Bolkar Mountains

Bolkar Mountains

Bolkar Mountains

Bolkar Mountains, formerly known as the Bulgar Mountains, stretch across the provinces of Konya, Niğde and İçel (Mersin) with its highest peak Medetsiz Peak reaching 3,524 meters in altitude. It is a series of tectonic mountains. The skiing area located on the west of Çiftehan bucağı-Maden village and on the northern slopes of Bolkar Mountains ranges from 2,300 to 3,003 meters in height. The poisonous viper species Vipera bulgardaghica is found only in these mountains. The famous Turkish poet Karacaoğlan often mentions this mountain in his poems.

The Bolkar Skiing Area covers approximately 2,000 hectares and includes Top tepe (3017 m.) Tahtalıkaya (3372 m.), Koyunaşağı tepe (3426 m.), Eğerkeya (3347 m.), Erkaya (3308 m.) and Çinigöl in the east, and Gökboyun (2757 m.) and Meydan plateau (2300 m.) in the west. The most suitable time for skiing is from December 10th to April 20th, and the snow thickness ranges from 100-200 cm during this period. The most convenient gathering and settlement area is Meydan, which is 7 km away from Darboğaz and 5 km away from Maden village.

Mount Medetsiz Peak, located within the borders of Ulukışla district, is located 20 km southeast of Ulukışla. It is the highest peak of the Bolkar Mountain range, which is part of the Toros Mountains. There are many peaks over 2500 meters around it because of its location on a large plateau. This makes it difficult to spot from far distances.

Mount Medetsiz Peak boasts a beautiful view with its rocky southern slope, and has a climate that reflects both Mediterranean and continental climates, with large temperature differences between the day and year. Winters are cold and rainy, with snow falling in the northern slopes facing Inner Anatolia. Summers are cool and dry, with the southern slopes receiving abundant rainfall from the Mediterranean. The southern slopes have red pine, black pine, cedar and Toros spruce trees, while the northern slopes are covered with steppe and have occasional communities of hornbeam, elder and black pine. There are many meadows on the mountains.

Bolkar Mountains Mountaineering

The best time for summer climbs in the Bolkar Mountains is during the months of May, June, and July. There are many ways to reach the Medetsiz Peak. The route via the Maden Village, which crosses the Meydan Plateau and the Koyunaşağı Pass, offers a direct ascent to the peak on the north slope. This route is not technically challenging because of its low gradient. On the other hand, the south side of the peak drops steeply and sharply. Access from the towns of Çamlıyayla, İçel, and Tarsus is easier. From the town, one can reach Olukkayağı Village located at the back of the mountain and continue to the south side of the peak. This route leads to the Elmalipinar area and can be reached by car until this point. Afterward, one can cross the rocky terrain to the west and reach the peak from the back. Inköy is located 5 km behind Olukkayağı and is more easily accessible from Çamalan. However, the other routes, excluding Maden Village, are more complicated than the north slope routes and take longer to reach the peak.

The Bolkar Mountains are a large mountain range located between the Eastern Mediterranean Region and the Central Anatolian Plateau. Its location at the transition point of the two regions and its diverse geomorphological structure make the Bolkar Mountains one of the most unique areas in Turkey for natural life and rare species. The high mountain meadows in the middle part of the mountain are covered with snow until July and contain some glacial lakes. One of these lakes (Kara Lake) is home to the Toros Frog (Rana holtzi), which is a species that only exists in this area and is on the brink of extinction. Bolkar Mountains are very rich in wildlife.

The mountain includes the largest high mountain meadow communities in the Mediterranean region. Different types of Mediterranean vegetation cover the south slopes of the mountain. The deep canyons in this area have a temperate and humid microclimate, which makes them unique habitats for some semi-tropical species not found in other parts of Turkey. On the north slopes, a typical Central Anatolian continental climate is observed and the area is covered with mountain steppes and sparse forests.

Discover the Unique Wildlife and Scenery of the Bolkar Mountains in Turkey

The Bolkar Mountains region is one of Turkey’s most exceptional areas for wildlife. Many of the primary species found in the region are from different groups of animals. Approximately 300 endemic plant species are found in the area, with around 10 of them being limited to the Bolkar Mountains and nowhere else in the world. The area is also of great importance for birds, especially predators. Some of the birds of conservation priority in the region are the Bearded Vulture (Falco biarmicus), the Long-legged Buzzard (Gypaetos barbatus), the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the Black Kite (Milvus migrans), and the Caspian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caspius). The Bolkar Mountains are also one of the most important regions in Turkey for mammals, with species such as the Wild Goat (Capra aegagrus), the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx), the Woolly dormouse (Dryomys laniger), and three different species of bats. The Toros Frog (Rana holtzi), which is known to exist only in one location in the world, is also one of the key species of the Bolkar Mountains, primarily found in the Kara Lake and Çinili Lake regions.

The Bolkar Mountains are also important for butterflies and bugs, with two endemic butterfly species found in the area. The main human activities in this region are livestock farming and forestry. The Bolkar Mountains are one of the rare areas where the Mediterranean nomadic culture continues to thrive. During the summer months, nomadic herders, mainly engaged in livestock activities, flock to the region’s highlands.

Bolkar Mountains Medetsiz Peak is exposed to strong winds in all seasons. From the peak, Mount Erciyes, Aydos Mountain, Hasan Mountain, and Aladağlar can be seen clearly. The Delimahmutlu route is farther than the Olukkayağı Village and other roads, but it is more beautiful and entertaining. Finding water during the ascent to the peak in the summer season may pose a challenge, but it is covered in a considerable amount of snow in winter. However, this snow melts early in the summer season due to high temperature air currents from the south and only remains in the hollow sections of the rocky formations on the peak. While the north routes to the peak are easy to climb, the south routes are extremely difficult and dangerous. The view from the south side of the peak is more majestic and beautiful. The ideal campsite for the north route is on the last plateau of the mountain or at the Koyunaşağı pass.

Enhance Your Mountaineering Experience with the Bolkar Mountains, Turkey.

You may also want to learn about Turkey’s highest mountain, Mount Ararat. Please click on the link to read more about majestic Mount Ararat.

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