Alborz Mountain Range
Alborz mountain range is a major mountain range in Northern Iran, located south of the Caspian Sea. In Persian it’s called Resht-e Kouh-hayeh Alborz. There are various spellings of these mountains as follows: Elborz, Alburz, Albourz, and Elburz. The length is around 900 km, stretching from Azarbaijan, (“northeast Iran”, close to the Turkish border), all the way to the Khorasan region in “northwest Iran.”
There are many rivers, hot and cold springs, lakes, amazing canyons, national parks, protected areas, wild life, birds, a wide range of forests similar to Hyrcanian forests, “UNESCO natural sites”, waterfalls, and ski resorts in this enormous mountain range. In addition, there are human settlements inhabited by nomads. The mountains, alongside the south side of the Caspian Sea, formed a special ecosystem with particular weather conditions. Surprisingly, the flora on the northern side of the mountain range are quite different from that of the south.
There is an abundance of high-altitude mountains above 4,000 m which is the home base for Iranian adventurers; e.g. trekking, mountain biking, Ultra Trail Running, ice climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing, rafting, ski and ski touring. For those who thought Iran to be a flat, desert like country, it’s interesting to know there are 148 mountains above 4,000 m registered in Iran, the majority being located in the Alborz mountains.
The three main highest peaks are in this range. There are several mountain clubs in this country catering for all types of mountain activities during the yearly seasons. Iranian climbers are also active in ascending the renowned Himalayas.
Alborz mountain range is categorized as three different segments due to its geographical sector, Western, Central, and Eastern Alborz. Each section of this mountain range has its own unique beauty. Adventure Iran conducts a variety of activities in the whole of this mountain range.
West Alborz mountains have many sub-ranges such as the mountain chain of Talesh, (Tylesh or Tavalesh). Iranian nomads of differing heritages can be found during their seasonal migration, (Kooch in Persian), in the west of the Alborz range. Volcano Mount of Sabalan (4,811 m), the 3rd highest mountain in Iran, is also located in the west of the Alborz range. The amazing historical Valley of Alamut, its renowned long trail, plus the ancient Alamut Castle are also situated here.
In the middle of the Alborz mountain range, north of Tehran, lies the Central Alborz Mountains, in Persian called “Reshte Kouh hayeh Alborz Markazi”. It is home to the highest, most famous Iranian peaks, the first one being the staggering Mt Damavand at 5,610m, actually the highest peak in the Middle East and the highest volcanic mountain of Asia. Mt. Alamkuh, 4,850 m above sea level is the second highest. This section is one of the most developed mountain areas with more shelters and facilities compared to the other two sides.
There are 5 ski resorts in Central Alborz with 3 of them being the most important ski resorts in the whole of Iran. The famous Lar National Park is also in this region. Most importantly, Adventure Iran has an annual Ultra Trail running race on Mt. Damavand in the Park.
Unexplored mountains and attractions exist east of Alborz Mountain Range where there are national parks and protected areas. Khar Turan National Park or Touran Wildlife Refuge are in that range. In addition, Golestan National Park is another example of a protected area that is home to an abundance of wildlife and birds. Mount Shahvar with its 3,945 m is the highest peak here. Adventure Iran has conducted many successful Mountain biking tours in this region.
To have better picture of the terrain and landscape of Central Alborz Mountains please have a look to the bellow videos which are made from some of our trek in Alborz Markazi Protected Area
Alborz Ski Region
Darbandsar Ski Resort