Probably the strongest-standing country in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a great holiday destination for more than just beautiful cityscapes or rich culture! Asia is actually quite well-known for presenting stunning natural terrain and more than enough outdoor sites to visit! Saudi Arabia is an excellent place for hikers. With numerous gorgeous peaks and exciting trails, you can walk your worries away on a few-hours trek! So, if you are looking for this kind of entertainment, see our suggestions for the top 6 mountains to hike in Saudi Arabia.
1- Jabal Kufar
Spread across the northwest of Saudi, in the city of Najran, Jabal Kufar is the first peak you should consider for your hikes. The first thing you will notice is its unusual shape, resembling a castle rather than a mountain! Layers upon layers of summits are finalized by a fortress-shaped peak that is flatter than any other you have probably seen. However, it is not the shape that makes Jabal Kufar so unique.
According to the locals, the mountain is a tough one to climb. While every hike is a challenge in Saudi Arabia due to the lack of clear trails or hiker’s maps, Jabal Kufar takes the win as the most mysterious one.
The trek is challenging because of its imprecise paths and odd shapes, but you might have some difficulty even getting to it. For some reason, Jabal Kufar is not on the map, so you will have to ask around to reach it and start your adventure!
2- Jabal al-Nour
Undoubtedly the most famous mountain in Saudi Arabia and one of the most significant monuments to all Muslims, Jabal al-Nour is the great mountain near the city of Mecca, known for being home to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who was said to have spent a lot of time in Jabal al-Nour caves, meditating.
It was also here that he received the first revelation, which consisted of the first five ayats of Surah al-Allah from the angel Jibra’il. So, obviously, the mountain is of high significance to all Islam worshippers.
While Jabal al-Nour is not the first choice for hikers and mountaineers due to its relatively short height, you should try it just for the spiritual journey. It only takes a couple of hours to reach the famous cave and meditate!
3- Hijaz Mountains
Continue on your quest for the most exciting mountains to hike in Saudi Arabia by boarding the train from Mecca to Medina! After Jabal al-Nour, the beautiful Hijaz Mountains will offer up a different kind of panorama.
Running along the eastern coast of the Red Sea, the range is one of the most beautiful natural sceneries in Saudi Arabia! Not only that, but they are also very important to the locals, as Hijaz carries the legend of the ancient Pishon River, which was described as one of the four rivers associated with the Garden of Eden.
But spirituality and scenery aside, Hijaz Mountains in Saudi Arabia are simply great for hiking. We suggest staying towards the eastern slopes as they are not as steep, and you can still get great views of the Red Sea. The area is a beautiful oasis you can enjoy, and the Hijaz’s treks are a bit clearer than the others.
4- Jabal Thawr
As you can probably see from a clear pattern, Saudi Arabia’s mountains are best to climb if you are in it for the emotional and spiritual experience rather than incredible landscapes and a challenge on your physique! So, staying true to our topic, we suggest you climb Jabal Thawr next!
Also located in the lower part of Mecca, Jabal Thawr is not as meaningful to the Muslims as Jabal al-Nour, but it still shares some similarities and is loved and visited very much. The deep caves of Jabal Thawr are precisely where the prophet Muhammad and his companion took refuge from the grouping of Arab clans named Quraysh during the migration of Medina.
Since the prophet is an iconic symbol of faith, Muslims tend to visit most places that held meaning to him. And you can, too! The roads are not too tricky, and it only takes a couple of hours to reach the caves mentioned.
5- Jabal Ferwa
A little less known but still totally fitting for a hike, Jabal Ferwa is located northwest of Tayma City and is the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia! However, the revelation of it being the tallest is still a bit new for long; people have considered Jabal Sawda to be the highest, when in reality, Ferwa has a few more meters to it.
While the highest peak in the country might sound a bit intimidating, the road to the top is extremely easy, so there is nothing to worry about. The fields and the trek itself are relatively empty and seem a bit unexciting at first, but after an effortless trip, you will be happy to have reached the top.
Jabal Ferwa is the best mountain you could pick for a lazy hike and a way to clear your head. Without the noise and crowds of tourists enjoying the routes, you can appreciate Saudi Arabia’s surroundings and quaint scenery and even spend time reconnecting with your faith.
6- Al-Sayra Al-Bayda
More widely known as the White Mountain, Al-Sayra Al-Bayda is the last but certainly not the least of hikes we suggest you take! The most unique of them all, the summit is a great palette cleanser between the city noise and difficult trekking.
Sitting in a zone of volcanic granite, the White Mountain is a geological wonder made solely from white quartz. Standing out in the Arabian terrain, the peak is a great one to see, though you should know there is no clear road to reach the top.
You can still go on your hike to the lower layers and enjoy the challenging trek of steep edges and rough pavements, but it is unlikely that you will reach the crown of Al-Sayra Al-Bayda. However, even without the apparent culmination, we suggest driving down to the city of Basha and enjoying the impressive white scenery of one of the most exciting mountains in Saudi Arabia!
Before going on any of these, ensure you have enough stamina and smart skills to last your hike. As we mentioned before, Saudi Arabia is great for trekking, but you have to be confident in your ability to navigate and handle the pressure since there are no maps to help you, and most of them do not even have obvious routes to take. So, be very careful, but try to enjoy it. Good luck, and have a tremendous Arabian adventure!