Click for Introduction to Central Alborz Mountains.
NOTE: The actual name of this peak is "Medoben" but hardly anyone knows it by that name.
Namak Abrood Peak
Between the coastal towns of Ramsar and Noshahr, the Alborz Mountains literally drop into the Caspian Sea. In some places, the distance between the mountains and the sea is only one Kilometers. These coastal mountains are generally around 1000 meters high. Their proximity to the Caspian Sea creates a virtual steam bath on their northern slopes and the coastal plain. Steep muddy/slippery slopes along with dense forests create many obstacles for those who wish to climb these peaks. The quick change of scenery in the Central Alborz is amazing. Traveling 40 Km south, will take you from this sub-tropical paradise to the permanently snow-capped peaks of Central Alborz , while another 50 Km, will get you into the arid central plateau of Iran.
Namak Abrood is a resort town that sits at the base of a mountain with the same name. Among the many attractions of this town, is a 2050 m long gondola line that goes from sea level to near the summit of the mountain clearing a path through the forest (a second line has also become operational since I visited the area is 2005). A trail that makes a seemingly endless number of switchbacks goes up the path under the lift through a dense growth of ferns and other bushes. This trail is roughly 4.5 Km long and can be muddy/slippery.
The 1:50 000 map gives an elevation of 1051 m for the summit of this mountain but shows that the Gondola line goes to a spot that is only 920 m high. The true summit sits about 800 m to the southeast of the top of the Gondola line. The mountain rises very abruptly from zero meters to 900 m but the summit of it (above 900 m) is a very large and gently sloped area that is heavily forested. This prevents the traveller from realizing that the gondola does not go to the true summit.
From the top of the gondola, you will have a superb view of the Caspian Sea and the narrow strip of land between the sea and the mountain. The area on the top is fenced and you will not be allowed to venture beyond the fence into the virgin forest. A restaurant, picnic tables and short hiking trails are provided in the forest on the top. This is a touristy place and is often crowded but you will find few people on the trail below the gondola line.
Caspian Sea from the top of the gondola line.
Getting ThereTake the coastal highway about 5 kilometers west of the town of Chalus until you see the sign for Namak Abrood. Distance from Tehran is roughly 200 Km.
Red TapeNo fees for hiking. You obviously have to pay to get on the lift.
When To ClimbAny time. In winter, you will encounter snow.
Caspian Sea from the trail below the lift