Iran's Highest Peaks: A Comprehensive Guide
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Damavand, the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East is one of those special mountains that plays an important role not only in Iran’s geography but also in its people’s culture. It is a mountain intertwined with many myths and is considered sacred to all Iranians. Damavand can be called the most famous mountain in Iran, it has also been registered as a national heritage site of Iran. Damavand is also the highest volcanic peak in Asia, and many climbers dream of ascending this unique peak. Damavand has an elevation of 5,610 meters and is estimated to be about 38,500 years old. If you are planning to climb Damavand, it’s good to know that this peak has four main ascent routes and seven shelters have been built on these routes. The cities of Damavand, Amol, and Tehran are the closest cities to the Damavand peak.
Alam-Kuh, with an elevation of 4,850 meters, is the second-highest peak in Iran. Alam-Kuh has four ascent routes, and for climbing from some of Alam-Kuh’s routes, you must be very professional and skilled in rock and cliff climbing. This is because this mountain is technically the most challenging in Iran and holds a global position similar to K2 in Pakistan. The southern face route is the easiest, and the northern face route with a wall length of 650 meters is the most challenging ascent to the peak. Kelardasht in Mazandaran, Parachan, and Taleghan are the closest towns to Alam-Kuh.
Sabalan is located in the Ardabil province and, standing at 4,850 meters, is the third-highest peak in Iran. The foothills of this mountain attract many tourists due to the presence of natural hot springs. In the summers, it’s sought after for its beautiful nature and nomadic tribes, and in winter, it’s renowned for the Alvares ski slope.
There are three routes to ascend this peak. The northeastern route is the most common, and during the warm months, you can climb to the summit in just a few hours using this path. If you reach the peak, seeing a beautiful lake atop the mountain will make your ascent even more memorable. Ardabil and Meshgin Shahr are the closest cities to Sabalan.
Takht-e Soleyman Peak is located in the Mazandaran province. Interestingly, there’s also a peak with the same name in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. The Takht-e Soleyman Peak in Iran, with an elevation of 4,659 meters, is one of the highest peaks in Iran, and many climbers choose this peak for ascent. In the Alam-Kuh and Takht-e Soleyman areas, three shelters have been built, but two of them are practically unusable in winter due to the volume of snow.
Since Takht-e Soleyman Peak is connected to the surrounding mountains, there are many ways to ascend it, which are primarily categorized into three main routes: southern, northern, and western. Kelardasht is the closest city to the Takht-e Soleyman Peak.
Qolleh Hazar is the highest peak in Kerman, with an estimated elevation of 4,501 meters. This mountain is the fourth largest in Iran and is considered the highest peak in the south of the country. The nature of Mount Hazar is unique, and it is named “Hazar” (meaning “thousand” in Persian) due to the thousand types of plants that form its vegetation. The main ascent route to the Qolleh Hazar peak is its northern face, starting from a hill overlooking the Zardrud waterfall. If you plan to climb this peak, it’s best to choose the month of Khordad (around June in the Gregorian calendar) for a safer and better ascent.
Bab Zangi village, the highest residential area in Iran, is also located in these mountains, and its inhabitants live there throughout the year. The city of Kerman is the best base for accessing this peak.