Cloud forest

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Cloud forest

Abr Forests Cloud
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Cloud forest (Abr forest) is one of the natural attractions and one of the most extraordinary sights of Shahroud and it is a place where the sky seems to have approached the earth. This forest is located in an area that intersects two different climates, namely two low pressure areas (Gorgan plain) and high pressure (cloud region) and as the narrowest part of the Alborz mountain range, is the border of two ecosystems semi-desert and forest. This situation has led to the formation of a cloudy ocean in this region and the reason for naming this forest is its high resemblance to the cloudy sea in it and its low height with the forest, which adds to the beauty of this region.


The cloud forest is one of the oldest forests in the world, dating back forty million years and belongs to the third geological period, the Jurassic Age. This forest is a continuation of the lush forests in the north of the country and has an area of ​​35,000 hectares. One of the characteristics of this forest is its high altitude; As it has low temperatures in hot seasons. The average maximum temperature in this forest is 20 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is six degrees. The nights and early mornings are very cold.


In the heights of this region, meadows or wooded pastures and downstream, forests with various species can be seen. Inside the forest, abundant springs and diverse vegetation are among the salient features of this natural and beautiful area. Among its trees, there are fruits such as plums, wild pears and raspberries that if you are lucky, you will see them on your way and taste them.


Cloud forest was registered as a national and natural monument of Iran and it was selected as a protected area and was included in the list of four areas of the Environmental Protection Organization.


The reason for the formation of the cloudy ocean in the cloud forest

What causes an ocean of clouds to form over the magnificent cloud forest that embraces it like soft silk? One of the most important reasons for the formation of the cloud ocean is the geography of the cloud region, because this forest is located between two high and low altitude regions and two low-pressure and high-pressure regions (Gorgan plain and cloud region) are close to each other.


Vegetation and fauna of the cloud forest Another reason for the cloud ocean in this forest is that in this place the thickness of the Alborz mountains decreases and the clouds that are trapped behind this wall move south through the valleys; For this reason, from the afternoon until midnight, the air cools and clouds cover the forest.


Where is the cloud forest?

Cloud forest is located 40 km northeast of Shahroud in Bastam and Kharqan districts. This forest is located in the eastern Alborz region, 12 km from Abr village, and covers many parts of the border between Semnan and Golestan provinces. It is bounded on the north by the forests of Golestan province, on the east by the Olang region, on the south by Mount Qasem, Mount Abr and on the west by Mount Yakham and Tekiato.


Cloud forest access route

To reach the cloud forest, you must reach Semnan and Shahroud provinces. If you are moving from Tehran, after reaching Semnan, you should go from Shahroud or Bastam to Azadshahr and then to the village of Qaleh-e-Naw Kharqan, and by passing this village, take the Shahroud cloud forest road. You need to know that you can not go much in the forest by car.

Also, if you want to travel by bus or train, after arriving in Shahroud, take a taxi to Imam Square in this city, and from there take taxis and buses that run from 8 am to 6 pm to the cloud forest. .

Distance from Tehran to cloud forest: 453 km
Distance from Semnan to cloud forest: 138 km
Distance from Mashhad to cloud forest: 514 km

Cloud Forest Sights

Aluchal Waterfall: There are several waterfalls in the heart of the cloud forest, including Shor-shor and Aluchal waterfalls. Aluchal waterfall itself consists of two large waterfalls that overlap from a distance of several hundred meters and eventually form the main waterfall. The height of this waterfall, which is located on the northern slopes of the Eastern Alborz, is about 25 meters. With an hour of walking in the cloud forest and enjoying its beauties, you can see the Aluchal waterfall. 

Shor-shor Waterfall: If you are a mountaineer, do not return from the cloud forest without seeing Shor-shor Waterfall; Because seeing this waterfall is for professional climbers.

Paradise Corridor: Paradise Corridor is a spectacular, tree-lined area that forms part of the path to Aluchal Falls.

Springs: There are more than 30 springs in the cloud forest, Shah-Pasand spring, sour spring and Qotri spring are among these bubbling and flowing springs. The place where the sour spring is located is very suitable for setting up a camp.

Maran Castle: This castle is located on top of a mountain that can be clearly seen from inside the cloud forest. Reaching Maran Castle requires a local guide and equipment. The top of the boards, the talc boards and the backboards of the castle are some of the other sights of the forest.

Rural tourism: Walking in the villages around the cloud forest can be part of your forest tourism program. Abr village and Shirin-abad village are among the villages near the forest. Shirin-Abad is also located seven kilometers from the forest. To reach it, you have to go through the forest.

The best time to travel to the cloud forest

It is good to know that the cloud forest does not have clouds all year round and most of the time the cloudy ocean is formed.

It is spring, summer and autumn. In fact, the best time to see the cloud forest is the first half of the year and from the beginning of May to the beginning of October.

Although the cloud forest of Shahroud is very beautiful in autumn and looks like a beautiful painting, it has a cold climate in this season and the rain makes the access to this place slippery and difficult, which is not without danger. The cloud forest is as cold in winter as it is in autumn and we do not recommend going to this area in winter.

Before going to the forest, it is recommended to check the weather maps and pay attention to the weather news in the area. If the weather in Shirin-abad and Ali-abad is rainy and cloudy and on the other hand the sky of Shahroud is clear and sunny, you can see the ocean of clouds in the cloud forest.


Mehdi Gholami.

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