Kyzylart Pass

A journey on the legendary Pamir Highway to Kyzylart Pass

Kyzylart Pass is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.292m (14,081ft) above the sea level, located on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

It’s said to be one of the highest border crossings in the world. The road to the summit, also known as Kyzyl Art, is mostly unpaved and very rough. It’s called M41 or Pamir Highway. Throughout the area, the land is typically rugged and dry. The road over the pass, also known as Kyzyl-Art Ashuu Pass, was built between 1909 and 1933. There are no bridges, so the driver has to drive through the small creeks.

Located within the Pamir Mountains, the road is 223 km (138 miles) long running north-south from Sary-Tash (a village in the Alay Valley of Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan) to Murghab(the capital of Murghob District of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, Tajikistan). In Sary Tash, there is a gas station, as well as a few shops and restaurants, so it’s a great place to stay have a break or spend the night.

The road to the pass is relatively steep and rugged. Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. The pass is located within the Trans-Alay Range. To describe the Tajik border control at the Kyzyl-Art Pass as desolate would be an understatement.  In the 20km of no man's land between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the roads are rocky, the air is painfully thin, and the views are spectacular. It's imperative to arrange transport across the 20km of no-man's land to avoid getting stranded between the border posts.
Pic: 1959Patrizia