From soaring mountains to historical valleys, Saudi Arabia offers memorable trekking trails around the Kingdom. The diverse terrain of the country makes it a paradise for global and local trekkers. Hikers and trekkers from around the world travel to Saudi Arabia’s preserved natural trekking sites. On the path of these beautiful trekking trails in Saudi Arabia, travelers can enjoy scenic beauty offered by the expanding valleys, a vast lava field, and old rock engravings while clicking mesmerising pictures. Trekkers are also allowed to camp at several spots on some of these trekking trails.
5 Popular Trekking Trails In Saudi Arabia
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers trekking options for both the beginners and experts. One must research well before starting the trek for a convenient and safe climb. To help with some of the best trekking sites in Saudi Arabia, here is a detailed list:
1. Wahba Crater – Hollow Depression With A Lake
With a 6.9 km diameter and 780 meters depth, the Al Wahba crater is among the most exciting treks offered by Saudi Arabia. The crater is a result of a phreatomagmatic eruption having a vast hollow depression and a lake in the center. It is rich in white crystals of sodium phosphate that glitters when seen from the sky. A dried lava field is visible on the northern edge of the crater. The spot is a perfect destination for stargazing.
Location and elevation – Situated on the western edge of Hafer Kishb Basalt Plateau, the trekking spot is approximately 250 km from Taif and 323 km from Jeddah. There is an elevation loss of around 780 meters in the trek.
Trail length – The lowest point in the crater is approximately 780 meters. The trek to the bottom of the crater takes around 45-60 minutes, and the upward trek takes 60-90 minutes, depending upon individuals’ fitness levels.
Difficulty level – Easy
Best time to visit – Trekkers are recommended to visit the crater during the winter months of November to June. If one wants to visit the destination in summers, they must start early or after 3 pm in the evening as the temperature can easily exceed 45°C during noon.
2. Edge Of The World – Escarpment Featuring Coral Fossils
Jebel Fihrayn, or the Edge of The World, is a 300 meters high cliff in Jebel Tuwaiq Region. Though most of the distance can easily be traversed with 4×4 vehicles, the way to the top of the cliff is what attracts trekkers worldwide. The cliff is a result of the movement of tectonic plates. It is famous for the mesmerizing sunset and sunrise. The region and escarpment entail various coral and wood fossils that act as amazement for the trekkers.
Location – Jebel Tuwaiq is 90 kilometers from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The popular cliff of Jebel Fihrayn is further 15 kilometers from the main gate of the valley. The cliff is 300 meters tall situated on another 685 meters high rift making the total elevation gain 985 meters.
Trail Length – The trek length is divided into two segments which are 15 km on vehicle and 300 meters high cliff on foot.
Difficulty level – Easy
Best Time To Visit – As summers get extremely hot; therefore, the best season to visit Jebel Fihrayn is fall and winter, i.e., November to June.
3. Al Ula Mountain Trek – Hidden Valley In Arabian Desert
The Al Ula Mountain trek incorporates the peace of walking on a rugged path through parallel canyons. The trail includes scenic views of volcanic rocks, soft sand, and numerous petroglyphs from the Lihyanite and Dadanite periods. It encapsulates a major tourist attraction, the Lion Tombs of Dadan. In winters, trekkers can find water pools on the way; therefore, they must know how to swim or talk to their travel agency for life jackets. It also has a Hidden Valley trek which remains open at night when the starlight falls upon the canyons marking a majestic aura of the Arabian desert.
Location and elevation – The trek starts from Dunkin’, Unnamed Road 43541 Al Ula 43563, Saudi Arabia, which is 55 km from the Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz-Mogayla Airport. There is no substantial elevation gain on the trail, but it is a long trek.
Trail length – The main adventure trail is around 8 km, while the trek of the Hidden Valley is 4 km.
Difficulty level – Moderate
Best time to visit – October to April are the best months to visit and carry out Al Ula Adventure Trek. The average temperature ranges from 15°C-25°C during these months.
4. Wadi Al Disah – Archaeological Sites And Freshwater Springs
Wadi Al Disah is a gorgeous valley located in the northwestern Tabuk province of Saudi Arabia. As the meaning of Al Disah is “the valley of palm trees,” the valley is surrounded by palm trees. The valley houses sandstone cliffs and tall columns of rocks. It has several freshwater springs adding to the overall beauty of the valley. It also houses numerous archaeological sites from the Nabataean times.
Location and elevation – The Wadi Al Disah’s entrance is 260 kilometers from Tabuk. Trekkers have to drive to Al Disah, a small town near the trek. The trek has an elevation of 400 meters above sea level.
Trail length – The trek length is around 15 km that can be traveled on foot as well as 4×4 vehicles.
Difficulty level – Moderate
Best time to visit – The trail is accessible from November to March due to the optimal climatic conditions prevailing in these months.
5. Jabal Al Soudah – Saudi Arabia’s Tallest Peak
Ranking among the tallest peaks in Saudi Arabia, Jabal Al Soudah provides an exulting trekking trail. The peak rises astoundingly up to 3133 meters (10,279 feet) from the sea level. The trek brims with lush green juniper trees and overwhelming landscapes. One should be careful of typical edges and dangerous spots present on the undulating trail. Experienced trekkers can easily reach the summit with moderate difficulty and enjoy the enthralling views from a large walkway present on the top.
Location – Situated in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia, Jabal Al Soudah is around 40 km from Abha. Trekkers and tourists can take private or public transport to easily reach Al Soudah region and start the trek from the town. The elevation gain after reaching the summit is 1290 meters.
Trail Length – Though the trek provides little elevation gain, the trail’s total distance is 15.4 km due to frequent rise and fall on the way.
Difficulty Level – Tough
Best Time To Visit – The region of Al Soudah experiences a moderate climate throughout the year. The average summer temperature is 25°C, and winter temperature remains 15°C, thus making it feasible to trek throughout the year.
As most of the treks in Saudi Arabia present a moderate to high difficulty level, it is better to take safety measures before every trip.
Some safety tips while trekking in Saudi Arabia:
- One must pre-plan the trip and do accurate research about the area, weather, and other essentials near and around the trekking spots
- Trekkers should prepare themselves with the right equipment like trekking boots and clothes according to the terrain and weather, respectively
- Keeping oneself hydrated will not only help in enjoying the trek but will also prevent dehydration and dizziness
- Knowing the route beforehand by asking the locals or opting for travel guides is always a wise choice
- Trekkers are encouraged to travel in groups
- Bring a first aid kit and sleeping bag in case of emergency
- One must protect themselves from heat and extreme cold
Saudi Arabia is a treat for travelers and trekkers from around the world. Apart from the popular trekking trails in Saudi Arabia mentioned above, the kingdom offers many other extravagant trekking destinations. Various authorized tours and travel agencies work tirelessly to not only make the experience of trekking in Saudi safe, but also memorable. One can just go online, talk to travel experts, and plan one of the most mystical journeys.
Trekking Trails In Saudi Arabia FAQs
What is the best time for the Edge Of The World’s trek?
The best time to go on the Edge Of The World’s trek is November to June, as summers are extremely hot.
What is the elevation gain on Jabal Al Soudah trek?
The total elevation gain of Jabal Al Soudah’s summit is 1290 m.
What are the top hiking trails in Saudi Arabia?
Wadi Al Disah, Edge of The World, Jabal Sabha, and Al Shafa are some of the popular hiking trails in Saudi Arabia.
What is the trail length of Wadi Al Disah Trek?
The total length of Wadi Al Disah is 15 km.
What is the elevation loss in the trek of Wahba Crater?
The Wahba Crater trek leads to an elevation loss of 780 m.