WADI SHAH DESCENT (currently not accessible)


Right on the border with Oman, this almost vanished trail used to be a “smuggler path”. Nowadays this path has become completely obsolete: it is difficult to track the ancient trail; the hiker will have to unfold his skills to find his own smoothest way down. This makes the trip challenging and a bit hairy at some points.

But you can`t get lost because it`s always downhill between 2 high, rocky walls.
The views are magnificent.



– One way (must be combined with pick up by car)
– Distance: 15km
– Activities: always downhill (knee-exhausting). Total descent is 1300m. Some parts with treacherous loose rocks, and with very deep cliffs.



CAR PARK: N 25 56′ 37.75″ E56 09′ 22.02″ at 1616 m
TAKE RIGHT: N 25 56′ 45.10″ E 56 09′ 52.78″ at 1770 m
START WADI SHAH DESCENT: N 25 55′ 10.45″ E 56 10’37.70″ at 1480 m
VILLAGE: N25 54′ 32.50 E 56 10′ 08.51″ at 907 m
END (arrival tar road): N25 53′ 59.61″ E 56 08′ 29.31″ at 406 m



“Flow Stone”, also known as “bacon”

Park your car near the gate and start your hike on the road behind the barrier (cars are not allowed beyond this point but hikers are).
The first part is slightly uphill. Just before you arrive at the entrance of the property of the RAK ruler, you will leave the main road and take a right turn: N25 57′ 45.10″ E56 09′ 52.78″
For a little while you will walk along the fence of the property. Follow the sand road (very straightforward) and enjoy the amazing 360 views.
After 5 kms (more or less) the descent of Wadi Shah can start: quite easy at first but becoming more and more difficult.
Enjoy the wonderful views and impressive rock formations on all sides.

After another 4,5 kms, you will arrive at the village. This vast settlement is beautifully located on the ridges of the mountainside and is inhabited intermittently by Pakistani guardians. If you are lucky you will meet them and will be offered refreshments. They are also the guys who can show you the best continuation of the way down (because that is the tricky part: finding the right exit of the village into Wadi Shah).

After a deserved break between the wonderful ancient dry wall houses, the last part of the descent can start.
A path will lead you down and then comes the bouldery last stretch until you reach the tar road.

Here you will have to coordinate a car pick up.

The total descent is an impressive 1300 metres, and your knees will surely be affected by this.
Along the trail you will be able to see many different geological layers in the rocks, one of which is “flowstone”.
Flowstones are composed of sheet like deposits of calcite formed where water flows down walls or along the floors of a cave.

Flowing films of water moving along these floors or down positive-sloping walls build up layers of calcium carbonate (calcite), aragonite, gypsum, or other minerals.
Some draperies are translucent, and some have brown and beige layers that look much like bacon.

Terraced green fields near the village

Gigantic boulders


We came down all the way through the gully (visible in the background)

Magnificent specimen of edible Caralluma Arabica