Road trip guide: Conquering the Karagöl Lake

Karagöl Dağı is a high mountain crater lake at an elevation of 2.620m (8,595ft) above the sea level, located in Giresun Province in the Black Sea Region of northeastern Turkey.

Karagöl Lake

Located within the Karagöl Mountains, the road to the summit is unpaved. 4x4 vehicles only. This is definitely not a Sunday drive. The road is poorly constructed and has no safety barriers in places. It’s narrow and wind sharply up the mountain making turns impossible to navigate. The road does get busier at weekends and in the main holiday season. At certain points, drivers beep their horns, as it is impossible to see if cars are coming from the opposite direction.
It’s usually impassable from October to June. The lake appears dark blue, almost black because of its deep depth. "Kara" means "black" and "göl" means "lake", hence "Karagöl" means "black lake" in Turkish. The drive is pretty steep. Starting from Diyanet Aydındere Camii, a mosque at 2.201masl, the ascent is 4.4 km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 419 meters. The average gradient is 9.52%.
Pic: Çambaşı çay evi Serdar Şimşek