Darake and Tochal Hiking Trail, Tehran

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Shemshak, Tehran Province, Iran
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Duration

5 Hours

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10 people

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About this activity

The Darake and Tochal Hiking Trail: A Guide to Tehran’s Crown Jewel

The Darake and Tochal hike is a must-do for any nature lover visiting Tehran. It offers stunning scenery, diverse terrain, and the opportunity to reach the summit of Mount Tochal, the highest peak in the Alborz Mountains. Here’s all you need to know about this iconic trail:

The Trail:

  • Starting Point: Darake Village, a charming village nestled at the foot of the Alborz Mountains. Easily accessible by taxi or metro from Tehran (Tajrish Square or Emamzadeh Hashem Station).
  • Length: The full Darake-Tochal trail is approximately 12.67 miles (20.4 km) out-and-back. You can customize the length by choosing where to turn back, with several scenic spots offering shorter options.
  • Elevation Gain: 5,092 feet (1,552 meters)
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging. The initial Darake valley section is gentle, perfect for beginners. As you ascend towards Tochal, the terrain becomes steeper and rockier, requiring good physical fitness and sure footing.
  • Highlights:
    • Cascading waterfalls in the Darake valley, especially after snowmelt.
    • Lush meadows and wildflowers in spring and summer.
    • Panoramic views of Tehran and the Elborz Mountains throughout the hike.
    • Diverse birdlife and wildlife sightings.
    • Optional cable car ride from the 5th station to the summit for spectacular views and a quicker descent.
    • Restaurants and cafes at various points along the trail, offering refreshments and traditional Iranian dishes.

Getting There:

  • Public Transportation:
    • Take the Tehran Metro to Tajrish Square or Emamzadeh Hashem Station.
    • From there, catch a taxi or shared van (dolmush) to Darake Village.
  • Private Car:
    • Drive to Darake Village. Parking is available near the trailhead.
    • Consider carpooling with fellow hikers to reduce traffic and environmental impact.

Tips for your hike:

  • Gear: Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good traction, layers of clothing depending on the season,sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of water.
  • Season: Spring and autumn offer pleasant temperatures for hiking. Winter can be challenging with snow and ice, while summer can be hot and dry.
  • Permits: No permits are required for the Darake section. For the Tochal summit, you may need a permit,especially during peak season. Check with local authorities for current information.
  • Guide: Consider hiring a local guide if you’re a first-time visitor or if you’re attempting the challenging Tochal summit.
  • Safety: Be aware of your surroundings, watch out for falling rocks, and stick to marked trails. Don’t attempt the Tochal summit in bad weather or if you’re not feeling well.
  • Respect: Dress modestly, especially near religious sites. Avoid littering and respect the natural environment.

Beyond the Hike:

  • Explore Darake Village and enjoy its local shops and restaurants.
  • Visit the Tajrish Bazaar in Tehran for a vibrant shopping experience.
  • Explore Tehran’s cultural attractions like museums, palaces, and gardens.

The Darake and Tochal hike is a stunning and challenging adventure that offers a glimpse into Iran’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. So lace up your boots, pack your essentials, and embark on this unforgettable journey!

Bonus Tip: Download offline maps and apps with Farsi translations to help you navigate the trail and communicate with locals.

Enjoy your hike!

Activity's Location

Shemshak, Tehran Province, Iran

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