No bike trip to Kurdish Iraq is complete without riding The Hamilton Road through the mountains to the Iranian border. This magnificent ride starts with a long ride up from the plains into the foothills and while fun, it certainly isn’t a must see. Then, passing through a dusty town you’ll see the road disappear into a cleft in the rocks and begin its aweinspiring journey through the mountains.
Your gateway to greatness.
Strangely enough, once you’ve ridden all the way up to it, the first thing the road does is descend steeply to the bottom of a gorge.
The road then winds its way along the bottom of the deep gorge. The walls are so shear and narrow that they cut the sunlight like a knife, leaving only dazzling sunshine and deep shape.
This part of the road is divided into a lower and upper road, though the upper road was closed when I was there. There are some other small roads that wander off, but care really must be taken with them since the Iranian border is very close and innocent travelers are rarely treated as such if they end up in the wrong place. Having said that, a few careful detours can be very rewarding.
From the gorge the road starts to open up before climbing quickly through open mountain valleys and on to the Iranian border.
Turning around at the border and riding the road back was one of the few times that I didn’t even think about complaining about having to retrace my steps.