A 30-minute drive from Esfahan, Shahr-e Kord is the sleepy capital of Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiyari province. Known as the 'roof of Iran' on account of its high altitude, this is primarily a working, agricultural town. That said, nestled between two mountain ranges, the town (with a couple of attractions of its own, including a delightful teahouse) is becoming less of a staging post and more of a destination as the nearby villages recognise their potential for outdoor activities.
One such village is Chaleshtar, a visit to which makes a very plausible first day or two of an extended trip through the Zagros Mountains. It's chief attraction is the castle, or more accurately the residence of a khan, that makes for a highly recommended visit.
In the surrounding countryside there are opportunities for hiking, rafting (without rapids) and horse riding, all of which can be organised through Chaleshtar's local guesthouse.