September is perhaps the best time to go to Tajikistan: the heat has died down on the plains a bit, but all but the highest mountains are still accessible. The markets are overflowing with delicious fresh produce, and the rivers are flowing in full force with the meltwater of glaciers.
Widening the time Frame a bit, anywhere from June to September is a good time to visit Tajikistan for most people’s purposes. You can hike in the high mountains and travel the Pamir Highway snow-free, and there is lots of activity in the villages.
April, May and October are also ok temperature-wise, but hiking opportunities are less (unless you can handle the snow). Spring brings the additional danger of landslides, which can block roads for days.
November to March is not recommended due to the cold and the snowfall, but some might revel in the challenge, the unusual landscapes and atmosphere, and the lack of foreigners at this time of year.
Another consideration is the political situation. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, summer brought conflict in Khorog, closing down the Pamir for weeks and forcing many travelers to change their plans last-minute.
Will it happen again this year? No one knows, but keep it in mind when planning your travel.
As the bar charts below testify, it isn’t as cold on the western plains as it is in the High Pamirs.
Note that these figures are averages; outliers are not unusual. Also note that travel in Tajikistan will include major height differences, weather being less predictable and colder in the mountains.
Hiking: June to September is good for most hiking. July and August are preferred for the higher reaches (above 3000 m).
Horse riding: April to October is the best time.
Cycling: June to September is best, but snow is possible year-round on the high passes.
Skiing: December to March. Skiing in Tajikistan is a self-supported adventure.
Rafting: Depends on the river, but generally August – October is best as the glacier melt is highest then.
Check our calendar of notable events and festivals you might want to consider while planning your trip for details.Climate bar charts courtesy of World weather online