Esence Mountains, also known as Keşiş Dağı, is a magnificent mountain range located in the eastern region of Turkey, particularly northeast of the Erzincan plain. It lies between the Erzincan Plain and the Otlukbeli Mountains in Turkey. The Karasu River, one of the most important tributaries of the Euphrates River, and its tributaries surround the north, south, and east of the Esence Mountains. The mountain range is situated within a tectonic basin in the north of Erzincan and is covered by the Munzur Mountains to the south, while the Otlukbeli Mountains are connected to its west. The highest point of the mountain range is Esencetepe, located north of the Üzümlü district, which rises to a height of 3549 meters. Glacial lakes surround the peaks of the mountains. The glacial lakes known as “Yedi Göller” lakes are located 3000 meters west of the mountain range. Aygır Lake, with a depth of 10 meters, is located on another peak of the mountain range, Karakaya Mountain. The area is known for its natural beauty, serene lakes for picnicking and relaxation. The glacial lakes with their visual beauty are frequently visited during the summer months.
Esence Mountains : A Hidden Gem for Mountain Enthusiasts
The southwest slopes of Esence Mountains have forests consisting of juniper and various oak species. Although the mountain range is assumed to be covered by oak and pine forests, the slopes are sparsely covered by vegetation. The mountains are covered by mountain steppes dominated by Astragalus and Artemisia plants and wet meadows. The tributaries of the Karasu River surrounding three sides of the mountains form deep valleys at the foothills of the mountain range. The steep rocks in these valleys are important nesting areas for predatory bird species. The mountain range is rich in endemic plant species and is also important for butterfly, bird, reptile, and large mammal species.
Esence Mountains were primarily formed from serpentinite rocks in the Cretaceous period. While the middle part of the mountain range has significant glacial formations from the Pleistocene period, the absence of glacial traces on the southern slopes shows the importance of slope exposure. The cirques in this region are deeper and wider than those in the rest of Turkey. For example, the Yedigöller and Aksuyayala cirques are longer than 4 kilometers. The glaciers coming out of the cirques formed wide glacial valleys in areas above 3000 meters. Glacial scratches can be found on the slopes of the cirques, while the last glacial boulders and irregular rocks are exhibited at the bottom.
Esence Mountains offer an extraordinary mountaineering experience for enthusiasts. Esence Yedigöller Mountaineering Festival is held for mountaineers every year on the northern slopes of the mountains. The festival attracts mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country and beyond. It’s the perfect opportunity for adventurers to explore the mountains and immerse themselves in the local culture. These mountains are a hidden gem for adventurers who want to explore unusual places with unique geological formations and fascinating scenery. Visitors can hike and climb while admiring the natural beauty of the area. While the challenging terrain makes it ideal for experienced climbers, beginners can also explore the mountain ranges with a knowledgeable guide.
As a result, the Esence Mountains, with their natural beauties and rich geological formations, offer a unique mountaineering experience and are a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or a novice, Esence Mountains has something for everyone and its breathtaking scenery will no doubt leave a lasting impression.