Hiking across Jebal Shams
Hiking across the top of Jebal Shams (Mountain of Sun) is relatively easy, and the views are simply amazing. The mountain is located in northeastern Oman north of Al Hamra town and is the highest mountain of the Hajar range and the country, and the third highest in Arabian Peninsula.
This hike is best done in a group which makes the camping overnight a lot more enjoyable; be warned however there are no amenities or toilets en-route so getting in touch with nature is part of the experience. It’s a two-day adventure, which sets out at the first light of the dawn from the plateau of Jebel Shams. Heading to the edge of the canyon with stunning views, you may see vultures here ascending the first winds of the day. Following the Grand Canyon across several small plateaus, you will be surprised to find that the higher you climb the trees become bigger. Arriving to a pass from where we have stunning views over Wadi Sahtan, some 2000 meters below with the military radar occupied summit route of Jebal Shams to our left side, and our route to the right took us along the ridge until the summit. A beautiful hike that is around 26km with more than 1000m height differences, you do need be fit and have done previous hikes for this journey.
Starting at the Jebal Shams plateau, the path follows the rim of the Saydran Gorge, a side wadi of the ‘Grand Canyon’, to a col at 2,700m. From there the path levels to reach the southern summit of Jebal Shams (Qarn al Ghamaydah) at an altitude of 2,997m. Mostly a natural, rocky trek to the highest point in Oman. Highlights The tour allows spectacular views into Wadi Nakhar, the ‘Grand Canyon’, Wadi as Sahtan and Wadi Bani Awf, as well as fantastic views of Jabal Khawr and Jabal Misht in the distance. On clear days you can even see the sea in the distance.
After reaching the summit around midday, we descended to a sheltered spot for lunch. The descent is really fantastic, it takes roughly 2 hours on the way down, the amazing views and the ease of going down is enjoyable.
220km from Muscat (80km from Nizwa) Closest town: Al Hamra Follow the road from Al Hamra to Wadi Ghul, towards the Jebal Shams ‘The Plateau’. Turn right at the road sign for Path W4 and carry on until you reach the village Al Khitaym (approximately 40km from Al Hamra). The last 20km of the road is graded and a 4 WD is recommended.