Journeys worth taking

Pontic Mountains

Trekking the Kackar Mountains

From Scratch

At 12,917 ft. the summit of Kackar looms while the wildflowers bloom


Pensions / Tents



Trip Details

Privately Guided


From $1,155 per person



Pygmy miles


Pygmy miles
Practical info



At Pygmy Elephant, we think a trip should knock you out with awe inspiring views and experiences. Yes. We think that’s important. But we think the little things are just as vital. Sometimes they make or break your trip - the thoughtful picnics prepared from local producers, the knowledge and skill of your guide and in this case, the wildflowers. In the Kackar mountains, they bloom with same majesty as the peaks reach for the sky. In this itinerary, you will take several scenic hikes 

And because we are a fan of completing a challenge, for those that muster the strength and courage to scramble up to Kackar summit, you will be rewarded with sweeping views, a sense of accomplishment and 300 extra eco miles. The trekking around the Kaackar mountain requires a bit of fitness to tackle steep slopes and narrow, stoney paths for up to 8 hours a day. If you decide to summit, you should be comfortable with scrambling up scree and rocks.



During 8 days, you will travel through the valleys and peaks of the Kackar mountains in route to summit the fourth largest peak in Turkey.

Wildlife Viewing

Although the area is inhabited by several villages, the area retains its wild roots. You may see bears or wild boars, especially at lower elevation, and numerous different species of birds.


On the last day, you will raft down the Barhal river (10-person river raft). Life-jackets, helmets, wetsuits, etc. and professional guide provided.

And also

It’s not only wildlife that will invade your senses. During the spring, the rivers run high and the sound of rushing water resonates in the valleys. It’s a visual feast as well - granite peaks, glaciers and over 100 lakes can be found in the area. 


The Kackar mountains slice through north west turkey between the Black Sea and Anatolia. Nicknamed “the little Caucasus” and the “Pontic Alps”, the Kackar mountains are a young granite formation. Plateaus at around 3,000 meters provide ample space for long fields filled with wildflowers and crystal blue lakes. In the villages and surrounding valleys, farmers make a living from fruit and nut orchards. The Çoruh River throttles violently down from the peaks to the Black Sea. In some places, the river produces class 6 rapids. Beautiful Georgian churches are found in the region, remnants of bygone Christians.







Flight from Istanbul

On arrival at Trabzon Airport you will be met by your tour guide and your driver and before heading towards Camlihemsin, you will visit the famous 5th century monastery carved into the rock: The Sumela Monastery. Lunch at a local restaurant with local delicacies. You will be transferred to hotel in Camlihemsin.


Drive to Pokut and Easy Walk

You will drive up a rough dirt road to Pokut with your private guide and start the days walk from Pokut. After arriving to the Hazindag village you will continue on to Amlakit. The walk is mostly in the forest. Dinner and overnight at the family run pension in Amlakit.


Palovit Pass

First, you will walk up to Apevanak pass from Palovit and then descend to Yukari Kavrun. On the way, you will see Derebasi Lake, a perfect spot for a picnic lunch. At Yukari Kavrun, a vehicle is waiting that will drive you to Ayder for overnight. Ayder boasts some lovely hot springs, so make sure to bring your bathing suit.


Ceymakcur summer pasture and picnic

Drive to Ceymakcur summer pasture (1hr) and meet the mule man. After loading the camp equipment, the trek begins towards Lanetleme pass (3100m). After picnic lunch, continue down to Dobe camp site. Camp and dinner at the Dobe camp.


Pisovit pass

Walk from Dobe campsite to Dilberduzu valley via Pisovit pass (2950m) which is a high walk over pisovit pass with great views of all Dilberduzu valley. Continue to Dilberduzu base camp.


Climb to Kackar summit. (3937m)

Today, wake up early to climb the highest peak of the Kackar range. The walk is on a path until the last few hundred meters where the path almost disappears and some scrambling is necessary (no rock climbing is involved). Depending on the time of year, there maybe shorts sections of snow. Camp at Dilberduzu camp site.


Break camp and fishing

Today, the camp is broken down and you head to Yaylalar village. You are free to laze around the village or perhaps to go fishing in the river.



On your last day, you go out with a bang. After breakfast, leave the hotel and head towards Barhal village to visit the 10th century Georgian Barhal Church. After the visit, continue to Yusufeli and get ready for the rafting. Lunch will be in Yusufeli after rafting. The rest of the journey will continue with a stop in Tortum waterfalls and a visit to Erzurum, to explore this old town with mosques and madrassas from 11th-12th centuries. After an action packed day, transfer to the airport with memories of Turkey lingering on.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Motorized Vehicle
1200pygmy miles

Base Miles

For every $1 you spend with Pygmy Elephant, you earn 1 Pygmy Mile.

500pygmy miles


You will be hiking for 5 days on this itinerary. We estimate that you will hike approximately 50 miles in total. You receive 10 Pygmy Miles for every mile that you hike.

150pygmy miles

Rafting the Barhal

For taking to the waters of the Barhal river, you will earn an additional 150 pygmy Miles.

300pygmy miles

Benefiting Local Communities

The journey supports local family run pensions and boutique hotels. For choosing a trip that positively impacts the lives of those living in the immediate area, we give you a 25% bonus on miles.

300pygmy miles

Ascend Kackar summit 12,917 ft (3937m)

Getting to the Kackar summit will be a challenge. If you make it, we will reward you with a 25% bonus on your base miles.

Total Pygmy Miles

2450pygmy miles




Çamlıhemşin, Kackar Mountains

A 6 room hotel that can comfortably accommodate 12 guests. The rooms are minimalist by design. Originally, the cafe and hotel were built to save the last wooden structure in Çamlıhemşin. All rooms have ensuite showers, central heating and hot showers.

Tents at Campsites

Kackar Mountains

You will stay three nights in tents. As this is an active vacation, trekkers are expected to help pitch/strike their own tents. All tents are good quality dome tents with two doors.

Ufuk Pansiyon

Kackar Mountains

A small family run pension with charming hosts, plentiful breakfasts and modern bathrooms.

Natura Lodge

Kackar Mountains

Rooms are decorated entirely from natural wood. The views from the rooms are of the verdant green slopes and waterfalls surrounding the property. Rooms feature central heating, Shower-WC with 24 hr hot water, Hair dryer, LCD television sets and Wireless Internet.

Altunay Pension

Kackar Mountains

Located high in the mountains (10,800 ft), this lodge is set in the wilds of the range. Here, one can see bears, wild goats, wolves, jackals and foxes. 10 Rooms separated into 2, 3 and 4 people accommodations.

Practical info


$2,225 per person for 2 people
$1,690 per person for 3 people
$1,400 per person for 4 people
$1,225 per person for 5 - 6 people
$1,155 per person for 7+


This trip includes:

  • All transfers after arriving in Trabzon Airport
  • All meals and picnics
  • All accommodation
  • English speaking trekking guide
  • Rafting excursion
  • Fees to historical sites and museums
  • Cook wages 
  • Mule support
This trip does not include:
  • Soft drinks and alcohol
  • Entrance fees to hot springs in Ayder
  • International flights
  • Insurance

Service Category

Pygmy Itineraries

Pygmy Elephant has partnered with a local guiding company to create this itinerary. We will help you understand and customize the itinerary to suit your time constraints, preferences and activity level. 

Pygmy Elephant also provides: 

  • Transfer arrangements: International and connecting flight consultation
  • Pre-departure support: what to pack, arranging travel insurance and informing on travel advisories
  • 24 hour customer service: if something goes wrong, we have your back
  • Pygmy Miles: receive discounts off future travel


not available

This trip can be done after the 1st week of July when there is not snow on high passes. It also covers both sides of the mountain(south-north). It is possible to do this tour in June as well, but you will have to stick to the Southern side of the mountain range.

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : Medium

Mental Strength

Level : Medium

Physical Conditioning

Level : Medium

Technical Ability and Physical Conditioning according to our trekking partner:

  • Grade C with Grade D optional ascent of Kackar Mountain. Average daily trek 5-7hrs. Medium trekking with daypack;
  • Grade C: Demands a bit of experience and fitness to tackle steep slopes and narrow, stony paths for up to 8 hours per day. 
  • Grade D: For experienced trekkers who can keep up a steady pace for 8 hours or more and tackle some easy scrambling.

Mental Strength rated at medium due to elevation of the mountain range and lack of facilities during camping. 

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.