Though a desert country, Saudi Arabia is replete with several mountains providing excellent tourist destinations during summers and winters. Jabal Al Lawz, the ‘Mountain of Almonds’, is one such beautiful mountain located in Tabuk Province. It has the highest elevation points in the region, offering mesmerizing views of the nearby area from the summit. The peaks are as high as approximately 2,500 meters or 8200 feet above the sea, creating ideal circumstances for snow and promoting winter tourism. This remarkable mountain acts as a natural border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The Legend of Jabal al Lawz
According to many scholars, historians, and Jabal al Lawz documentary, the mountain is of utmost religious significance. Prophet Moses had his legendary experience with God on the holy Mount Sinai. The potential location and the physical features of the Mount al Lawz resembles that of Mount Sinai. Additionally, the presence of an old cemetery near the mountain with thousands of gravestones strengthens the claims of Mount Al Lawz being Mount Sinai.
Please note that such claims are not factually proven.
What to do at Jabal al Lawz?
Mount Lawz is not simply a sightseeing location with panoramic views but offers a lot of activities to the tourists. The mountain has several hiking trails, archaeological sites, including a quarry of ancient importance, and a cemetery. It also has snowfall locations to enjoy winter activities.
1. Hike to the summit
Snow trekking is one of those activities that any hiker would definitely want to have on their bucket list. Trekking in Jabal al Lawz provides an enthralling hiking experience for snow lovers during the winter season. The mountain’s trekking offers opportunity to view the magnificent calm of dunes beneath fresh snow covering. There are broad hiking pathways for hikers and campers going up the peak to reach the summit. It usually takes two days to hike to the summit. There are also trails along the foothills where tourists can go snowboarding and sledding. Hikers can organize campfires during the night to warm up and re-energize after the long trek.
Trekking difficulty: Hard
Duration of the trek: 1-2 days depending upon individual’s fitness
2. Explore the fascinating archaeological sites
The mountain is associated with the land of Madayan, the place where Prophet Moses lived for significant years. The Jabal al Lawz tourism is incomplete without visiting the historical sites, including an ancient quarry and extremely old inscriptions on rock walls depicting the now-extinct bovines. There are also some rare rock paintings and remarkable sculptures in the shape of elephants on the northwest side of the mountain.
3. Visit the Jabal al Lawz cemetery
To the north of the Lawz mountain, there is an old cemetery, which many scholars and archaeologists believe is related to the ‘Golden Calf’ event. The event led to the death of around 3000 people worshiping the idol of a golden calf. The cemetery stretches over a huge area covered with varied shapes and sizes of gravestones. Some are even as big as 5 feet. Tourists fascinated with old legends make sure to visit the cemetery.
4. Enjoy the Jabal al Lawz snow
Jabal al Lawz is undoubtedly Saudi Arabia’s great spot for witnessing snow almost every year. The mountain is Saudi Arabia’s tallest peak in the northern region; hence, it experiences cold temperatures and considerable snowfall. Tourists can easily take a car ride to the Jabal al Lawz to the north of Tabuk and watch the mesmerizing landscape covered with snow.
Top snow activities: Make snowballs or a snowman, go snowboarding or sledding, organize fire camps, or even take camel rides
Suggested Read: 12 Beautiful Places To Visit In Tabuk
What is the best time to visit Jabal al Lawz?
The Jabal al Lawz weather remains moderate in summers, autumn and springs while the temperature can drop down below zero degrees in winters. The most appropriate time to experience snow in the region is during the winter season. So, the months of December and January serve as the best time to visit the mountain for winter tourism. However, one can also visit the mountain during summers to catch a respite from Saudi hot weather.
How to reach Jabal al Lawz?
Travelers can reach the mountain in approximately 2.5 hours from Tabuk by car. The route to the mountain starts from Highway 394 and follows the mountain road. Although Jabal al Lawz is visible from various locations, only one mountain road takes to the mountain top, and this mountain road is restricted for use after 2100 meters of elevation.
What is around the Almond Mountain?
Small vendors and outlets for refreshments are available along the highway roads leading to the mountain. However, once one reaches the mountain, the options get narrowed down. Hence, one is suggested to carry food and water on a trip to Mount al Lawz. On reaching the mountain, there are facilities for camel rides, snowboarding, campfire, sledding, and hiking. Car rentals are also available via the local tour and travels agencies.
Things to keep in Mind
- While visiting the mountain, be wary of the mountain weather
- During summer, wear light clothes. Do not forget jackets or windcheaters during winter.
- Irrespective of the Jabal al Lawz weather, always carry sunglasses to protect eyes from sun glare
- Wear hiking or trekking shoes if planning to climb up the slopes
- Carry food and water with you
- Cooperate with officials and staff members
- Do not wander into restricted areas
- Keep an eye on children
The slopes of Mount al Lawz are a calming relief that invite and mesmerize tourists with cool weather and the magnificent hills. The Almond mountain is one of the most significant places in Saudi Arabia to experience winter snowfall and challenging hiking trails with picturesque views and ancient inscriptions.
Image Credits: NEOM
Jabal Al Lawz FAQs
What is the elevation of Jabal al Lawz?
The elevation of the mountain is 2580 meters, making it the highest peak in the northern region of Saudi Arabia.
How to reach the summit of the mountain?
Visitors can take a car ride from Tabuk City to the mountain. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach the mountain. The mountain road is only open to the public at 2100-meter elevation. Access to the summit is restricted.
Is it safe to visit the Mount al Lawz with the kids?
Yes, it is safe to visit the mountain with kids, provided that the visitors keep an eye on them.
What is the Jabal al Lawz meaning?
Jabal al Lawz means the mountain of almond.
Which is the best time to visit Mount al Lawz?
Hiking, camping, and sightseeing are available throughout the year at the mountain. To experience Jabal al Lawz snow, it is advisable to visit the mountain during the winter season.