Click for Introduction to Central Alborz Mountains
Click for an overall map of Central Alborz
Click for a detailed map of Central Alborz
This file contains photos taken on a road that goes from the town of Baladeh in the Central Alborz Mountains of northern Iran to the coastal town of Royan/Alamdeh on the Caspian Sea coast (on a straight line, the distance between Baladeh and the Caspian Sea is 42 Km). The town of Baladeh sits at an elevation of 2050 m at the bottom of the Noor River Valley which runs east-west and is a major tributary of the Haraz River.
Noor Valley starts in the west at the 3170 m Labashm Pass and heads east down to an elevation of 700 m where it joins the Haraz River Valley. The bulk of the high peaks of the Central Alborz sit to the south of Noor Valley. To the north of the valley, you will find a 100 Km long ridgeline that goes from the Haraz Valley to the east, to the Chalus Valley to the west. Most of the peaks of this ridgeline have elevations in the 3300-3500 m range, except on the far west where the elevations exceed 3600 m and culminate in the 4030 m Veravasht Peak.
From Baladeh, the road makes a long series of switchbacks going up slopes that are covered by yellow grass to reach the 2970 m Tash Pass which sits between the 3365 m Felook Peak to the east and the 3435 m Siah Sang Peak to the west. From Tash Pass, you can look south to see some of the 4000 m peaks of Central Alborz. To the north, you will find yourself standing above the clouds from the Caspian Sea. The road then turns and twists going down the slopes into the Galand Rood River Valley where you will encounter the foggy Caspian forests that start at elevations of 2000-2400m and continue all the way onto the coastal plain.
Below, you will find the pictures of what you will encounter on this drive.
South of Tash Pass
From Baladeh (2050 m), the road quickly goes up to reach the 2970 m Tash Pass. You can look south to see some of the the high (4000 m) peaks of Central Alborz
At Tash Pass, you can look north to find yourself above the Caspian Sea clouds.
Tash Pass sits between the 3435 m Siah Sang Peak and the 3365 m Felook Peak
Vegetation Above Treeline
Before entering the forests, you will find beautiful plants such as these.
The Beginnings of the Forest
The forest begins in the low 2000 m range
In the upper 1000 m, lower 2000 m range
In the mid 1000 m range, you will enter a foggy/misty forest
Below the Clouds/Lower Forest
Deep Dark Forest
You can get off the road and hike into the deep dark forest
Along the road you will see rustic villages and expensive villas. The higher communities seem to be more rustic.