I have been lucky enough to experience many beautiful lush green mountainous areas of Iran most westerners are virgin to. Thanks in part to a family who is passionate – if not more – about hiking as I am. I am blessed with experienced and professional hikers by my side to guide me wherever my heart desires for the week.
Photo 1, The Stairway to Heaven is about 4 levels high. Some choose to use the stairway as an entry to “paradise” others opt for another route that begins behind an old Hotel that is now shut down. The stairway is the starting point for most hikers
The “Stairway to Heaven” off Nahar Khoran in the Elborz Jungle
A great spot for beginners to advanced hikers begins ascension at a place that I call the “Stairway to Heaven”- a porthole to Ziarat-on Nahar Khoran rd. in Gorgan, Golestan province of Northern Iran – which takes several hours to overnight hiking in order to reach the destination of your choice.
If you are a beginner or first time hiker you may be out of breathe quickly on this trek so move slowly. There are some very dangerous spots that require great effort from your legs. When you see people old enough to be your grandparents walking up the mountain like it’s second nature to them, that will be all the encouragement you need to keep up and keep moving.
You can take a challenging beginners hike up a steep mountainside which can take beginners on average 45 minutes. You will smell the fires burning and kebab cooking when you are almost at the first camp or a rest stop: this is where many people refuel on water. Often hikers decide to stay at this spot for the day and enjoy nature along with a glass of fresh smoked chai.
If you are more advanced get an early morning start and head past the first camp site to the next which is marked by another water source. (Be careful of where you drink from as there are some “pond” like bodies of water that cater to the wild boars in the area.)
On a short note, planning a hiking trip in Iran is exceptionally affordable too (Whereas in USA there are fees for every freaking tree we sit under it seems!). But the most important thing you will need, if you really want to enjoy the full benefits of what Mother Nature has to offer in Iran, is someone who knows the area well. You can find a guide-hopefully provided by a good travel agency-or any of the locals who are often willing to give advice or join tourist looking for an adventure in the Elborz jungle.
The birds, the people, and the water are all friendly. So, drink up get acquainted with hikers of all ages and enjoy this nice little camp spot, popular among the locals of Gorgan. My photos in this entry are of the first stop and the second stop will of course come later with my next post. 🙂
Tip: Always bring a friend, hiking in a group will assure your safety. I never hike alone. As for this area in Iran if you are unfamiliar please find an experienced guide or someone like me who has been there and done that to go along with you.