Jebel Shams, otherwise known as the ‘Mountain of Sun’, at 3,009m (9,872 feet) is the highest mountain in the Sultanate of Oman. That is not the only reason why it is a popular tourist spot, the views across the vast valley floor have earnt it the local nickname of the “Grand Canyon of Arabia”. As long as you don’t suffer with vertigo, the views from the summit are spectacular as you peer over the edge down the sheer rock face 6,40m (2,100 feet) to the valley floor.
The W6 hiking trail is a popular choice as it is reasonably easy to access and not too technical allowing most of the family can join in, just be aware of the huge heights and steep drops when dishing out the invites to the elderly and those who are likely to walk off a cliff edge – definitely not a trip for my active toddler!
As always, my favourite part of exploring sights in Oman is the ever friendly – and ever hungry – mountain goats. When they can’t stick their head in a trash for morsels can you can find them up trees (how is that even possible?!) munching on leaves. I even gave it a try for myself without much dexterity or grace, I’ll leave that one to the goats.
Along the W6 track you reach the old abandoned village of As Seb nestled into the rock face. It is amazing to think that people survived all the way out here!
The W6 trail was a great hike and one that I’m sure I will visit again soon with my next batch of visitors. With the drive only 2.5 hours from Muscat city it makes an achieveable and memorable day out.
Want to see more? Get comfy and watch the adventure video right here;
How to reach the W6 hike;
Travelling to Jebel Shams from Nizwa follow the road towards the summit sign posted for the Jebel Shams resort. When you reach the road outside the resort itself the main road ends and the dirt track splits in two – take the left fork.
The road to the summit is achieveable without the need for a 4×4, the next 10 mins of dirt track gets bumpy but still possible.
Reaching the tiny village of Khateem (I’m told that it is pronounced “Hootm”) we followed the road to the left and parked in a small car park, I didn’t notice any Ministry of Tourism signs as mentioned on other websites so we just went with the flow and found our own way. Passing the local vendors selling homemade wares we strolled towards the cliff side and made a left turn down hill where then we noticed the flags painted on the rocks.
Drive time from Muscat city was just over 2.5 hours.