hiking along the Kish – Bash Goynuk trail

Although the hike from Kish village to Bash Goynuk village is long and physically tiring, the paths are clearly visible and fully marked everywhere.

Hiking alongthe Kish – Bash Goynuk trail

Kish – Bash Goynuk trail

The St. Elishe Church, one of the oldest churches in the Caucasus and the Christian world in general, is located in the village of Kish. Along this route to Bash Goynuk village, you will enjoy charming views of forests and pastures, surrounding mountains and wide forest valleys. According to research, the village of Goynuk in Sheki was built in the late 16th century and was inhabited by Turks displaced from Ottoman territory. In the early 19th century, the village was divided into Bash and Ashagi Goynuk, as part of the population migrated to the plains. 

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DISTANCE - 14.6 KM

ELEVATION GAIN - 1200 M

ELEVATION LOSS - 1100 M

MAX. ALTITUDE - 2050 M

MIN. ALTITUDE - 950 M

DURATION - 7 H 50 MIN

 

The hike to the village of Bash Goynuk is physically tiring due to the distance and steep descents and ascents. Follow the signs from the starting point and continue between the village neighbourhoods. The trail starts 400m ahead. The steep, winding path through the forest opens up 2km ahead and continues through an open area with forest-covered valleys on both sides. 2km further, it rises above the forest line and ascends Mount Uzunyaylag.

At the top of the mountain, you advance 600m to a flat plain, and finally continue on the path to the right. The winding path descends into the forest strip 500m ahead and continues through the forest. On the left slope, you go down a steep direct path. The path, which comes to an open area 1km ahead, descends slightly for 700m, then goes to the right side of the ridge, and after a while begins to descend to a wider and steeper path, which descends to the right. The path, which reaches a gorge 700m ahead, turns left and continues down the gorge. Shortly after reaching a shepherd hut, the path leads to a forest track. After about 6km you cross the river and enter the village.

It is more recommended to do this route in the opposite direction, starting from Bash Goynuk.

 

Nearby trails

You can go from Bash Goynuk village to Gumukh village by car or on foot (7km) on the Gumukh-Gashgachay and then Gashgachay-Ilisu routes. Both routes are marked. By combining these three routes, it is possible to move through the mountains from the Sheki to the Gakh region.

Beyond Ilisu, the mountainous areas fall mainly into the territory of the Ilisu State Nature Reserve and the border control zone. If you have a local guide or an accurate map and sufficient experience, you can plan a two-day trek from Ilisu to Gum or Lakit Kotuklu village. It is recommended to go in this direction only in summer and with proper camping equipment.

 

Seasonality

May-September is the best time in terms of weather conditions and length of the day. There is only one shepherd hut along the route. In May and September, you can check with the local community to see if the shepherds are in the mountains.  These huts can be a warm shelter and you can ask for information from the shepherds, but you need to be careful around shepherd dogs.

In general, although it is possible to do this route throughout the year, it requires more preparation in winter months. In winter, spring and autumn, it is important to check the weather forecast more carefully and prepare food, clothing, accessories (tents, sleeping bags, etc.). On cold and short winter days, it is very difficult and risky to finish this route in one day, so it is not recommended to leave without proper camping equipment.

 

Food and accommodation

In both villages there are small shops, cafes and restaurants. For places to stay overnight, you can find guest houses, hotels and other accommodation facilities, including cafes and restaurants, located on the map.

 

Water

There is only one spring along the trail, which is located near a shepherd hut at the end of the Bash Goynuk gorge. As water sources are limited, it is recommended to take at least 1.5-2 litres of water with you.

 

Transportation

Minibus numbers 15 and 25 go regularly from Sheki city to Kish village (0.40 AZN per trip). You can also get to Kish by taxi for about 3-5 AZN (using the *0066 and *5577 taxi services).

 

Permits and specially protected areas

No prior permission is required to walk along this route. The route does not pass through specially protected natural areas or the border protection zone, and there are no permanent border guard posts anywhere along the route. When meeting border guards, it is necessary to show your documents and explain your route.

Useful information

weather and season

Air temperature

Current:
29°C
Average:
22.8 – 30.8°C / 73.0–87.4°F

Feel temperature

Current:
28.1°C
Average:
22.6 – 31.8°C / 72.7–89.2°F

Wind

Current:
  • Breezy this afternoon
  • N
  • speed 22.2 km/h

When to go

  • Peak Season:
  • All year round

Accommodation& food

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