Home Travel Guides Shirez Canyon, a Dreamy Valley in Lorestan Province

Shirez Canyon, a Dreamy Valley in Lorestan Province

by Parastoo Sahebi
14 minutes read
Shirez Canyon

Iran, due to its unique geographical location, has many natural tourist attractions. If you are interested in visiting natural landscapes, you must include them in your Iran travel list. One of these natural tourist attractions is Shirez Canyon in Lorestan Province, which not only offers exceptional scenery and weather but also has a rich historical background. Visiting this strait will be a unique experience for any tourist. If you are interested in exploring the natural wonders of your country and getting to know them, join us in this article with Eligasht to learn more about Shirez Canyon, the dreamy valley in Lorestan Province.

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Introduction to Shirez Canyon

Shirez Canyon is one of the most amazing and beautiful natural attractions in the western part of the country, located in Lorestan Province and the Zagros Mountains, about fifty kilometers from Kuhdasht. This strait is known as the Grand Canyon of Iran and is registered as a geopark in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the national heritage of our country. What sets this valley apart from other valleys in the Zagros mountain range are its small and large springs and the flowing and beautiful river that creates an interesting contrast with its rocky and rugged surroundings. The presence of wild trees and tall, cliffs has added to the charm and popularity of this strait.

This strait is located near the Seymare River, between Lorestan and Ilam provinces, and has a length of nearly five kilometers, with walls reaching a height of 150 to 200 meters. It is worth mentioning that the lowest slopes of these strait walls can be seen near the village of “Gadargah,” and as you approach the end of the valley in the “Haft Rak” section, the walls have the highest slope.


History of Shirez Canyon

It is interesting to know that the age of Shirez Canyon, this national geopark, dates back millions of years, making it historically significant. This gorge, characterized by layered rock formations, has taken its current shape over many years. It is said that the existence of this site dates back to the 5th to 7th centuries BC and has reddish soil. Numerous historical artifacts, such as pottery, have been discovered in this area and transferred to a museum. In the Shirez Valley, there are very ancient archaeological sites. Unfortunately, some of the historical artifacts in these archaeological sites were stolen and looted before the revolution.


Shirez Canyon under the Historical Microscope

You might find it interesting to know that there are several historical caves around this Canyon. It can be said that from the beginning to the end of this valley, there are several prehistoric caves, with initial studies dating back to 20,000 years ago. Additionally, there are ancient olive trees called “Vareh Zardeh” around Shirez Canyon, which have been registered as natural heritage of Lorestan. It is worth mentioning that on the way to reaching this gorge, the historical cave of Homayan with beautiful and remarkable rock paintings can be seen. In another part, there is a village called Zanur or Zaron with a shrine called Zanur. This area has also been a summer resort and grazing land for nomads, and it is important in terms of ethnography.

Overall, it can be said that Shirez Canyon, with its pristine and untouched nature, is one of the oldest natural museums in the world, and the artifacts found there indicate life in ancient times and cave dwellings.

Shirez Canyon

Reason for Naming the canyon

But perhaps you’re curious about why this place is named Shirez Canyon. It is said that the locals believe the name of this area is a local term that has been passed down orally among the villagers for many years. However, the exact meaning of this word is not known, as even in the local language, “Shirez” does not have a specific meaning. Furthermore, due to the rugged nature of this word, Shirez Canyon is pronounced with various accents, making it harder to trace the origin of the word.


Local Legends

Different legends are told about the reason for naming Shirez Canyon. These stories either refer to the similarity of this name to the names of ancient kings (like Shirzad) in the region or to the presence of animals, such as lions and other animals, in the walls of this gorge. Some also consider this name a combination of the two words “Shir” and “Zar” and believe that over time, it transformed into “Shirez.” However, none of these theories are valid or reliable.

It seems that the name of this gorge was chosen locally and randomly in the distant past. Although the pronunciation of the name of this area can change over time due to the different accents of the residents of the surrounding areas. Today, historians consider the naming of Shirez Canyon to be a native pronunciation that has taken on its form over time, and its roots are unclear.


Features of Shirez Canyon

The Canyon is surrounded by lush and beautiful vegetation, including forests, which are mostly untouched and pristine. One of the first things that attracts people to this area is the combination of plants and trees with rocky cliffs. After taking a few steps through the valley, you will see clear and flowing springs that create a soothing sound in the silence of the valley. The gorge is also full of intertwined passages that lead to beautiful natural landscapes. Additionally, the good weather and constant river flow in this area have led to the growth of oak, plum, grape, and fig trees among the rocks.


River and Fishing

The presence of rivers flowing into this Canyon has created beautiful springs in this valley that captivate the eyes of every observer. The dance of the sparkling waterfall from the mountain heights to the valley, which shatters into pieces upon reaching the rocks, creates an exceptional scenery that never fails to impress. It should be noted that delicious fish live in this river, so if you are into fishing, you can bring your fishing equipment to this area and catch some tasty rainbow trout for your lunch.


Attractions of Shirez Canyon

But you may want to know what attractions this Canyon has and what it is famous for. Stay with Eligasht to introduce you to these tourist attractions.


Parandegan Waterfall

One of the main attractions of Shirez Canyon is the Shirez Waterfall, which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Lorestan and is considered one of the most beautiful parts of this gorge. It mesmerizes the eyes with its cascades between the winding rocks. This waterfall, along with the layered sedimentary walls of Shirez Valley, creates an exceptional landscape. It should be noted that there are also other small waterfalls along this gorge. It is also known as the “Parandegan Waterfall” due to the presence of small birds in the crevices and openings around this waterfall and in the walls. If you manage to see them, you will never forget this experience!

Shirez Canyon

Shirez Minaret

Another remarkable sight in this gorge is the Shirez Minaret. Over the years, erosion in the rocks of the Canyon, due to rainfall and air currents, has formed a column-like structure within the gorge. Interestingly, this rock column is known as the “Shirez Minaret.” It reaches a height of 80 meters and has a diameter of about 10 meters.


God’s Bridge Cave

God’s Bridge Cave is another natural attraction in the Shirez Canyon area. In fact, at the end of the Canyon path, you can see a natural cave known by the locals as “God’s Bridge.” The depth of this cave is approximately 150 meters, and sunlight does not reach its interior. It’s important to note that the absence of sunlight inside the cave leads to a decrease in the water temperature. If you plan to enter the cave and walk inside, it is recommended to wear warm clothing and be cautious of the cold water and sharp rocks on the cave floor to avoid any injuries.


How to Get to Shirez Canyon?

The areas surrounding Shirez Canyon are known as “Oladghaba” by the locals. This region is part of the cold mountainous areas of the country, with an elevation of approximately 1,100 meters above sea level. To visit this gorge, you can first travel to Kuhdasht in Lorestan province. The nearest and most suitable access route to this area is through the city of Kuhdasht.

By taking the Oladghaba road in north of Kuhdasht, you will reach the Seymare River. Continuing along the river and following the road, you will reach the entrance of the gorge. It’s worth mentioning that the access route to this gorge passes through an asphalt road, and only the final two kilometers are unpaved. Therefore, you can reach the initial part of the valley by private car and then continue on foot with suitable equipment.

Apart from the mentioned route, it is also possible to access the gorge from Kermanshah. Some tourists travel from Kermanshah on a road to the Canyon, but the Kuhdasht route towards this gorge is considered the most suitable and of better quality.


Important Points to Remember When Visiting the Canyon

When visiting certain natural areas, it’s important to keep in mind some important points. If you plan to visit Shirez Canyon, remember that it is a rocky area and not suitable for everyone. It’s better to have hiking and mountaineering equipment with you. Additionally, there are no facilities or amenities in this area, and it remains untouched. It is necessary to have a flashlight or headlamp, wear comfortable clothes, and a hat, and carry a lightweight backpack with water and food. It’s also recommended to have extra warm clothing with you.

Avoid wearing open-toe shoes! If you plan for a picnic or camping, make sure to have professional camping gear and equipment. It’s worth noting that there is no mobile phone signal in this area. Before heading to the gorge, check the weather conditions. Overall, visiting this area is not suitable for children, elderly individuals, or those who are not physically fit.

Shirez Canyon

Best Time to Visit Shirez Canyon

Most of the western provinces of Iran are considered part of the cold regions due to their proximity to the Zagros Mountains. The cities of Kuhdasht and Shirez Canyon experience very cold and rainy weather for half of the year. Considering the structure and geographical location of the gorge, visiting this area during the autumn and winter seasons, especially during heavy rainfall, is not recommended due to the cold weather and the possibility of floods. If you plan to travel to this region, the best time to visit is during the spring and summer seasons.

It’s important to note that in the early days of spring, this area has cool weather with spring showers, but it becomes warmer during the summer. The volume of water in the Shirez River increases with the beginning of spring and remains abundant even during the summer.


Tourist Attractions around Shirez Canyon

There are various tourist attractions around the Canyon, and here we will briefly introduce some of them.

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Saratarhan Valley

One of the beautiful valleys in this area is Saratarhan Valley, through which the Seymare River flows. It’s worth mentioning that this beautiful valley is home to several Lur and Lak tribes.


Si Poleh Bridge

The presence of the Seymare River and other rivers in Kuhdasht County has led to the construction of numerous historical bridges. Today, each of these bridges is considered an important ancient monument. Si Poleh Bridge is one of these bridges, dating back to the Sassanian era.

Shirez Canyon

Mir-Malas Cave

Mir-Malas Cave, located near Kuhdasht County, is one of the prehistoric caves famous for its ancient paintings on its walls, dating back thousands of years. Tourists from all over the world come to visit this cave.


Final words

Shirez Canyon is one of the natural attractions of Iran. It is located in Lorestan Province, 50 kilometers from Kuhdasht County, at the foothills of the Zagros Mountain range. The gorge features layered rocks, high cliffs, and beautiful vegetation, alongside rivers and springs that create an exceptional landscape for visitors. This area is also historically significant, with a history spanning millions of years, and the surrounding caves were habitats of early humans. Shirez Canyon is registered as a national geopark and is listed as a national heritage site by UNESCO. It offers various tourist attractions such as Parandegan Waterfall, Shirez Minaret, and God’s Bridge Cave.



  1. How do I get to Shirez Canyon?

The nearest and most suitable access route to Shirez Canyon is through the city of Kuhdasht in Lorestan province. From Kuhdasht, you can take the Oladghaba road and follow it until you reach the Seymare River, which leads to the entrance of the gorge.


  1. What are some important points to remember when visiting Shirez Gorge?

When visiting Shirez Gorge, it’s important to keep in mind that it is a rocky area and not suitable for everyone. Make sure to have hiking and mountaineering equipment with you. There are no facilities or amenities in the area, so bring a flashlight, wear comfortable clothes, and carry a lightweight backpack with water and food. Avoid wearing open-toe shoes and be aware that there is no mobile phone signal in the area.


  1. What are the main attractions in Shirez Canyon?

Shirez Canyon offers several attractions, including Parandegan Waterfall, Shirez Minaret, and God’s Bridge Cave. The waterfall is a spectacular natural feature, while the minaret is a tall rock column formed by erosion. God’s Bridge Cave is a natural cave at the end of the gorge, known for its depth and lack of sunlight.


  1. Is it safe to visit Shirez Canyon during the rainy season?

It is not recommended to visit this Canyon during heavy rainfall or the rainy season. The area can be prone to floods and the cold weather might make the visit uncomfortable. It is best to plan your visit during the spring and summer seasons when the weather is more favorable.


  1. Can children and elderly individuals visit Shirez Canyon?

This canyon is not suitable for children, elderly individuals, or those who are not physically fit. The terrain is rugged, and the hike can be challenging. It is important to assess your physical capabilities and consider your safety before planning a visit to the gorge.

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