Information for Travellers During COVID-19

Al Wahbah Crater: A Stunning Natural Wonder In KSA


Saudi Arabia is a land bestowed with splendid natural beauty with many beautiful sights and tourist attractions. Al Wahbah crater, located in the Hejazi region is a volcanic crater towards the western edge of the Harrat Kishb basalt plateau. This plateau is home to many volcano cones, of which Al Wahbah crater is a beautiful sight.

The crater is a breathtaking anomaly to its surroundings. It is a majestic pockmark (crater-like depression) that is approximately 820 feet deep and 1.2 miles wide. Whilst the whole crater remains dry and barren, there is some green vegetation of palm trees and shrubs around the crater.

What is a crater?

For the uninitiated, a crater is a dent on a surface, caused by another object. Geographically, craters are depressions that look like an eating bowl. Most craters are home to hot gases and liquid rocks, making them unpredictable and dangerous. Al Wahba in Saudi Arabia is one such crater.

Located amidst the dunes, it displays lovely colours from different angles at different times of the day. Watching it from above gives a complete view of the crater and its salt bowl. The crater has white sodium phosphate crystals deposited at the bottom, which creates a glittering effect in the sun. When rain water gets accumulated in the bottom, it looks like a heap of pearls, white and shiny. The shrubs and palms lining the rim of the Al Wahbah crater look stunning after a drizzle, as rain drops sit beautiful on the leaves, adding a dash of green to the gorgeous scenery.

How was the crater formed?


Yonks ago, the crater was assumed to be the outcome of a meteor strike. Later, geologists discovered that it was a maar crater (filled with water and having a shallow crater) lake formed by volcanic activity. According to the soil experts, a massive underground steam explosion resulted in the development of the crater.

Besides, locals narrate fables that explain how the Al Wahbah crater was formed. The legend says that the region was once home to two mountains named Tamia and Cotton. One night, a flash of lightning shone on Cotton and the beautiful sight made Tamia fall helplessly in love with Cotton. But this made Tamia’s mountain-cousin Shelman jealous. He struck her with an arrow, making her fall to the ground and turn into a crater, which later came to be known as the Al Wahbah crater.

How to reach Al Wahbah Crater?

If you are visiting Taif, it is only 250 km away from the city. From Jeddah, it is a 4 hours drive. Once you reach the site, a paved road leads to the crater site and can be easily reached by a car. Rental cars are easily available as it is a popular tourist attraction. Locals often come here in their own cars to have a small picnic while enjoying the panoramic views.

What to do at the Al Wahbah Crater?


  1. The visitor center has a museum that explains the structure of the crater and what it is made up of. You can visit the museum to understand in detail about the crater and its geology.
  2. The area has specified vantage points that give a good view of the crater and its surroundings. These spots are ideal and also comfortable to sit down, and have a relaxed meal while admiring the natural beauty around.
  3. If you wish to have a closer look, there is a narrow trail with roughly carved steps that lead to the base of the crater. It takes about one hour to reach the base and almost two hours to reach back up. The trail is long and the weather is quite hot and dry. For tourists who wish to follow the descent, it is recommended to carry water and food and take breaks whenever needed. Hiking boots are also recommended. Since the location is remote, the phone signal is poor here.
  4. Some tourists also prefer to walk round the crater’s rim, and circling the entire circumference can take up to three hours.
  5. You can also visit the lava fields nearby; it takes only 10 minutes to reach in a car/cab.
  6. Enjoy sunrise or the sunset, whichever time suits you better. Both dawn and dusk are incredibly beautiful.
  7. Nature lovers can spend a night gazing at the clear sky and the glittering stars – the desert looks absolutely breathtaking as there are no lights around.

Al Wahbah Crater Weather


The area where Al Wahbah crater is located, the climate is predominantly hot. Therefore the best time to visit it is during the winter season. Noon time is still hot, therefore it is better to plan a trip early in the morning or late in the evening. Since the nights are cooler, camping at Al Wahbah is a popular tourist activity.

Al Wahba Crater Camping

Camping at Al Wahba Crater is not a cakewalk but that is what makes it thrilling. Hikers and campers take this as a challenge to camp at the crater. For tourists, it is recommended to take assistance from a professional camping agency and go with complete preparation to ensure that it is an easy and comfortable camping trip, especially if the group includes children. Usually hikers set out early in the morning to reach the point of camping, carry quick meals, and some basic equipment to make tea and easy foods. With precise preparation and planning, camping at Al Wahba Crater can be an exhilarating experience.

The Wahba crater is a great place to visit with family and friends. However, it might not be very comfortable for children and the elderly as the weather is hot and dry. Also, the terrain for hikes is quite rugged and narrow. It is more suitable for those who are open for adventures and love nature.

Wahba Crater FAQs

How can travellers reach the Al Wahbah crater?

There is no public transportation available for the Al Wahbah crater. Travellers can hire a rental car to reach the crater.

Are there accommodations around the Al Wahbah crater?

No, there are no accommodations in or near the crater. You can plan for night camping as there are a lot of camping sites near the place.

Are there any restaurants or cafes around the Al Wahbah crater?

No, there are no restaurants or cafes around the crater. It is recommended to carry your own food and drinks. Also, you can travel to the nearest village Maradkht, which is approximately 100km away from the spot.

How far is Al Wahbah crater from Jeddah?

Al Wahbah crater is located almost 420km away from Jeddah. You can reach the crater by driving yourself or renting a car.

What is the best time to visit Al Wahbah crater?

As the Al Wahbah crater doesn’t have any covering or shelter, early morning or after 3 pm in the evening are the ideal times to visit this adventurous spot.



My words find inspiration in the most mundane of the things — beads of a rosary, a rehal by the window, rings of incense smoke, and fallen tree leaves. When not dreaming, I crochet them into stories of times, places, & people.

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