Stark and elemental, the Bartang Valley (Долина реки Бартанг) is one of the wildest and most memorable valleys in the western Pamirs. Only the occasional fertile alluvial plain brings a flash of green to the barren rock walls. At times the fragile road inches perilously between the raging river below and sheer cliffs above. Indeed it's not rare for sections to become impossibly rough or require knee-deep fords. Still, strong 4WDs and even some adventurous motorcyclists (carrying enough fuel for 400km) have managed to traverse the whole valley in a few days.
Beyond Ghudara, it's theoretically possible (given seasonally repaired tracks) to continue to Kara-Kul on the Pamir Hwy via Kök Jar and Shurali, where geometric stone symbols are thought to have acted as an ancient Stonehenge-like solar calendar. Fortunately, Jizeu, near the western end of the valley and arguably the Bartang's most enticing highlight, is far less challenging to reach.