The road to Murghab, one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth

Murghab is a high mountain town at an elevation of 3.618m (11,869ft) above the sea level, located on the Murghab Plateau in eastern Tajikistan (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast). It’s one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth.


The road to the town is the historicalPamir Highway, officially called M41. It’s mostly paved except for the mountain passes. This road passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. Expect whipping wind, hail and bitter cold. The town is the highest town in Tajikistan (and of the former Soviet Union). The place was founded by the Russians as Pamirsky Post in 1893, as their most advanced military outpost into Central Asia. Today Murghab is a must-stop place for travelers, as there is no other populated settlement for hundreds of kilometers where it would be possible to stay for a night in relatively comfortable conditions.

Located in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, the village is also known as Murgab. Among local sights, there is Lenin monument that remained from the Soviet times. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness The road is heavily damaged in places by erosion, earthquakes, landslides, and avalanches. The town is a desolate crossroads between the fading Soviet empire and the emerging power of China. Due to the high elevations and exposure, the road is subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes. Be prepared for the cold and wind! Weather in the area is extreme; winter lasts from mid-September to late May, and temperatures in winter may reach -50 C (-60 F). In summer temperatures can reach +40 C (105 F)in July and August. The area is considered to be a high desert, with little rainfall, though downpours do occur. Strong winds blow all year and severe storms may appear suddenly; it may snow any day of the year, even in the valleys.
Pic: Ahror Kosimov