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Best Hiking Trails in Iraq

Overview

While the political situation in this country gets all the headlines, the northern region of Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan) is mountainous, amenable to hiking and safe to travel to.  The Zagros mountains in the north features hikes including Mount Halgurd, Goizha Mountain and the newly formed Zagros Mountain Trail.  The best months to hike in Iraq are the spring and fall months.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Iraq. 

Capital: Baghdad

When To Hike in Iraq?

April – May; October – November: Warm, dry
June – September: Too hot
December – March: Cold, snowy
Climate: Cold and rainy/snowy winters and  hot (scorching), sunny summers

Accessibility of Hiking

Hard: Tourist infrastructure is still in its infancy; would need to go with an organized tour group

Transportation required: Vehicle

Where to stay in Iraq for hiking:

  • Erbil
  • Sulaymaniyah

Top Places to Hike in Iraq

The main area to hike is in the north, in the Zagros mountains (among others), on the northern border with Turkey and Iran. This area is known as Iraqi Kurdistan and is doing much better economically than the rest of the country. Highest Mountain: Cheekha Dar (3611 m) – shared by Iran and Iraq in the Zagros mountains. Mount Halgurd (3607 m) is often considered the highest mountain as it lies wholly within Iraq

Filter out hiking places of Iraq by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Iraqi Kurdistan

  • Zagros Mountains, Taurus Mountains, others
  • Erbil would be a good base, largest city in region
  • Mount Halgurd

Iraq's Long Distance Trails

  • Zagros Mountain Trail – opened in 2023, 215 km long trail through Kurdistan region – Zagros Mountain Trail

Iraq's Walking & Hiking Resources

Iraq Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Iraq: The ancient sites and Iraqi Kurdistan, by Geoff Hann and Tina Townsend-Greaves, 2022, Bradt Travel Guides 

 

Best Hiking Trails in Iraq:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Zagros Mountain Trail
  • Mount Korek
  • Cheeka Dar
  • Kosrat Mountain
  • Mount Halgurd

Easy Hiking Trails in Iraq:

  • Hazar Merd Cave
  • Goizha Mountain
  • Azmar Mountain

 

Iraq Hiking Websites:

 

Iraq Weather Website:

 

Companies:

 

Iraq Official Tourism Site:  

 

Iraq Hiking Apps: 

 

Iraq Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Historic sites
  • Architecture

Other Important Points

  • Quite dangerous to travel to Iraq but Kurdistan is safe to travel to; however there have been instances of hikers being kidnapped near Iraq/Iran border
  • Many unexploded land mines in the mountains
  • Turkish airstrikes in the region