From the top of Oteller, a 90min walk along a jeep track will bring you to a tungsten mine. An obvious path slips up behind the mine’s guardhouse onto the broad, barren watershed ridge, just below the secondary summit of Zirve (2496m); follow this trail for a further 90min to a fork. The right-hand path leads to the main peak (2543m), though the cairned left-hand choice is more rewarding, descending slightly to overlook the first of Uludağ’s lakes, Aynalıgöl, reachable by its own side trail 30min beyond the junction.
While Aynalıgöl holds campsites, there are none at Karagöl, the second and most famous lake, 15min southeast, sunk in a deep chasm and speckled with ice floes. Kilimligöl, the third substantial lake, is tucked away on a plateau southeast of Karagöl and offers more good high-altitude camping. The crags above Aynalıgöl conceal two smaller, nameless tarns.
As long as the weather is good, when you return to Oteller you can stay with the ridge rather than revisiting the tungsten works, passing below the ruined hut on Zirve to meet a faint trail. This soon vanishes and thereafter it’s cross-country downhill along the watershed as far as Cennetkaya, a knoll above the hotels, served by a marked trail. High above the trees, crowds and jeep tracks, you just might glimpse patches of the distant Sea of Marmara to the north.