WADI SHAH

BACKGROUND

This is a most wonderful trip; the scenery is breathtaking. Behind every curve, something new is waiting to be discovered. There is a variety of terrain and sightseeing: boulders, deep canyons, impressive views, steep mountain slopes, fossils, great pools, an ancient village and a date palm plantation (the village is still inhabited intermittently).

Thanks to the valuable input of fellow hikers (Rene Duettra and Jim Bychowski), we managed to set up a circular route iso a return one. Thank you guys!

Breathtaking scenery, canyons with vertical walls, impressive gorges, fossils, ancient settlements, Shihuh architecture, great hiking, petroglyphs …. all in Wadi Shah

AT A GLIMPSE

LEVEL

– Circular trip
– Distance: 13 km
– Duration: 8 hours, including stops
– Activities: steep climbing in certain areas, bit of scrambling, parts with up- and downhill on loose rocks, gentle plateaus

 

Impressive canyon walls

Man made stairway

 


DIRECTIONS AND COORDINATES

Mountain Path

Click here for directions to Start point of the hike

 Waypoints 
 Latitude   Longitude    Elevation 
  1    Start Hike  N 25
53.981
  E056 08.533       404 m
  2   Triple Waterfall  N 25 54.018
E 056 10.011 
      597 m 
  3  Start Trail Up  N 25 54.002   E056 10.061
605 m
  4  Entrance Gate  N 25 54.219   E056 10.225        759 m
  5  Village
1
 N 25 54.470   E056 10.190        869 m
  6  Cemetery  N 25 54.657   E056
10.074
      979 m
  7  Highest Point Hike  N 25 54.591   E056 09.608
1073 m
  8  Water Reservoir  N 25 54.772   E056 09.455       1035 m
  9  Village
2
 N 25 54.855   E056 09.372       1010 m
 10   To Ridge  N 25 54.893
E056 09.254 
      975 m
 11  Fields   N 25 54.802   E056 08.948 
874 m
 12  Start Trail  N25 54.824   E056 08.947        873 m
 13 Entrance
into Wadi
 N 25 54.488   E056 08.960        586 m

DESCRIPTION OF THE HIKE

You will just follow the winding wadi, which gradually ascends. At the very beginning it is almost flat, an easy-to-walk terrain with small gravel.

The boulders will become larger until you reach the XXL ones, so a bit of scrambling skills are required.
Bear in mind that this route is still being used. This is obvious because of the cairns, the polished rocks, the path (not always very visible) and also the stairways, which have been built in the past and are maintained until date.

These stairways make your life easier so use them. It is obvious that they show you the most convenient way around huge boulders. You will soon experience that the gorge becomes rougher and narrower.

At a certain point, you have the option to:
Either follow your way up through the gorge, or follow the path (a bit higher up) which will lead you to the top of the canyon.
Both options are great, I have no favorite.

Wadi Shah Canyon

The first option is maybe more adventurous because of larger boulders, more scrambling and, if there has been some rain, refreshing pools. The advantage of this option also is that you will not lose the right track: just follow the wadi, nothing easier than that. And whenever the wadi splits, stick to the left side.

When you have reached the old date palm plantation, it means the village is right above it, on the plateau.
Another short climb and… there you are….
This village is quite extended and vast; it covers various hills and plateaus and has many terraced fields and stone houses.

The location is simply stunning, with the almost vertical mountain slopes on one side and the deep canyon on the other. Most of the houses are old and abandoned but others have been renovated recently and are obviously inhabited intermittently.

Long and high dry walls have been constructed to form terraced fields. Small houses are made with huge, heavy blocks of stone and blend into the existing rocks of the landscape
This is an ideal spot to have a break and to spend at least an hour in order to inhale the mysterious beauty of this mountain village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a surprise….. refreshing pools

With a bit of luck, you will even be offered a cup of tea by one of the Pakistani housekeepers or by the Emirati owner himself.

After a well deserved break, follow your way up in the direction of waypoint 6. The terrain ascends gently and you will soon reach another plateau where a cemetery is located. With the yellow gravestones lined up, this place is special and serene.

Now proceed over the ridge (highest point of the hike, waypoint 7) and prepare yourself for some more stunning views on the other side of it. The adjacent wadi is lying below you and you will notice a winding tarred road in the far distance.

Another village comes in sight and this is the place you will walk to. Head for the water reservoir (waypoint 9) and from there a trail leads to the village which is guarded by Pakistani housekeepers.

Traverse this settlement until you have reached the far end and start your way down (waypoint 11) via the trail which leads over the ridge to some fields (waypoint 12) in the distance.

From these fields, a perfect mountain path will bring you down smoothly, zigzagging over the slope until you arrive in the wadi.

From there the trail will obviously lead you to the tarred road, the end of the hike, and your car.
 

Date palms and dry walls

Old stone house

 

Petroglyphs

Water storage in village

 

Amazing rock formations and terraced fields

Cemetary

 

 

For the sharp eyed: beautiful fossils along the road