Yashikul lake is a fresh-water alpine lake at an elevation of 3.976m (13,044ft) above the sea level, located in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, in southeast Tajikistan.
Nestled in the center of the Pamir Mountains in the Alikhur valley, the road to the lake is unpaved. It is subject to winter snowfalls with such a high summit altitude, and it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. 4wd vehicle required. Being 50 metres deep at its deepest point, Yashikul lake is 19 km long and from 1 to 4 km across.
After rain, even a single rainfall, conditions of the road can be challenging. Watch out for sudden loose-gravel breaks. Locals believe the lake is a home for a huge and magic animal - "Tuya Suu" - the water camel. The area offers many “lunar landscapes”, scenic views and spectacular sunsets. The terrain here is desolate but grandiose. The water is fresh and has rich flora and fauna. It is known as one of the coldest places in the former Soviet Union, with a record minimum temperature of -63 degrees Celsius recorded. Even in summer, you should dress warm once the sun goes down.
Pic: Gianfranco di Summa