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The Lut Desert
The Lut Desert

Deserts make up about a quarter of Iran's land. The Dasht-e Lut with an area of over 40,000 square kilometers, is one the most famous deserts of Iran.

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The Lut Desert, or Dasht-e-Lut, is located in the southeast of Iran, an arid continental subtropical area notable for a rich variety of spectacular desert landforms. The Lut Desert is located between the provinces of South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman. The Lut Desert is the world's 27th-largest desert and was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The catchment area of the Dasht-e-Lut extents about 175,000 square kilometers, which is about 10 percent of Iran's land. In the Persian language ‘Lut’ refers to bare land without water and devoid of vegetation.

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The Lut Desert is situated in an interior basin surrounded by mountain, so it is in a rain shadow and coupled with high temperatures. The Lut Desert has experienced Earth’s highest land surface temperatures between 2003 and 2009. The hottest satellite reading of ground temperature was recorded in 2005 at the Lut’s Gandom Beryan with the temperature of 70.7 °C (159.3 °F). Due to the dry, rocky, dark-colored lands and dark pebbles, help make Iran’s Lut Desert the hottest place on Earth. It's interesting to know some portions of the Lut Desert, there is no chance to live, even for Bacteria.

The Lut Desert is divided into three geographic units: North Lut, Central Lout and South Lut. The most alluring portion of the Lut Desert is, the Centeral Lut. In terms of geomorphology, Central Lut is divided into three main portions: Pediment, Kaluts (Yardangs) and Sand dunes. The Pediment is situated in south of the Shahdad region with the width of 5 to 10 kilometers in strips and it is covered with sand, silt and salt.



The Kaluts or Yardangs are known as an unbeatable Natural Phenomenon of the Lut Desert. In fact, the Shahdad region, where holds the stunning and beautiful Kaluts, is the only Iran UNESCO natural world heritage site. Kaluts are bedrock features carved and streamlined by the dual action of wind abrasion of dust and sand, and the deflation which is the removal of loose material by wind turbulence. The most important wind that eliminates the walls of the Kaluts is, the 120-day Wind of Sistan. The Kaluts region is located 43 km from Shahdad and has an average width of 80 km and an average length of 145 km. It's interesting to know that the Kaluts region is known as a world’s largest cloddish town due to the appearance of the region. This landscape is titled as the imaginary city due to the shape of its Kaluts.


Sand dunes

The Sand dunes are situated in the south of central Lut. The height of these sand dunes is up to 480 meters. In order to reach the dunes, you'll need to do a tour with a 4WD and experienced guide.

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Nabkha is a wonderful natural phenomenon in the Dasht-e Lut. 20 kilometers from the Shahdad region, there is a type of Tamarisk trees which are located in the desert pots. Nabkha is a result of the interaction of wind erosion, moisture of the region and vegetation cover, so the existence of a plant in the way of the air flow, causes the sand to accumulate at the bottom of the plant and as a result, a Sand dune will be created with a crown of vegetation and sometimes they reach 10 meters in length, While the height of the tallest Nabkha in the desert of Africa are hardly reaching 3 meters.


Kalshour River

Kalshour River or Shor river (salty river) is the only permanent river in the heart of the Lut Desert which is full of water over the course of the year. Kalshour River is another landmark of the Lut desert in Kerman province. The river is highly acidic due to the passage of desert areas, so avoid touching the river water seriously.


Shafiabad village

The Shafiabad village is located on the road of Nehbandan-Shahdad. The village has a culture, traditions, local cuisine and hand craft that will attract tourists to the area. On the other hand, the proximity of this village to the Kalut of Shahdad led the village to be the center of this eco-museum. One of the other tourist attractions of the village is the Shafiabad caravanserai that was built in Qajar era.



If you intend to travel to the Lut Desert, you can accommodate in the Kalut Local House, Kavir Ecolodge and vakilabadi traditional house. Otherwise, you can go to the Shahdad Desert Camp, where it has been located around 10km from The Shafiabad village, to cast up your tent along the flat spot which was provided there and sleep under clear skies crowded with stars.

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Sirch village

A beautiful Paradise in the heart of desert. The lush and beautiful paradise in the hot and burning desert seems somewhat outlandish, but by traveling to the Sirch Village, you can experience a cold weather just a few kilometers far away from the hottest part of the world. Only in this area you can experience the possibility of snow near the hot desert. The Sirch Village is located 80 kilometers from Kerman city and you can get there via the Kerman-Sirch road or Shahdad-Sirch road. The most important tourist attractions of the village are the old Cedar with over a thousand years old which has been inscribed on the Iran's natural heritage, a hot spring with impressive therapeutic properties and the largest stone tunnel in the Middle East. As well as, you can buy Pomegranates from the village in autumn.


The best time to have an extraordinary journey to the Lut Desert is on Spring (between April to May) and Autumn. In order to benefit the picturesque landscape of Kaluts and marvel at its thrilling beauty, we highly recommend you to get there at the beginning of the day or at sunset.

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The distance from Kerman to the Kaluts of Shahdad is about 220 kilometers and it takes about 3 hours via Nehbandan–Shahdad road. You can have a day trip excursion from Kerman to this magnificent region by HiPersia desert tours. Although this area is safe, you'll need to travel with an experienced guide. It is important to know, on the way of Kaluts, there isn’t any restaurant and shop unless, you stop at Shahdad city. This journey through the Lut Desert packs in the best of culture and adventure in an energetic day.


  More Iran deserts are listed below: 

Iran Desert Tour




2017-10-11 | by HiPersia Executive unit
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