Towering more than 16,000 ft above sea level, you’ll get stunning views of this massive dormant volcano (and its smaller sister—just 12,000 ft ;) for hours before you arrive in the gritty, vibrant city of Dogubayazit at its base. From there, you can easily hitch a ride out to where the road ends and start hiking. Obviously, intensive training and careful packing will be required if you plan to summit; and a local guide (a selection of whom you’ll encounter in a “base camp” of sorts about halfway up) is recommended for traversing the ice fields that never melt on the upper reaches of the peak. But the view from the top—literally at the convergence of four countries; Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran—is hard to beat. You don’t have to summit, however, to experience some of the wonder of Ararat. The light at sunrise and sunset, the flash storms that roll through nearly every afternoon, the tundra plants and flowers, and the nomadic shepherd families who make their homes on the slopes during the Summer months combine to make this mystical mountain both peaceful and fiercely beautiful.