Hiking Dar Abad, Tehran

Just to the near northwest of Tehran, (drive to the top of Sabari Blvd, turn right, and you are almost there) a re-entrant from the Alborz Mountains (a note from the Iran Geological Survey suggests Dar Abad mountain is created by the major fault line running across northern Tehran) lies Dar Abad. As a walking/hiking and picnic area, and escape from the bustling streets of Tehran, it is to be firmly recommended. For the physically nimble and fit, the mountain named Dar Abad itself rises to a height of 3370m at a place called Toochal Peak.

For the geologically-minded, the Dar Abad re-entrant is formed by two parallel ridges with low ground in between them. The area of low ground itself is the re-entrant, and it is defined by the ridges surrounding it. In this case, the re-entrant is etched into the side of the Alborz Mountains by the water flow, and contains both a small stream – which is presumably quite a torrent during the snow melt in Spring – and loose rocks from eroded rockfall.

The area is, as with most of Tehran vicinity, characterised by brown and beige colouring, a dry and dusty environment, and lined by dusty khaki trees. There is very little low foliage. The Google Earth overview of it describes it perfectly: majority beige, with a spider vein of khaki winding its way between the ridges.

At the base of the hill, the stream emerges from the rift and the rather wide banks of the creek are used primarily for picnicking. I am told to avoid Fridays (the local equivalent of a Sunday) for the masses that pile into the creek bed and picnic. This day, it was calm, with just a few other walkers and a few others picnicking under the azure skies, in the shade of the creek-bed foliage.

ImageAbove the picnic areas, and on the eastern side of the re-entrant, a steep climb to the top of the mountain is provided by a pretty well-maintained track, about 2m wide in most places. While I say mostly well kept, there are a couple of sections that are rough and would not take small children or the infirm.

The trail itself is not for faint of heart, sufferers of poor cardiac health, the nor the hiker with any hint of vertigo in the family. As the track climbs one the ridgeline, it rises on one side and drops on the other. The drop sides of the trail are unprotected (although in many places some seedlings have been dropped in to become, presumably, hand-grabs for those who come tumbling off the path. A fall on the drop-side of the ridge would result in a very steep, rapid descent guaranteed to meet your maker before you hit the creek at the bottom.

If you forget water (and you really, really shouldn’t) after hiking for about 10 minutes from the car-park, there is a quaint cafe built onto the side of the trail. From there it is up, up, up. And it is dry, dry, dry.

For those living in Tehran, it is well worth spending a morning there, although not on a Friday if you can help it. Bring really sturdy shoes and climb to Toochal if you feel very, very fit.

See here for the map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=dar+abad+tehran&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1525&bih=634&bvm=pv.xjs.s.en_US.6PYzwk9faGo.O&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=tFNJUt_3M8TuswbwxIG4BQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAjgU

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2 thoughts on “Hiking Dar Abad, Tehran

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