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9 Incredible Mountain Treks in Iran
Have you ever considered Iran as a destination for your vacation? If yes, what were your reasons? The historical sightseeing or exotic food? Or maybe the chance of experiencing a different culture and enjoying its various customs?
Did you know you can book a tour in which you can experience Iran’s diverse nature, including deserts, mountains, forests, and shores?
Iran covers 1,648,195 km of the earth in which you can experience one of the most diverse climates and natural sceneries in the world. From snowy mountain tops like the Damavand peak to the hottest point on earth in the Lut desert, Iran won’t let those in love with nature down.
Although nothing beats first-hand experience, we will go on a journey together here in order to know more about Iran’s mountains and what it would be like to climb the mountains of Iran.
Iran has two main ranges of very beautiful and diverse mountains, with different kinds of peaks and climates which include beautiful sceneries as well, making the country one of the best sites for hiking and camping. Iran also includes some of the best natural ski slopes of the Middle East, so if you visit the country in winter, you will have plenty of chances to ski in the beautiful mountains of different cities of Iran like Tehran, Shahre-Kurd, Isfahan, Ardebil, and many other cities.
The story of a country with mountains, deserts, forests, lakes, rivers, and seas alongside each other, a four-season country with nature resorts and camping sites will be a very long one, this journey you will go on in this blog would be an encapsulation of Iran’s mountains.
Ready to go on an exciting adventure? Venture Into Off-The-Beaten Tracks of Iran! Check out all our Hiking and Trekking Tours of Iran here.
The Alborz Mountain Range
The Alborz Mountain range is one of the two main mountain ranges in the country, covering the northern part of Iran as it spreads from the northwest to the northeast. Let’s pack our bags and virtually climb the Alborz from different cities through which it passes to some of its beautiful peaks and see with our imagination the incredible views.
If we choose to start our journey from Tehran which is located on the southern side of the Alborz Mountains, we will experience a very much drier climate compared to the northern side of the mountains. The northern side of the Alborz Mountains eventually faces the Caspian Sea, which is why that side is covered with forests and has a very humid climate. There are many tours that offer you a hike of the Alborz, and the most common peaks to climb are Damavand and Sabalan. We will climb them too here, right now!
Damavand, the Roof of Iran
As we pack our bags and choose one of the sixteen routes to the peak of Damavand, a tour guide named Ali starts telling us about Damavand’s many stories and legends.
Damavand is the highest point of Iran, he says, with 5671 meters of height and a crater covered in snow. It is a dormant volcano with smoke coming out of its southern side, it actually is Asia’s highest volcano. Damavand is the ultimate destination for many Iranian hikers, and if you are a person in love with nature, this is a hike you do not want to miss. Although the snowy crater is beautiful, and the view you are going to see when you finally reach the mountain top is extraordinary; the routs to Damavand and the foothills of the Alborz Mountains are so diverse and beautiful. Talking on behalf of many climbers who have shared their experiences of climbing Damavand, it is the way, not just the peak that makes the journey worth taking.
You may be wondering what Damavand means to and what does it stand for in Iran’s culture and literature. The tour guide, Ali, will tell you, Damavand has been used numerous times in poetry and drama. It is a symbol of greatness, power, and endurance. As one of the contemporary Persian poets, Bahar, puts it; Damavand is like a white demon in chains, it is the roof of the world. Respectively, Damavand has been given the title of the roof of Iran.
Sabalan, a Surprise on Top
The next mountain top the tour offers would be Sabalan. Getting to Sabalan is a completely different experience. We need to travel to the city of Ardebil in the northwest of Iran and start our journey there. It is very much colder than Tehran, and Sabalan itself is totally different from Damavand.
As we are getting ready to start the climb, Ali tells us about the background and the legends related to Sabalan. It is believed that the Iranian prophet, Zaroastra ascended from Sabalan and started his spiritual journey. This special mountain still is one of the most respected among the locals and the nomadic people, they even use its name as a sign of keeping their promises.
Going back to nature, Sabalan can be considered as one of the most generous of mountains, and full of surprises! On the foothills of Sabalan, you can find the best of Iranian hot springs in the cities of Sarein and Shivan Darreh. It is on the crater of Sabalan that you will be surprised as you will encounter a lake. It is a very beautiful scene to watch which makes the hike worth taking. This lake freezes in winter and actually adds to the beauty of it.
Talesh through Soubatan Village; a Cherry on Top
Among the tour members, there is someone who asks about some pictures she has seen of a beautiful village on the foothills of the Alborz. The tour guide, Ali tells you all about that village, Soubatan. It is a very beautiful village full of green meadows and exotic flowers that is one of the most visited camping sites in Iran. There are also many tours to Soubatan on the special seasons.
Talesh is a part of the Gilan province of Iran, another of the districts bordering the Caspian Sea. The Talesh Mountains are easier to climb compared to Damavand or Sabalan, and the scenery is also different. Not snowy peaks or a lake on the crater, the Talesh Mountains as a sub-range of the Alborz Mountains will present you beautiful forests on the mountain hills and incredible meadows.
Climbers will join ordinary people in approving a splendid camping experience in the Talesh Mountains which is a must on tours offered by agencies.
The Zagros Mountain Range
We can now continue our journey to the Zagros Mountain range. The Zagros Mountains as the second main mountain ranges of Iran we are going to discover spreads from the northwest to the southeast of the country. Containing many sub-ranges, the Zagros Mountain range has been home to humanity for a very long time. There are signs of people living in the caves of the Zagros from the Paleolithic period. Also, the Zagros has always been a central point of life for many tribes and nomads of Iran.
Dena, an Incredible Sub-range
Dena as our first destination in the Zagros Mountains is itself a sub-range, crossing the cities of Isfahan, Kohkilouyeh, and Boyer-Ahmad and Chahar-Mahal and Bakhtiari. From any of these cities, Ali tells you, climbing Dena would be possible. Here your camping and climbing will include a lot of wildlife and plains full of flowers.
The tour guide Ali also tells you that the Dena sub-range includes more than 49 peaks with an average height of 4000 meters like Ghash Mastan. This sub-range includes one of the most important nature reserve areas of Iran. The name of this sub-range was originally Dehnar or Deh Anar meaning village of pomegranate, presumably an ancient village which its ruins are still present on the plains of the Dena Mountains.
Zardkouh, a Chance of Meeting the Bakhtiari Tribe
Climbing Zardkouh involves some exotic adventures offered by tours, which is a chance of experiencing life in a tribe, going through winter and summer migrations. Ali tells you about one of the oldest tribes of Iran, the Bakhtiari tribe who have chosen Zardkouh and its foothills and mountain tops as their migration spot.
About Zardkouh itself, it is located in the Chahar-Mahal and Bakhtiari province of Iran, with the height of 4221 meters, the name of this peak means the yellow mountain due to the yellow color of its peak coming from the yellow dirt underneath the surface of it which is usually covered in snow.
Oshtorankouh, the Alps of Iran
There is a special place for Iranian mountain climbers and hikers among the mountains of Iran, which has been nicknamed the Alps of Iran. A heaven for hikers, this mountain peak is located on the east side of the Lorestan province with a height of 4150 meters. This sub-range of the Zagros Mountain range has lots of snowy peaks, flowing rivers, diverse wildlife, lakes, and mines.
A special offer in tours to this part of Iran and one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of the country is the lake Gahar in Oshtorankouh, which gloriously carries the nickname of the Signet of Zagros.
Shaho; the Place of Kings
Our tour guide Ali tells us about the Iranian Kurdistan and its many beautiful sceneries, some of which present because of the Zagros Mountains. One of these many beauties is the Shahou sub-range with its highest peak of 3390 meters. One of the most beautiful villages of Iran, Uraman-Takht valley with its step-like homes is a must-visit which is always offered in tours.
Also in the Iranian Kurdistan, in the city of Marivan and on the foothills of the Zagros, is the lake Zerivar which is such a beautiful gift of the Zagros to the earth.
Sahand Mountains; the Bride of Iran’s Mountains
Climbing in Iran is not limited just to these two mountain ranges which we traveled through this blog. There are smaller ranges as well in different parts which promise a spectacular view and an interesting climbing experience to those in love with nature.
One of them, Ali tells you, is the Sahand Mountains which gloriously carries the nickname of the bride of Iran’s mountains due to its always green and full of flowers foothills. Sahand Mountains has the most different texture compared to the Alborz or the Zagros, as it is mostly dirt, not stones. This makes the Sahand Mountains easier to climb. According to climbers who have already climbed it, the easier climbing sessions include joyous camping experiences due to the beauties the nature of this part of Iran bestows on its visitors.
Kerman; the Wonderland of Iran
The city of Kerman in the southeast of Iran is a wondrous land, the tour guide tells you. On one side it borders one of the deserts of Iran, on the other side it faces mountains full of gardens.
The Hezarkouh Mountain gives Kerman its diverse texture, meadows, and gardens full of flowers. With its highest peak of 4351 meters named Lalehzar, meaning a land full of flowers, Kerman has both deserts and foothills alongside each other. And it is all offered to you by various tours.
Iran; a Four-Season Country
We can continue our imaginary trip to know Iran’s mountains more from a different angle. This new perspective can help us see what makes Iran such a diverse four-season country; it is the mountains. If we look at Iran from above, the two main mountain ranges of Iran, Alborz and Zagros will look like two huge hands holding Iran tight in their arms. Inside this huge hug are Iran’s deserts, Lut and Namak. On the other side, we have mountain hills covered in forests, full of beautiful rivers and lakes.
A trip to Iran won’t only involve historical sightseeing, though that is a must when you visit Iran. It can be a heaven for those in love with nature; you can book tours on our website, visit our Iran and enjoy all of these diverse sceneries and experiences.