Pokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir)


Trail photos

Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir) Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir) Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir)


Trail stats

18.46 mi
Elevation gain
2,448 ft
Technical difficulty
Elevation loss
2,211 ft
Max elevation
8,768 ft
Min elevation
6,398 ft
Trail type
One Way
3 hours 59 minutes
December 14, 2016
September 2016
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8,768 ft
6,398 ft
18.46 mi

near Pokr Mantash, Shirak (አርሜኒያ)

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Trail photos

Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir) Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir) Photo ofPokr (Small) Mantash, Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir)

Itinerary description

Mountain Biking Trail Description
This is an interesting biking trail in the Shirak province, which provides an opportunity to discover the lifestyle and the beauty of the communities that live here. The trail begins from the center of Pokr (Small) Mantash village (marked on the trail). To reach Mantash Lake, you should ride about 20km; the lake is located on the western slope of Mt. Aragats. The road leading to Mantash Lake was constructed half a century ago using local volcanic stones.
You can see ducks in the Lake and eagles hovering in the sky. The Mantash River flows in the canyon. This area is specially known for its acidic water sources, one of which is marked on the trail.
As a biking trail, the Lake is most interesting during the months mentioned below. To access Mantash Lake you will be asked to submit passports at the entrance guardhouse for security considerations. It should be noted that this area is a state-protected territory-preserve, therefore, please, observe safety rules.

Monuments description
Mantash Lake (Water Reservoir) is located on the Aragats volcanic plateau. It is 2,600m above sea level. Mantash is an artificial lake and was designed in 1967 for the purpose of providing water for pastures and some residences. The reservoir water is stored up in spring, autumn and winter and is used during the summer. The lake area is protected by a state agency.

You can also visit: Harichavank, the Armenian Alphabet Monument, Saghmosavank, Ohanavank.
Harichavank is a medieval church complex, the oldest of which is the 7th century St. Grigor church. There are two-story chapels near the church that were built in the 13th century. The main church of the monastery was constructed by order of the Zakareh and Ivane brothers in 1201. This monument is one of the masterpieces of medieval architecture, encircled with delicate traceries. The building is magnificent with its simple, perfect construction.
The monastery has also been an education center. Renowned Armenian writer Avetik Isahakyan studied at the famous school of the monastery between 1887 to 1889. Future clergymen study in Harich Monastery. Nowadays, besides Harich, there are religious schools in Vagharshapat and Sevanavank.

Ohanavank (5th-13th centuries) is located in Ohanavan village, in the Aragatsotn province of Armenia. It is beautifully perched on a gorge, high above the right bank of the Kasagh River. The monastery overlooks Mount Ara and the Geghama Mountains in the southeast. Over different periods of time, the monastery used to maintain vast plowlands, gardens, pastures, mills, and villages. It also used to be a significant center for Armenian writing, with a rich library; some of the manuscripts created there have been still been preserved to this day.

Saghmosavank is located in Saghmosavan village, of Aragatsotn province, Armenia, at the edge of the deep Kasagh River gorge, and is ‘backed’ by gigantic Mount Ara from behind. On the other sides, the monastery overlooks Mount Aragats (4,095m) and Mount Ararat (5,165m). The monastery was built in the 13th century by Prince Vache I Vachutyan and his noble family. The complex is comprised of the Church of Zion, the Church of Holy Mother of God, a book depository and a narthex. The Church of Zion is the main church of the complex. It is a cross-shaped and domed church and differs from other churches built in that epoch by the layout of the narthex. The eastern part of the church features an altar and niches inside the walls. The Saghmosavank manuscript repository was built in 1255. It neighbors the ancient khachkars (cross-stones) on the western facade of the church.

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.

Shirak province’s flora has a rich variety of plants and shrubs. It has some forested vegetation, especially by Mantash Lake. Sour water flows out from underground. It’s home to many useful medicinal and tea herbs.

There are few animal species at the slopes of Aragats. You’ll most probably come across wolves, foxes, hares, rock badgers, mice, birds, butterflies, insects and beetles. During summer, some species of snakes may also be encountered here.

Safety and Security
Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are always available in Pokr Mantash village, and in the territory of Mantash Lake the connection is partially available. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia. Please, beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep.

Technical parameters
Best period: May -October.
Distance: 97km from Yerevan
Duration: 1 hour and 37 minutes,
Biking trail length: 30km.
Ride duration: 6 hours.
Altitude from sea level: 1,974-2,622m
100% of the road is covered by sandstones.
The best drink to have on hand is water.

How to Reach the Trail
To reach this trail, you need to get to Pokr Mantash village, in the Shirak province. It is most convenient to travel by taxi, which is quite affordable in Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a working meter and making sure the driver uses it.


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