Mount Ararat, the highest point in Turkey, is a snow-capped volcanic cone, located in extreme eastern Turkey, 16 km west of Iran and 32 km south of Armenia. The summit is 5,165 meters (16,945 feet), latitude 39.7 N, longitude 44.3 E. A smaller cone, Little Ararat (3896 meters) rises just southeast of the main peak. The mountain rises in isolation above the surrounding plains and valleys, providing an extensive panorama for those who climb it. Ararat has no crater and has not erupted in historic time. The most recent eruption was probably in the last 10,000 years. However, an earthquake rocked the mountain in 1840, burying a chapel, convent, and village that had previously occupied the slopes. Today nomadic Kurds reside on the mountain, migrating between the valleys and high pastures with their herds of cattle and sheep. The nearest town is Dogubeyazit.
Climbing Mount Ararat
Since 2001 Mount Ararat has been re-opened to climbing. The best climbing months are June through September. In the summer, the weather on Mount Ararat is sunny, warm and dry. In the winter and spring, cold and harsh conditions prevail and mountain climbers occasionally face blizzards and turbulent weather. The government of Turkey requires special permits to climb Mount Ararat. You must climb with a certified Turkish trekking guide who will also obtain your climbing permit for you. Allow one to two months to obtain the permit. The trek to the summit takes two overnights camping on the mountain. Base camp is at 3200 meters. Camp two is at 4200 meters. The last 400 meters to the summit are snow-covered year-round and crampons are necessary.
Getting to Dogubeyazit
The nearest airports to Dogubeyazit are Agri(95 km), Kars (180 km), and Van (190 km). Van is located south of Dogubeyazit on a beautiful lake, about two-and-a-half hours by car or bus. The Kars airport is to the north of Dogubeyazit and takes slightly longer (through the mountains). There is also modern, comfortable bus service from Istanbul to Dogubeyazit (22 hours through exquisite mountains, including frequent rest area stops).