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The Tarem-Masuleh Trekking Route
By Afshin Iranpour (Kouh Magazine)
April 2005
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The following article appeared in the 31st issue of Kouh, a quarterly magazine dedicated to introducing Iranian outdoors activities. We are reproducing here with slight modifications. The writer trekked from the Tarem region by the Caspian Sea to the historic and picturesque village of Masuleh in the summer.

The bounteous QEZELOZAN River is the first sight we behold when passing through a mountain range that separates the city of ZANJAN from the TAREM region. An hour and a half from Zanjan is the village of DERAM. The cool water of the Qezelozan is refreshing. The river is around 600 meters above sea level. The fertile land on the banks of the river produces rice, potato, and melon.

Three kilometers on a dirt road takes us to the village of Komadasht. We spend the night in this village and set off early morning the next day. Two hundred meters along the dirt road, on its eastern side, we recognized the route that will take us to our final destination. The route is steep and moves along the canyon.

We reached an open valley after 6.2 km of trekking. Three mulberry trees give us a cool shade as well as the sweetness of their fruits. It is a wonderful rest. We then reach a region filled with shrubs and continue our way northward. In the heat of the summer, the steep slope took its toll.

One thousand two hundred meters trekking will take us to the crown of the mountain at 2,172 m. We traversed the southern foothill and after more than 2 km of trekking we arrived at a rangeland on the eastern side through pass, where we saw a huge herd of sheep and goat and were greeted by Shepard dogs. We accepted the hospitality of nomad tribes who come to this area every summer. Locusts were everywhere, so much so that we couldn't walk without stepping on a few. An older farmer told us that in previous years the government would send people with pesticides to rid them of locusts, but this has not taken place recently.

We spent the night counting the countless stars. The evening breeze and exhaustion, though, soon put us to sleep. Seven in the morning we continue our journey eastward, and after circumventing a canyon we reached a pass at 2,435 m after 3.8 km of trekking. Again we traversed the foothills and after 3.3 km of walking rest on the northern side of the mountain facing the village of MASULEH (2,529 m). From this vantage point, the valley of Masuleh is visible, an incredible sight with clouds descending to the bottom of the valley. Two soaring eagles kept us company here.

From the northern foothills we descend eastward before continuing northward for another 7.1 km and reaching the beautiful village of Masuleh. The village is a kilometer above sea level and it is a touristy spot in the province of Gilan. From the main square of the village, minibuses took us to the city of FOUMAN, where we could get on buses to Tehran.