A hike up Çaldağı isn’t for the feint hearted. Çaldağı is a short drive from Fethiye. At well over 2,000m it can easily be seen from pretty much anywhere in the region.
Although not as well known as its neighbour Babadağ, we decided it was still worth a trek.
Late last year we gathered together a group of friends, ranging from casual hikers to the more experienced, and decided to head out for the day on a hike up Çaldağı that would definitely involve a lot of ‘up’.
We all met up around 7am for the drive towards Çaldağı. We got to within 800m of the summit before parking, knowing that we had the hardest part of the climb to come.
Çaldağı Here We Come!
The first part of the hike eased us in to the day. It began with a pleasant walk through forest and only a slight incline. It was still enough to make your legs and lungs appreciate the effort mind you!
Then the work really started. There is no way to describe the rest of the climb other than ‘up and more up’. I guess that’s what you expect if you choose to hike up a mountain!
Once we cleared the tree line the terrain became more rocky but the views also became more spectacular.
That Will Do For Today
We eventually reached a flat section where we all took a breath and took stock of our situation. Ahead of us was a narrow rocky ridge that led to the peak. At this point seven of the eleven hikers, including myself, decided that we had already achieved a great amount but didn’t want to pursue the journey any further. This was in part due to lack of experience for some, lack of energy for others, and lack of time overall.
Four hikers, and a dog, did decide to continue for a while but two plus dog turned back a short while later. The final two bravely continued and completed the entire hike.
Of course, turning back wasn’t the easy option. Our return journey retraced our steps down the steep rocky mountain, something that proved a little hard on the knees in places. We stopped half way for a bite to eat before making the final push to reach the cars.
In the end the stats don’t look that impressive. 6.95km, elevation gain of 849m and, well, quite a lot of time! But it was worth the hard work.
This year, once the snow has melted we are going to make another attempt to get to the summit. Hopefully, now we all know what is in store for us, we will be more prepared for what the day will entail. We will let you know how we get on!