Armenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov


Trail photos

Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov


Trail stats

31.97 mi
Elevation gain
5,279 ft
Technical difficulty
Elevation loss
5,696 ft
Max elevation
10,512 ft
Min elevation
5,316 ft
Trail type
One Way
4 hours one minute
December 13, 2016
October 2016
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10,512 ft
5,316 ft
31.97 mi

near Lusaghbyur, Aragatsotn (አርሜኒያ)

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Trail photos

Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov Photo ofArmenian Alphabet Monument, Stone Lake (Kari Lich) (Aragats Research Station), Amberd, Orgov

Itinerary description

Mountain Biking Trail Description
This biking trail promises you magnificent nature sights. The trail begins from the Armenian Alphabet Monument, in Aragatsotn province. The Stone Lake (Kari Lich) is 30km from the Alphabet Monument. You will reach the Lake by riding along a winding paved road leading up to the slopes of Aragats Mountain. You will be able to admire the beauty of the landscape while driving, sparkling rivers, low mountains, small forests on the slopes of the mountains, gorges and eagles hovering in the clear sky. You won’t even remember how you reached Stone Lake, after the 30km long road. After viewing the panorama of Mount Aragats, you can access the main trail via the ‘Aragats’ Research Station, and whisk down for about 900m towards the Amberd medieval fortress. From the height of the road leading from Stone Lake to Amberd you can see all the mountains and picturesque nature of the area. The trail continues from the historical Amberd Fortress via a quality sandy-gravel road through the gorge and along the right bank of the Kasagh River, until it reaches Orgov village, in Aragatsotn province. The return trip is from the village of Orgov.

Monuments description
The Armenian Alphabet Monument after M. Mashtots is located on the eastern slope of Mount Aragats, near Artashavan village, in Aragatsotn province, on the left side of the Yerevan-Aparan highway. The Armenian alphabet was created between 405-406, by Mesrop Mashtots, a prominent linguist, religious and political leader, and has been used for Armenian writing ever since. The monument was built in 2005 to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet. It features 39 beautifully ornamented letters of the alphabet and statues of key Armenian figures. Each letter is 1.5m-2m high.
According to tradition, anyone who visits this monument takes a photo with the first letter of their name. By the Monument, you can see the statues of the great minds of Armenia – Mesrop Mashtots (with the letters in his hands), Grigor Lusavorich (holding the cross beyond), Anania Shirakatsi (a symbol of the earth and the universe in his left hand), Mkhitar Gosh (with “Datastanagirk”, the Book of Reprisal, in his hands), Khachatur Abovyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan.

Mount Aragats is considered the highest peak in Armenia (4,090m). It is an isolated shield-like massif of about 200km in circumference. Together with its fan-shaped slopes, it covers 4,000 sq. m, situated simultaneously in both the Aragatsotn and Shirak provinces. Aragats used to be one of the world’s largest volcanos. It has a gigantic 400m-deep crater, 3km in diameter, and 4 peaks. The highest is the North Summit-4,090m; the West Summit is second with 3,995.3m and is followed by the East-3,908.2m and South Summits-3,887.8m. The Aragats crater is a large drainage basin. Th Gegharot river, the affluent of the Kasagh, outflows from the crater. Aragats is famous for its water sources, which together with snowmelt waters and glaciers are the headwaters of a number of rivers and streams (Gegharot, Amberd, Mantash, Getadzor, Tsaghkahovit, and more). Only the South Summit of Mount Aragats is seen from Stone Lake.

Stone Lake (Kari Lich) received its name because of the smooth-edged, sharp stones surrounding the lake, and also because it is cold like a stone. This is not a unique mountain lake, it is covered with snow and ice till the middle of July. The Lake is situated at an altitude of 3,250m above sea level.

Aragats Research Station was founded by the Alikhanyan brothers, and is the only one in the region. The Alikhanyan brothers started research on rays composed of elementary particles coming from the Sun, stars and other parts of the Universe. For this purpose, they founded the cosmic ray station on Mount Aragats in the summer of 1942. This Station was the first mountain station in the Soviet Union. Here, on the slopes of Mount Aragats, they were the first in the world, who discovered protons in cosmic rays with new, unknown elementary particles and great energy. This discovery played an important role in revealing the secrets of cosmic rays.

Amberd is a 10th –century medieval fortress located on a triangular cape, 2,300m above sea level, on the southern slopes of Mount Aragats, 7km north of the village of Byurakan, at the confluence of the Arkashen and Amberd rivers, in the historic province of Aragatsotn. The style of Medieval Armenian fortresses are seen in vivid detail on this fortress. The castle of Amberd and some sections of the walls were constructed in the 7th century by the noble House of Kamsarakan. In the 10th century, the fortress and surrounding lands were purchased by the House of Pahlavuni and the Bagratuni kingdom, and became an important military base. At the end of the 14th century, Amberd lost its significance, after the Turkish-Tatar invasions, and was desolated during the reign of Lenktemur. The Amberd church was built by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni in 1026.

The semi-desert, dry mountain grasslands and alpine zones follow each other along the slopes of Aragats, with rivers flowing through beautiful gorges and valleys covered with short grasses. People come here from different places to behold Aragats, enjoy the alpine zone of the Mountain and the meadows, decorated with colourful flowers, such as blue forget-me-nots, alpine violets, wild lilies, poppies, bellflowers, and more.
The flora of Amberd and the Amberd gorge differs from the nature of Aragats. In spring and summer the nature awakens here, and in autumn the colours of forest trees and shrubs create a perfect palette. Both sides of the road from Byurakan to the Armenian Alphabet Monument are covered with forests, where people spend their holidays.

This biking trail is full of adventures, but rarely will you see dangerous animals here. More frequently, you may come across foxes and wolves, rodents and rabbits. During very hot days there are lots of reptiles (lizards, snakes), rarely turtles, in the territory of Amberd.

Safety and Security
The Viva Cell-MTS network is almost always available in the territory of the Armenian Alphabet Monument and from Stone Lake to Amberd. In case of emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia. Beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep.

Technical parameters
best period: May – October
Distance: 35km from Yerevan
Duration: 45min.
Biking trail length: 52km.
Ride duration: 7-8 hours.
Altitude from sea level: 1,500m
40% of the route is covered by sandstones, and the remaining 60% is asphalted.
The best drink to have on hand is bottled water.

How to Reach the Trail
To reach the above-mentioned trail, you need to get to the Armenian Alphabet Monument. Yerevan is 35km away from the Monument. It is most convenient to travel by taxi. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a taximeter.


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