Best Tochal trekking routes in Tehran
Dar Abad peak route: Located northeast of Shemiran region, the route leading up to Dar Abad peak is one of the best trekking routes in Tehran. Dar Abad peak is 1750 m high and has a magnificent valley stretching for 2600 m towards the north and northwest. The springs on this route have created several beautiful waterfalls and lakes. To conquer Tochal summit through this route the mountaineers will have to conquer Dar Abad summit first which can be a separate trekking tour. A part of the rest of the route going up to Tochal summit resembles a blade known as Dar Abad blade. Passing through this part of the route requires great mountain climbing skills and proper planning, especially during winter when Dar Abad blade is covered by snow.
Kolakchal peak route: Kolakchal route is another popular trekking route in Tehran. Located north of Tehran, this route attracts many mountain climbers with its beautiful scenery and is a great choice for ecotourism on weekends. Kolackchal trekking route begins at Jamshidieh Park and reaches Kolckchal camp (2600 m). Trekking up to the camp takes approximately 2 hours and the route has a gentle slope. Despite being among the least dangerous trekking routes in Iran, it’s recommended to use mountain climbing equipment during winter. Passing by the camp, the route continues to the northwest, passes by Gorz Dareh mountain pass, and finally reaches Kolakchal summit (3340 m) from the northeastern ridge. The route also reaches Shirpala hut from the west side. It’s possible to conquer Tochal summit afterward by conquering the Pirazchal peak and then heading west on the arête.
Darband to Tochal peak route: Darband is one of the most popular trekking routes in Tehran. This region is 1800 m above sea level and this route passes SHirpala hut, Pas-E Qaleh, and Amiri Shelter. Although there may be some dangers on the way, the Darband route is the shortest and most commonly used path to Tochal summit. A part of the area near Shirpala hut is extremely steep and covered in rocks, forcing the mountaineering federation to install metal stairs and ropes. In addition, trekking on this route is rather difficult during winter as the ground is frozen in the lower parts, the holes on the ground get filled with snow and the ridge leading up to the summit is extremely windy.
Velenjak (Tochal Telecabin) to Tochal peak: Velenjak trekking route is one of the oldest and most appealing trekking routes in Tehran and is very popular among mountain climbers. This route begins at the end of Velenjak Street next to the parking lot of Tochal complex. It is an asphalt road up to the first station of Tochal Telecabin (cable car) and turns into a spiral dirt road with a gentle steep up to station 2 ( taking 1 hour). There are no facilities on the part of the route leading up to station 5 from station 2. Similar to any other trekking route, Velenjak trekking route may have a few risks during winter including the risk of avalanche in some parts. However, the existence of Tochal Telecabin (cable car), a dirt road leading up to the summit, and facilities on the way have made this route one of the safest in Iran. Several restaurants, cafes, and the food court in Bam- e Tehran, a ski resort near station 7, and a parking lot at the main entrance of Tochal complex are some of the facilities available on this route.
Darake to Palangchal route: Darake route is another one of the popular trekking routes in Iran. Darake region is 2550 m above sea level and the route goes through the stunning Palangchal valley and passes by a river. It’s also possible to get to Tochal peak by getting to Palangchal hut and then go on until station 5 in Mount Tochal. It’s best to only trek up to Azghalchal during winter as the rest of the route may hold risks such as avalanche. Note that Darakeh gets very crowded on weekends and national holidays due to the traditional restaurants located at the beginning of the route.
Many mountain climbers trek up to station 7 hoping they can descend by Tochal Telecabin (cable car); however, it’s important to note that the cable car line closes when the weather is unstable. In addition, the cable car line is only open until 3 pm during winter, and skiers are considered a priority except in case of emergencies.
The aforementioned routes are the most common Tehran trekking routes; however, there are other trekking routes in Tehran that may be dangerous.
Descending routes from Tochal peak
- Tochal telecabin: Descending by cable car is the best and fastest way to descend from Tochal peak. After a short trek down to station 7 from the peak, mountain climbers will be able to descend to Velenjak (Bam- e Tehran) by cable car. Note that this is not recommended for stormy and foggy weather.
- Descending to Amiri shelter then to Shirpala hut and Sarband square
- Descending to Amiri shelter then to Osoun valley and Sarband square