Home Travel Guides A Step-by-Step Guide to Climbing Mount Sabalan

A Step-by-Step Guide to Climbing Mount Sabalan

Mount Sabalan

by Parastoo Sahebi
9 minutes read
Mount Sabalan

Mount Sabalan is a beautiful and majestic mountain located in the northwest of Iran. It is the third-highest peak in Iran, standing at an elevation of 4,811 meters (15,784 feet). The mountain is known for its stunning landscapes, including rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and hot springs. Climbing Mount Sabalan is a challenging but rewarding experience, and this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your journey to the top.


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General information

Mount Sabalan is located 35 kilometers west of Ardabil city and 25 kilometers southeast of Meshginshahr city in Iran. This mountain has three main peaks named Haram, Kasra, and the highest and most famous peak, Sabalan. Sabalan is a semi-active volcano, and interestingly, there is a small lake at the top of its peak that is considered one of the attractions of this mountain.


Tourist Attractions of Mount Sabalan

Mount Sabalan and its surrounding environment have many tourist attractions that attract the attention of many climbers.


Zoroaster and Sabalan

According to many locals and various books, including Nietzsche’s work, Sabalan was the place of Zoroaster’s mission, and the naming of this mountain by the Savalan Turks was for this reason (the word “sav” means revelation in Turkish, and “alan” means region, which combines to create the word “revelation region”.)

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Sabalan Lake

There is an oval-shaped lake at the top of the mountain with a depth of 40 meters, which is frozen and icy in three seasons except for the summer. The southern part of this lake is always snowy and icy because the sun does not shine in that area. There are rocks of various minerals such as andesite, trachyte, basalt, etc., around the lake that reach inside the lake in some parts.

Sabalan Lake has no cracks or fissures, and the water in it is supplied by snow and rain. Due to the presence of the mentioned minerals, no living creature lives in this lake. This lake, with a height of 4811 meters, is located among the highest lakes in the world.

Mount Sabalan

Eagle Stone or Gharatal

A natural stone in the shape of an eagle sitting and looking eastward is considered a symbol of Sabalan. The location of this attraction is in the western front next to the shelter.


Alvares Ski Resort

This ski resort was established in 1985, 30 kilometers from Sarin, at the foot of Sabalan. Due to its high altitude above sea level, this ski resort is very cold, and even in summer, there is a possibility of snowfall. The facilities of this complex can be used on weekends in late winter and throughout the year.

To climb the south route to the summit of Sabalan, you have to start from this ski resort.


Kohneh Qaleh

Kohneh Qaleh is an ancient castle near Meshginshahr, which is registered as a national monument. The construction of this castle dates back to the Sassanid era, and the high brick walls, tall towers, and inscriptions of the builder are among the attractive features of this castle.

Mount Sabalan

Vegetation Cover

Plants such as various types of barberry, garlic, thistle, red rose, Ronas, cow tongue flower, lily, and tulip grow in the foothills of Sabalan.


Animal Diversity and Climbing Routes of Mount Sabalan

Mount Sabalan is one of the most diverse peaks in terms of animal diversity in Iran. Brown bears, roe deer, foxes, jackals, hares, wolves, owls, hoopoes, skylarks, swallows, magpies, golden eagles, and wild goats are among the animals found in Mount Sabalan.


Climbing Routes to Sabalan

One of the advantages of this mountain is the existence of various climbing routes with different levels of difficulty, which both beginner and professional climbers can join in.

Mount Sabalan, located in the Ardabil Province of Iran, offers an exhilarating and diverse array of routes for climbers seeking to conquer its majestic peaks. With its snow-capped summit standing at an elevation of approximately 4,811 meters (15,784 feet), Mount Sabalan presents a challenging yet rewarding adventure for mountaineers of various skill levels.


North-East Route:

This is a common route that starts from the Abegarm Shabil hot spring, located on the Ardabil-Meshginshahr road, south of Lahrud city and reaches the summit by passing through a shelter and using the eastern ridge. The shelter-to-summit path is completely clear and marked with guide flags in most parts. This slope is simple, and even novice climbers can easily climb it in a few hours (from morning to noon) in the summer.


West Route:

The West Route starts from the shores of Gharagol Lake and, after passing through the Hermchal and reaching the west shelter, reaches the summit of Sabalan.

Mount Sabalan

South Route:

The South Route starts from the south side of the summit and ends near the summit by using the eastern ridge. There is no shelter on this route. This slope is the most challenging route to climb this peak, which is made up of large rocks. Alvares Ski Resort, one of Iran’s most equipped ski resorts, is located on this route.


Choosing the Right Time for Climbing

The best time to climb Mount Sabalan is during the summer months from June to September. During this period, the weather is relatively mild, and the mountain is accessible. However, it is essential to check the weather forecast before embarking on your climb, as the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly.


Obtaining Necessary Permits

To climb Mount Sabalan, you need to obtain a permit from the local authorities. The permit can be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency, and you will need to provide your details, including your name, nationality, and passport number.


Preparing for the Climb

Climbing Mount Sabalan is a challenging experience that requires proper preparation. You should make sure you have the right gear, including hiking boots, warm clothing, a backpack, and a tent. It is also essential to bring enough food and water for the duration of your climb, as there are no facilities on the mountain.


On the Climb

During the climb, it is essential to pace yourself and take regular breaks to rest and rehydrate. The higher you climb, the thinner the air becomes, so it is essential to acclimatize yourself to the altitude gradually. It is also crucial to follow all safety guidelines and avoid taking any unnecessary risks.


Reaching the Summit

Reaching the summit of Mount Sabalan is an exhilarating experience that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. At the summit, you can take in the stunning scenery and enjoy a sense of accomplishment for having conquered the mountain. However, it is essential to remember that the descent can be just as challenging as the climb, and you should take care to avoid any injuries.

Mount Sabalan

Equipment Needed for a Trip to Mount Sabalan

Depending on the type of trip, whether it is recreational or otherwise, you need to collect the necessary equipment. For a recreational trip, you need suitable walking shoes, warm clothes, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, water and snacks, and a lightweight first aid kit. But if you plan to go mountaineering, you should travel with complete mountain climbing equipment.


What season is best for this trip?

Naturally, the best season for skiing enthusiasts is winter. Otherwise, summer is the best time to travel to Mount Sabalan. You can try Sabalan’s warm water and remember that the best time to climb Mount Sabalan is from around June or July to the end of September when the weather is warmer and relatively hot.



In this article from Eligasht, we prepared a complete guide to climb Mount Sabalan. Climbing Mount Sabalan is a challenging but rewarding experience that offers stunning views of the Iranian landscape. With proper preparation, the right gear, and the right mindset, anyone can reach the summit and enjoy the stunning scenery. Whether you are a seasoned climber or a beginner, Mount Sabalan is an experience that is not to be missed.


Frequently Asked Questions about Mount Sabalan:

What is the best season to climb Mount Sabalan?

The best season to climb Mount Sabalan is summer when the weather conditions are suitable.


What are the climbing routes to Mount Sabalan?

There are three routes to climb Mount Sabalan: the South Route, the North-East Route, and the West Route, with the North-East Route being the most popular.


Where is Mount Sabalan located?

Mount Sabalan is located 35 kilometers west of Ardabil city and 25 kilometers southeast of Meshginshahr city.

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