making it a convenient stop for travelers looking to rest or spend the night. The road to the pass is characterized by steep, rugged terrain and traverses remote areas, demanding thorough preparation due to its unique location, significant elevation gain, and challenging conditions.
Borderline Isolation: Navigating Kyzyl-Art's Frontier Control
The Kyzyl-Art Pass, with a particular focus on Tajik border control, is an isolated location. This 20km stretch of no man's land that separates Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan presents rocky roads, high-altitude challenges, and awe-inspiring vistas. Organizing transportation across this stretch is crucial to avoid being stranded between the border posts. If you possess the correct visa, there should be no additional fees to the authorities. However, it's important to note that police officers, especially on the Tajikistan side, may resort to scams such as fabricating requirements like health certificates to extort money. Travelers must remain vigilant and exercise caution in these circumstances.