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Camping In Riyadh: 5 Stunning Locations And Tips For Campers


Though the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, is mostly thought of as a highly advanced and fast-paced metropolitan, it offers numerous camping retreats. In contrast to modern skyscrapers, camping in Riyadh includes the fascinating history and tales of Arabian legends. Tourists can immerse themselves in sleeping under the mesmerizing zillions of stars and find peace in identifying constellations away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The moon-made shadows of escarpments in Acacia Valley are a sight to behold. Campers can find serendipity and unison with nature near Lake Kharrarah. On the other hand, the Red Sand present a great opportunity to indulge in campfires and barbecues in the presence of the pleasant night-breeze.

Best time for camping in Riyadh

Though camping can be organized at any time of the year in Riyadh, there are some preferable months and seasons when it becomes a sought-after activity. As Riyadh experiences a desert-like climate in most months, the temperature remains highly appropriate for camping during monsoon and spring.

Top camping locations in Riyadh

1. Acacia Valley – Surrounded by gorgeous mountain


On the road to the Edge of the World, the Acacia Valley is positioned between the Tuwaiq Escarpment. Campers can pitch their tents beneath the Acacia trees or enjoy hiking in the desert with a tranquil mountain view. The Edge of the World placed up straight from the valley, is one of its unique attractions. Edge of the World is also known as the rock-framed window because of the stunning view of the plains below the cliffs.

Location: Acacia Valley is around 90 km from the city center of Riyadh in the Northeast direction.

How to reach: As the valley is on the outskirts of Riyadh, it is highly suggested that tourists take the help of tour agencies or hire private 4×4 vehicles to reach the valley.

Best time to camp: Spring season (February-March) or winter season (December-January).

Unique attractions: Camp amidst the unspoiled surroundings or hike to the Edge Of The World.

Must Read: Edge Of The World, Saudi Arabia: A Gorgeous Site For Hiking, Camping, And Sunrise-Views

2. Al Kharrarah National Park – Hidden desert lake


‘Lake Kharrarah’, often called Al Kharrarh or Al Kharrarah National Park, is nestled within the infinite ocean of dunes, making it a popular campsite among locals and tourists alike. During monsoon, a section of the Al Kharrarah national park valley converts into a huge desert lake. A tremendous amount water floods down the steep dunes into the valley below, generating a temporary lake. Tourists can camp near the lake or indulge in swimming activities. The valley lake bed offers a stunning green contrast to the surrounding red dunes, when the water evaporates after some period of time.

Location: Al Kharrarah National Park is only 60 km in the southeast direction of Riyadh.

Best time to camp: The best time to visit Al Kharrarah National Park is after the offset of the monsoon season.

Unique attractions: Camping near the lake, dune bashing, buggy riding, and hiking.

3. Al Thumamah National Park – Campsite with a mix of adventure


Thumamah National Park is a one-stop location for camping, rock climbing, open-air barbecues, quad biking, and losing oneself in the gorgeous sunsets. It comprises more than 200 desert camps planned as permanent Bedouin encampments with kitchens, restrooms, and grilling areas. The government carefully chose campsites in this environmentally and visually sensitive landscape to minimize their impact. It is advisable to carry camping gear or get a rental package while setting up a camp in Al Thumamah National Park.

Location: Near Thumamah Police Station, 70km North of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Best time to camp: Winter season ( December-January).

Unique attraction: Stargazing, barbecue night, rock climbing, and quad biking.

4. The Red Sand – Ancient valleys and woods


A journey to the Red Sand is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who wish to experience the true essence of Saudi Arabia. Red Sand, in northeastern Riyadh, is one of the city’s secret camping jewels. It has become a favorite weekend destination for desert-loving tourists. One will pass through mountainous terrain, ancient date woods, and lush hills and valleys along the route. The moonlit Red Sand under the countless shining stars makes camping a lot more peaceful and personal experience.

Location: The Red Sand is 60 km from Riyadh in a southeast direction.

How to reach: One is recommended to hire a guide and visit the dunes via 4×4 vehicles or campers.

Best time to camp: Winter season (December-January).

Unique attractions: Red dunes and the view of the glistening desert.

5. Rawdat Al-Khafs – Colorful flowering fields

One of the best locations to enjoy camping in springs, Rawdat Al Khafs, has numerous campsites in open fields. Tourists visiting the Rawdat Al Khafs can seep in the natural beauty surrounding the location due to the flowering buds of several indigenous plant species. Further, campers can participate in 4×4 driving and rally competitions. Tourists can camp in the daytime as well as at night with a lakeside view to enjoy camping to the fullest.

Location: The camping location is 96 km in the north of Riyadh.

How to reach: While a 24×7 operational highway serves the destination, campers should hire private taxis and 4×4 to reach the location.

Best time to camp: Spring is the popular month to visit Rawdat Al Khafs and see blooming flowers.

Unique attractions: Flowering fields, sunset watching, and a central lake.

Things to remember


  • Campers should carry camping gear and safety essentials such as a sleeping bag, camping chairs, awning/tent, repellents, flashlights, spare batteries, pillows, tent repair kits, and a first aid kit
  • They should carry blankets and jackets for the night
  • One should ensure the vehicle is appropriate (4×4 recommended) for the desert
  • One should not forget to carry wood and fire material for the bonfire
  • Campers are recommended to organize camping under expert supervision
  • One should remain prepared for any unforeseen situations
  • Campers should try to maintain the natural aesthetics of the campsites and do not litter around

All of Riyadh’s campgrounds are less than a two-hour drive from the city center, making them easy to reach in a 4×4 car. Riyadh campgrounds are ideal for sunset viewing, off-roading, and overnight camping.

Suggested Read: 5 Most Popular And Beautiful Trekking Trails In Saudi Arabia

Camping In Riyadh FAQs

What is the ideal season for camping in Riyadh?

The spring and monsoon along with winter are the ideal seasons for camping in Riyadh owing to the salubrious weather.

Which are the popular camping stores in Riyadh?

There are several stores from where one can buy camping essentials and materials. Some of the best camping stores in Riyadh are: Carrefour, SACO, Lulu Hypermarket, Al Rimaya for Outdoor and Camping Equipment, Kuwaiti Souk/Souk Taibah.

Why is Acacia Valley famous?

Acacia valley provides access to the Edge of The World.

How far are Al Kharrarah National Park campsites from Riyadh?

Al Kharrarah is only 60 km from Riyadh’s city center.

Which is the best campsite to visit during spring in Riyadh?

Rawdat Al Khafs is the best campsite near Riyadh to visit in spring.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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