The Riyadh Province is home to Saudi Arabia’s capital city and is a modern metropolis with a thriving cultural scene.
Boasting a myriad of forts, palaces, souqs and mountains, it is also famous among the hiking enthusiasts in this region. Discovering the mountain ranges and the rocky cliffs by foot is the best way of truly experiencing the terrain.
Here are our top 8 picks for a memorable hiking experience in and around Saudi Arabia’s capital.
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Relish in the intriguing and lush setting of Wadi Hanifa, a spun-out valley soaring up to 120 metres. With its stunning trails and scenic waterfront, Wadi Hanifa attracts many thrill seekers, off-roaders and hikers. Those who want to experience an extended hiking trail may continue south along the sidewalk lined with palm trees at the Wadi Hanifah Road.
The Hidden Valley
Considered one of the most exciting hiking trails in the Riyadh region, the Hidden Valley is located in Al Awsat. Also known as the Hidden Canyon, this site has large rocky cliffs, desert sand and running water that gathers in a large pool.
The ancient city of Taif has many surrounding peaks and adventurous hiking trails with breathtaking landscapes. You can hike all the way up to Jabal Dakka in Al Shafa, the highest peak of the mountains that is absolutely stunning. For a more comfortable trail, you can try out Al Hada – the second of the two major mountain ranges in Taif. For experienced hikers, we recommend Saddat Al Beed, which has campsites at the base and peak of the trails.
Jabal Sawda, located near Abha in Asir National Park, soars over 3,000 meters and is a good spot for hiking enthusiasts. Although there is a large walkway near the summit for strolling, experienced hikers can also follow the trail down the peak. This trail is centuries old and was used frequently by traders before the modern-day roads were built. The Saudi Hiking Club has placed several trail markers along the way for occasional hiking groups that use the trail.
Edge of the world
Situated around 90 kilometres north of Riyadh, this hiking site offers astonishingly dramatic sunset views with memorable sights. Edge of the World, also known as the Shuaib’s View, is a popular trekking site and home to a beautiful valley lined with Acacia trees. The escarpment provides majestic views of the Fihrayn and Tuwaiq Mountain Range. It is also among the 17 sites dedicated to hiking tourism and a popular spot among hikers in Saudi Arabia.
Located around 30 km southeast of Riyadh, the Heet Cave can be found in the Al Jubail mountain. It is famous for its limestone formations and its pristine underground lake. To get to the Heet Cave, you must go through the scorching desert and trek down loose rocks. Good hiking shoes are a must-have to reach this amazing place.
The Camel Trail was known in the past for camel caravans loaded with merchandise that made their way up and down the Tuwaiq mountain. Here you can find at least 4 tracks leading up the mountain, but Camel Trail 1 is the most common among hikers in Riyadh. The trail has a well-developed path paved for walking; trekking down does not take long. You can also rest along the way while you take in the view and rock formations overlooking the township.
Al-ermah is located east of Riyadh and has mountains and emerald green wadis that are dry in the summer months. During the winter and spring seasons you will find locals and tourists coming here to enjoy the landscaped hills. This is also an excellent place to hike and camp.