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Best Hiking Trails in Saudi Arabia

Overview

While desert covers the vast majority of this kingdom on the Arabian Peninsula, there is wonderful hiking potential in the mountains that run along the western border of Saudi Arabia.  There isn’t a lot of information on hiking trails; some of the popular hikes include Jebel Sawda, Wahba Crater, The Edge of the World, Wadi al-Disah trails. The best months to hike in Saudi Arabia are October to April.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Saudi Arabia. 

Capital: Riyadh

When To Hike in Saudi Arabia?

October – April: In some areas, October and April could be too hot
May – September: Too hot

Climate:  Desert in the northern part of the Sarawat mountains (Hejaz); semi-arid in the southern part (Asir).  Hejaz mountains barely receive any rainfall whereas the Asir mountains do the further south you go such that there is some greenery in the south. 

 

Saudi Arabia Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: There is not a lot of hiking infrastructure here or information on hiking trails, but there are many tour companies that are focusing on hiking and other nature pursuits increasingly.  The best thing to do is find a tour company that is offering hiking services close to where you are based. 

Transportation required: Car, 4×4

Where to stay in Saudi Arabia for hiking: 

  • Taif
  • Abha

 

Most popular hikes in Saudi Arabia

The main areas for hiking are in the Hejaz and Asir mountains running along the west coast from Jordan to Yemen. Highest Mountain: Jabal Sawda (3133 m), in the Asir mountains

Filter out hiking places of Saudi Arabia by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Wadi Al Disah

  • Known as Valley of the Palms, a beautiful desert oasis with towering cliffs and narrow canyons
  • Trails throughout

Edge of the World

  • Also known as Jebel Fihrayn
  • Part of the Tuwaiq Escarpment close to Riyadh, rising dramatically up from the surrounding desert
  • Popular viewpoint and other areas accessed by a number of trails

Jabal Abyad

  • Known as ‘White Mountain’, tallest volcano in Saudi Arabia
  • There is a trail to the summit but a guide is recommended

Khairah Forest Park

Jabal Shada Reserve

Al Habala

  • Mountain area with hiking trails
  • Al Habla Park

Asir Mountains

  • Can visit during the summer as altitude provides cooler temperatures
  • Popular place to go
  • Features the tallest peak in Saudi Arabia, Jabal Sawda (Soudah)
  • Abha and Soudah are good bases
  • Aseer National Park
  • King Abdulaziz National Park
  • Al Sahab Park

Hejaz Mountains

  • Northern section along west coast, lower mountains compared to the Asir mountains to the south
  • Taif and Mecca are good bases
  • Jabal Al-Nour, a mountain near Mecca that has religious significance and as a result, the trail to summit is quite popular
  • Al Shafa (mountain) – Daka Mountain Park sits at the top of the mountain

Long Distance Trails of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Saudi Arabia Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Saudi Arabia, Bradt Travel Guide, by Grace Edwards, 2024, Bradt Travel Guides – https://amzn.to/3xsXUlw
  • Lonely Planet Oman, UAE, Arabian Peninsula, by Lauren Keith and Jessica Lee, 2019, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/49lsECf
  • A Traveler’s Guide to Saudi Arabia, by Bob Gibbons, Siân Pritchard-Jones, 2023, Amazon Digital Services LLC – Kdp – https://amzn.to/3IZEXts
  • Other independently published travel guides

 

Saudi Arabia Hiking Associations/Clubs:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Saudi Arabia:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Jebel Sawda
  • Wahba Crater
  • Hidden Valley Hike
  • Wadi al-Disah trails
  • Jabal Dakha
  • Jabal Baloum
  • Jabal Abyad
  • Jabal Bayda
  • Al Ula Mountain Trek

Easy Hiking Trails in Saudi Arabia:

  • Jebel Fihrayn (The Edge of the World)

 

Saudi Arabia Hiking Websites:

 

Saudi Arabia Weather websites:

  • Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) – PME  

 

Saudi Arabia Official Tourism Site:  

 

Saudi Arabia Hiking Apps: 

 

Saudi Arabia Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Holy cities of Mecca & Medina
  • Empty Quarter exploration  
  • Red Sea diving

Other Important Points

  • Often various spellings of place names
  • Saudi Arabia has in place a very strict interpretation of Islamic law
  • Use www.what3words.com to find locations of places (since many signs will be Arabic)