Chasing Adventure in the Corners of the World: Ride the Wakhan

Three new trips in the world's wildest places

Apr 3, 2013
Outside Magazine
wakhan corridor horseman go list

A Kyrgyz horseman prepares to go and check on his herd of sheep and goats outside of the village of Ghaz Khan. The Pamir Kyrgyz live at high elevations on the Pamir Mountains and leave only during the spring and summer months.    Photo: Benjamin Rasmussen

THE SELL: Eastern Afghanistan’s rugged, 140-mile Wakhan Corridor was once a popular stop among hippie backpackers. Three decades of war put an end to that. But this summer, UK-based Secret Compass takes ten guests on a 22-day mountain-bike trip covering roughly 165 miles of singletrack with 11,000 feet of descents and climbs over five 14,000-foot passes. $4,950.

THE RISK: Although it’s 290 miles from Kabul—and most of the violence—the Wakhan still borders unstable Pakistan and Tajikistan, both home to Islamist extremists. 

SKETCH FACTOR: Medium. Despite its neighbors, the corridor is comparatively safe. “I’ve worked in Wakhan since 2008,” says Anthony Simms, a technical advisor for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We have not had any security issues.”