2 day treks you can do in the Zagros Mountains of Iran

Zagros mountain range

This trip was sponsored by Key2Persia, who I had the chance to partner up with, in order to promote places off the beaten track within southern and eastern Iran. However, this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own

From the dry and desolate Persian Gulf shore to the rolling, green hills in Golestan province, Iran is one of the most geographically diverse countries I have ever been to, similar to the places I visited when I was traveling in Pakistan.

The Zagros Mountains, a 1,500-kilometer mountain range which stretches from northwest Iran to the shores of the Strait of Hormuz, drawing the Iraqi border, is one of those geographical elements that makes Iran even more fascinating, as they are the reason why a small region drastically switches to a different climate zone in just a few hundred kilometers.

This is the reason why Iran, and especially Zagros, has one of the largest nomadic populations on Earth, as they can find the perfect place to live, according to the season they are in, by just traveling for a couple of hours.

To know all the places I visited, check my ultimate 4-week itineray to Iran

Trekking Zagros Mountains


Wandering around the Zagros Mountains in Iran should be a great thing to do, not only for the Qashqai nomads, but also for foreign travelers.

After spending a few days in Tehran and visiting the classic Persian cities, including Yazd, Esfahan, and Shiraz, escaping from the desert and getting a real experience of nature will always be much appreciated.

The city of Shiraz is, perhaps, the best place from where to visit the Zagros Mountain range, as they are just a 2-hour drive away and you could even combine trekking with visiting some Qashqai nomadic camps.

During our visit to Shiraz and the rest of Fars province, we did 2 day-treks, which involved both climbing and river trekking.

Zagros mountains


Zagros Mountains map – Trek locations


Trek 1 – Dom e Asb

This is a pretty tough and adventurous trek, which involves some serious river trekking.

We left Shiraz at 5am in the morning and got to the starting point around 7am.

At the beginning of the trek, you basically climb the mountains that comprise the edge of the river. After a few hours and some epic views, you start going down to the river shore, where you can have lunch and take a rest before going back along the river.

The Zagros mountains
Zagros Mountains

The highlight of the trek is that the way back to the starting point goes through the river. It is not an easy task, as you will have to jump over rocks and do some occasional swimming, no kidding.

In case you are wondering, we had a 100% waterproof bag, in which we carried my DSLR, a drone, our phones, and food, so nothing got wet. The bag was necessary because, in some sections, you can’t even touch the bottom of the river.

Time to complete it: 6 to 8 hours

Zagros


Trek 2 – Ardeshiri Straight

This trek is similar to the previous one, in the sense that it also involves river trekking, but it is much less challenging, so it would be a more suitable options for beginners.

The reason is that the beginning of the trek is the river itself, so you don’t need to climb, plus the whole way is much shorter.

Basically, during the whole trek, you go swimming through a narrow canyon and, unlike the previous one, if you don’t want to get wet, you can also follow the river from the top of the canyon, although it would not be as epic.

Time to complete it: 3 to 4 hours

Zagros


Practical information for visiting the Zagros mountain range

Where are the Zagros mountains?

Like I said, the Zagros stretches for 1,500 kilometers, from north to south of the country, but the city of Shiraz is one of the easiest places to access them from. For both treks, the starting point is around 2 hours from the city. 

How to get there

There is no other way than getting there by car.

Do you need a guide?

I am an intermediate trekker and for the last years, I have been trekking in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and even climbed the Rakaposhi base camp in Pakistan independently but, for these two treks, I would not go alone, as I don’t have any river trekking experience plus, I don’t even own a waterproof bag.

I did the trek with Key2Persia and went with an experienced mountain guide, who brought all the gear needed and even meat for making a barbecue. We had such a great time.

You can organize a day-trek with the same company and, of course, the options are endless, as you could also do a longer trek, stay overnight and even spend some time with the Qashqai nomads.

When to visit Zagros Mountains

Spring and autumn would be the best two seasons. You can also go in summer, no problem, but it will be unbearably hot.

Trekking Zagros Mountains

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For booking accommodation

Use Booking.com for hotels and guesthouses

Check on Hostelworld for for backpacker hostels

For travel insurance (with COVID-19 coverage), I recommend:

1 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70

2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans)

 

For all your travel gear

Trekking equipment, books, etc, check on Amazon

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8 comments

  1. Really neat how this region has a huge nomad population. Talk about being a survivor, right? Go to where you thrive based on the season or other weather conditions. The ultimate lesson in being flexible. Most humans rigidly cling to homes. I am a wee less attached being a digital nomad.

    Ryan

    1. We, digital nomads, have a similar lifestyle to them but trust me, many of them are quitting this life, basically because it is really, really hard. Depending on their flocks and dairy products to survive, moving constantly with all their animals, isn’t an easy task to do, nor a life! Cheers Ryan

  2. Very Informative post! You have traveled to some of the most beautiful countries Joan which we aspire to visit someday..we love your off-beat posts. Safe Travels.

  3. Hello, what about swimming in the river for women? Should I bring 4 changes of clothes (includin 4 pants, four long sleeve tshirts and 4 tuniques), since both days you get wet?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sole, there is neither police nor people over there. On the secodn day, there was actually a woman with us and she was unveiled the whole day, so I don’t think clothes would be a big deal

  4. Hello dear, first of all it’s an interesting article about your adventure and I’m glad about it, but as a matter of fact, Shiraz which is a paradise in Iran, is not the only way tourists can trek Zagros mountain, there are different province, even with huge culture diversities, such as Lorstan or Kurdistan that their culture and traditions are way different from Iranian or Persion .

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