5.71 mi

Elevation gain

4,606 ft

Technical difficulty


Elevation loss

344 ft

Max elevation

5,013 ft


72 4.6

Min elevation

487 ft

Trail type

One Way


7 hours 59 minutes




October 12, 2016


October 2016
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5,013 ft
487 ft
5.71 mi

Viewed 32023 times, downloaded 707 times

near Ḩārat ‘Awālī, Raʼs al Khaymah (United Arab Emirates)

A route from the Wadi Ghalilah Dam almost straight up to Jebel Jais, with stunning views of Wadi Litibah, Wadi Ghalilah and Wadi Jais from the top, as well as all the main peaks of the Northern Emirates and Mussadam, except Jebel Harim. Very Rewarding, with challenging terrain being made easy with a well laid path, clear signage, steps, dry stone embankments and stone marked pathways, as well as stone bench's/tables on route.

The time taking on this gps file should be considered a slow time. A fast group should be able to do this in around 4 hours up and 2.5 down. Slower Groups (as in this example) is around 8 up and 3.5 down I have removed the top-to-bottom part from the gps file uploaded to keep it clean, however the waypoints naming will work both ways. There is currently a 15 minute walk down from the top point to the closest parking spot, if you do this route in reverse (top to bottom) and start there.

The path simply 'goes up' with extremely few down parts on the way up and vice versa. The route is 'Easy' due to the well laid path, however so as not to be misleading the following should be considered:
* The length of the route
* No warm up period - it's steep from the start.
* No get-out routes or short-cuts
* Minimal shade particularly on the bottom half

Route Description from bottom to top:

Section 1: The route wastes no time in gaining elevation. It weaves its way along with water supply piping and electricity poles up the ridge and out of the wadi, at a sustained 1 in 4 gradient it zig-zags up over the barren ridge. The signs appear every hundred meters or so at this stage but soon spread out. This continues for 1/3rd of the route (up till the seating area after way point 10).

Section 2: The path becomes a more shallow gradient for the next third of the route, although it never ceases to run out of upward opportunities, with a short sharp section early on with some impressive stone work zig-zagging the path up a tight gully mimicking the roads of San Fransico (Lombard Street). After this point, quick progress is made with beautiful views of farms to the left, some placed on the flatter sections, some placed more precariously on the seemingly inaccessible cliffs of LItibah. This section goes up until waypoint 15 at the Water Barrels under the tree anchored into the rock.

Section 3: As you get to the end of section 2 a foreboding wall of cliffs, ledges and spiky summits lay ahead of you. This section defined the route for me making ease of difficult terrain. The gradient again increases to around 1 in 4 for this leg, with the path on this section being poorer quality than previously, and signage and markings disappearing all together. The route (looking at the face of the mountain) briefly heads up a gully right then switches straight left traversing on a narrow ledge with the only brief decent in the route. It then turns back to the right circling the peak up the rocky ledge before disappearing to the right hand side of the peak. A seating area sits half way through the section against the rock face; goats walk above here and rocks do fall. This section ends at waypoint 22, just a short traverse afterwards, where a water pumping station can be seen with a cement staircase heading sharply down from it.

Section 4: A scree gully between waypoints 22 and 23 make up the shortest but more strenuous part of the route. The gully climbs around 35 degrees for around 800m (1/2 mile). The path for this leg is poorer quality often less clearly marked but don't be concerned that you are off route due to this. As you top-out on the gulley a seating area makes for a well deserved rest at the top.

Section 5: The last section makes up the last 1/6th of the route, and is the return to civilisation. Clear signage, and a solid clear path return after legs 3 and 4 felt more abandoned. Active Farms are to your left hand side; however take the path to the right and follow it around the edge of the hill at a more gradual gradient as in leg 2. This leads to the final short steeper section up to the ridge. At the ridge the submit sits to the right, and the path down to the Jebel Jais road (under construction) heads left for the final 100m.

View more external

Car park

01 - Start/End Point

  • Photo of 01 - Start/End Point

02 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 02 - Turning Point

03 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 03 - Turning Point

04 - Turning Point - 1000m

  • Photo of 04 - Turning Point - 1000m

05 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 05 - Turning Point

06 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 06 - Turning Point

07 - Turning Point - Just North of 2000 Sign

  • Photo of 07 - Turning Point - Just North of 2000 Sign

08 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 08 - Turning Point

09 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 09 - Turning Point

10 - Turning Point - 100m North of Seating Area

  • Photo of 10 - Turning Point - 100m North of Seating Area

11 - Bottom of San Fransico (Lombard Street)

  • Photo of 11 - Bottom of San Fransico (Lombard Street)

12 - Top of San Fransico (Lombard Street)

  • Photo of 12 - Top of San Fransico (Lombard Street)

13 - Turning Point 100m North of Seating Area - 3500m Sign

  • Photo of 13 - Turning Point 100m North of Seating Area - 3500m Sign

14 - View of the Farms

  • Photo of 14 - View of the Farms

15 - Shaded Area and Water Barrels

  • Photo of 15 - Shaded Area and Water Barrels

16 - Turning Point

  • Photo of 16 - Turning Point

17 - Start/End of Traverse - 6000m~

  • Photo of 17 - Start/End of Traverse - 6000m~

18 - Bottom of Scree-ledge

  • Photo of 18 - Bottom of Scree-ledge

19 - Seating Area and Shade

  • Photo of 19 - Seating Area and Shade

20 - Turning Point - 6500m~

  • Photo of 20 - Turning Point - 6500m~

21 - Top of Scree-ledge

  • Photo of 21 - Top of Scree-ledge

22 - Bottom of Gully

  • Photo of 22 - Bottom of Gully

23 - Top of Gully - 7500m Sign and Seating Area

  • Photo of 23 - Top of Gully - 7500m Sign and Seating Area
Mountain pass

24 - Ridge Point 50m from seating area

  • Photo of 24 - Ridge Point 50m from seating area

25 - Start/End Point

  • Photo of 25 - Start/End Point


  • Photo of arnaud Laviolette

    arnaud Laviolette Sep 25, 2017

    I have followed this trail  View more

    This is just a very beautiful trail from start to finish, the more we went up the more beautiful it get. I would recommend plenty of hydration and food to consume along the way to keep the energy level high, the last part of the trail is very steep and make sure you have a bag which is reasonable in weight.

    I advised some safety gears as at some point you wont have network on your phone as it switched to OMTEL and you can call or no network at all.
    I recommend :
    Walkie talkie, first aid kit, plenty of hydration (water 5litres, electrolytes, hats as some part of the mountain is exposed to the direct sun.

    This trail is you are experienced you must try , thank you Ben Robbins for sharing this to the world.

  • John Frankish Dec 6, 2017

    Thanks for posting the track - we did the walk yesterday - it's a pity that there's no obvious way to turn the hike into a loop.

    It's also the first time in many local hikes that I've seen trail markers :)

  • rpba81 Dec 14, 2017

    We doing this trail tomorrow, will post an update.

  • rpba81 Dec 17, 2017

    To inform anyone attempting this trail, the road to this trail is closed down and no cars or people allowed through. The blockade is at
    25.9442913, 56.1429520. We parked our cars there and hiked up the hills to 25.9477903, 56.1388573. There is no trail, loose rocks on the right side, try to avoid those.

    We were disapointed but managed to salvage whatever we could.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 16, 2018

    Just to be clear: this route is not closed down, has not been closed down, and remains open.

    rpba81 has done this route backwards, and possibly has walked up the new Jebel Jais Road which is not a required detour. This is not the route described here.

    However, if you wish to do a modified version of this route, and park at the top and do it backwards, you can walk to the top trail point in about 20 minutes from the parking, and there is a marked path going up, and it is clearly worn.

    The road is still under construction and has yet to be opened to the public (at time of writing). It is not required for walking, and following the road would be about 4 times the distance and not permitted.

    If you do want to do this route in reverse, or wish to do half the route and not return to the bottom, the trail linked to below includes that initial section:

  • Photo of ina1

    ina1 Feb 11, 2018

    This hike is def. NOT closed. In fact it was quite popular on Friday.

    The trail is very easy to follow, with markers along the way.

    We did this in 3.5 hours up, and 2.5 hours down. Its physically challenging - our lungs were burning pretty much the whole ascent (9km), equally our knees took a battering on the way down. There is minimal cover/shade so take a lot of water. Although carrying so much water makes it harder to go up!

    It's beautiful, once you get to the top, you're literally above the clouds (on the Wadi Ghalilah side). I highly recommend this trail. We had lunch at the flag pole (mainly because the picnic spot was taken by other hikers) on the Jebel Jais side. We watched the zip liners, and also may have laid flat on the road recuperating.... there is no public access so its nice and quiet, no cars zooming past.

    Highly recommended! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Photo of ina1

    ina1 Feb 11, 2018

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Highly recommended.

  • Photo of firas frangieh

    firas frangieh Feb 25, 2018

    Dear Ben

    thank you for the details of this hike. i have a question please. i dont have a 4x4, where can i park my car best and walk to the start point of the hike?

    thanks again for sharing

  • John Frankish Feb 25, 2018

    You don't need a 4x4, there is a paved road all the way to the dam.

    On the right hand side of the dam there is a small car park just a few metres from the start of the hike.

  • rpba81 Feb 25, 2018

    I stand corrected, I had approached the trail from the opposite direction. Apologies for mentioning the wrong details in the review.

    Will definitely try this again!


  • Photo of Andy_012345

    Andy_012345 Feb 27, 2018

    I follow it, it's good.

  • Photo of firas frangieh

    firas frangieh Mar 4, 2018

    i followed it solo until the 5000 meter sign. amazing views
    next time will complete it full with a group
    highly recomended
    Thank you Ben

  • Photo of ina1

    ina1 Mar 4, 2018

    Firas Frangieh - did you do this on Friday? If so, i think our paths crossed.

  • Photo of firas frangieh

    firas frangieh Mar 4, 2018

    Ina1- i hiked yesterday (sat) and sadly i didnt encounter any other hiker
    its a very nice area and yesterday it was damp as it rained the night before

  • Ivkosky Mar 8, 2018

    Hi guys, I would like to do this hike, but not sure how to get back to the car? Sorry for a lame question, but I would like to park the car somewhere at the starting point (if possible) and then return back to it. Thanks a lot.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Mar 8, 2018

    You can park right at the start point. To get back to it, you either need to retread your steps and reverse the route, or have a second car parked at the top of the Jebel Jais road, and add an additional 20 mins to the hike to get to the car.

  • travelingi May 14, 2018

    I will be in the UAE from the 19th to the 21st and was wondering if anyone was thinking of climbing Jebel Jais during this time. My understanding is that there is no public transportation past Ras Al-Khaimah. I would love to share a taxi or help pay for gas if someone has a car.


  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins May 14, 2018

    Hey Travelingi. Just to be sure it's clear, this route does not summit Jebel Jais or bil ais. It just get's up onto the side of Jebel Jais mountain. It's a couple of hours to the summit. The road to the bottom of this route has plenty of traffic on it for hitch hiking, and many of the farmers drive up early in the morning. Never guaranteed, but I have never had much delay either.

  • serzin Oct 28, 2018


    Just to clarify the route starts and ends at the dam right?

    if I drive up and park on the right hand side of the dam in the small car park, then i will descend back down in the same route, correct?

    Also is the path so clear that I do not need to follow the map? Or will it be essential to have a GPS to navigate?

    Thank you.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 28, 2018


    Yes the route starts at the dam.
    Yes you park and its on your right hand side (there is a sign marking it)
    The path is clear for the top and bottom sections, but the mid section at times is less clear. If you not have a GPS, then hopefully the description in this artical will get you through it.


  • serzin Oct 28, 2018

    Thanks a lot.

    So start and finish are both at the dam?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 28, 2018

    It's linear, so if you return back you end where you started. However if you arrange a pick up at the top, it is a 15 min additional walk to a car parking spot there. This is at the top of the jebel jais road. The drive time between here and the start is quite some distance. Possibly 90 mins drive.

  • serzin Oct 28, 2018

    Ok so when you mentioned above 4 hours up and 2.5 hours down (for a fast group) then I would end where I start, correct?

    Apologies for the questions, just want to make sure I have it right.


  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 29, 2018

    That is correct

  • Photo of tigerluk

    tigerluk Jan 2, 2019

    Hi! Will try this trail thursday night. Can you recall if there is a campsite near the jump off (like one hour trek from jump off) where we can spwnd the night? Then the friday early morning, we will continue our way up. Or is it possible to camp in the jump off?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 2, 2019

    I have camped at the base of this before, but there are a few mozi's in the wadi on the other side of the road. There is also fire wood though, so it's good and bad. If you head up to waypoint 14 it is noticeably flatter, and there are camp spots there. Depending on speed this is around 1 hour to 90 mins into the trek. If your not looking for anywhere too fancy (a ledge), you could really camp pretty much anywhere, just give a bit of distance from the active farms where people live and maybe set yourself back off the route, as this has a high footfall it seems, so people may be coming through early.

  • Photo of Muzla2

    Muzla2 Jan 3, 2019

    Great trail Ben, tried it yesterday. Plan was to go slow and steady as far as possible before cut off time, brew, food and return. Didn't set off early so reached the third seating area just before 3500m. Peaceful and well worthwhile. (and critter free day - bonus!)

  • Photo of manan_1001

    manan_1001 Jan 8, 2019

    Hi Ben! I've been wanting to try this hike for a while, but I wanted to do it with my dogs. Would you suggest it for canines? I'm scared the last bit may be too steep and while my dogs can climb some 0.7-1m high boulders, it gets to be a little too much. They're a Labrador and a Swiss Shepherd. Thanks for the awesome trails!

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 8, 2019

    Hi Manan, It should be fine for medium/large dogs. Their footing is usually better than ours! The concerning bit (use of lead) would be the ledges before the last section. points 15-22, but that's down to how well behaved/smart they are I guess.

  • hakamarja Jan 25, 2019

    Hi, we are planning to take this hike from Sharjah on the 8th Feb. Our plan is to fill it into the trip to see the Jebel Jais viewing point, what you suggest would it be best to take this hike downwards from Jebel Jais road, other vice it would require a lot of driving extra if we start this from the starting point, return there and drive to Jebel Jais viewing poinr or am I understanding it right?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 25, 2019

    Hi Hakamarja, Which ever way you go you will need to either return back to your start point or arrange transport at either end. If you start at the top, the parking spot is 20mins-30mins walk from the path. However if you start at the bottom the parking is at the start point exactly. If you have 2 cars, you could go bottom to top and then walk down the road to the viewing platform where another car is. This would take around an hour I would guess.

  • hakamarja Jan 27, 2019

    Hi Ben
    Thank u for your answer. We are planning to make a returntrip but could you advice us how to get from the start point by car to Jebel Jais viewing deck. It seems a very long trip by googlemap. We definitely want to make this hike and visit viewing point so would you advice to start the hike from the top when planning a return trip any way? Is it easy to find the track from the Jebel Jais end if we start from there.
    Thank u in advance.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 27, 2019

    It is a long trip. They are different wadi's altogether and then there is a 4000ft snaking road as well. It will take around 1 hour 15 mins between the two points. The route is simple however, just heading out of wadi ghalilah, south on the new RAK ring-road, then follow signs to jebel jais, taking a left at a roundabout 20 mins in. Once at the viewing deck, the road will continue for 5 mins drive to the top parking. After this is is a restricted road. You need to walk up the road (skipping the corners by taking the path. For this route I did part of that: "Jebel Bil Ais ledge and Khamid Farms". Finding the track at the top is relatively easy. Download the waypoints and it's super easy. Or print the map and that would work to. In short, after the Barrier the road winds then hairpins back. There is then the ToroVerde Cafe/Building. After this the road hair pins back right. When you then head back in the other direction directly past the ToroVerde building again...The path is there, on your left.

  • Kjbhatia00 Feb 9, 2019

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Just completed this trek yesterday. We took 4 hours to get up and 3 hours to come down. It's intense, towards 7000 m onwards it gets very challenging due to the loose rocks. but once you pass 8000m, its a straight towards the endpoint.

  • Kyril Solntsev Feb 9, 2019

    Thanks, Ben. Completed today. A bit confusing was the part around W21 where the large cairns lead down to two white cisterns. But your gpx said to turn left which we did. We were lucky to have friend with a car on top of the hill :-)

  • hakamarja Feb 10, 2019

    Thanks Ben, we did this on Friday 8th. Starting from top. Some places it was tricky to find the bath and we did not go all the way down as it was very slow for us going down...much faster going up.

  • Joanna Khoury Mar 5, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for all the info! Any idea if it would be possible to get a ride from the top point at Jebel Jais back to Wadi Ghalilah? We are thinking of hiking up but are afraid it will be difficult for us to get back down as we are not fairly experienced hikers so it may take too long for us.

    Do you know of any of the adventure companies around Jebel Jais who might offer rides to hikers back to Wadi Ghalilah?

    I guess the alternative would be for us to just do half the loop, but we would miss out on a lot of the scenery.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Apr 21, 2019

    Apologies on the late reply. A nearby company based on route is "Challenging Adventure", so maybe they could offer something. The route around is quite a long drive. Another option is just to get a less motivated friend to drop at one end and drive around to meet you at the other.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Apr 21, 2019

    Toroverde may offer lift services as well, as they operate the Zip-line at the top.

  • Photo of 'Foxey' Colin Fox

    'Foxey' Colin Fox Apr 23, 2019

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Very nice route.

  • Photo of NuskiNafeez

    NuskiNafeez Sep 11, 2019

    Hi Ben, Since it’s hot during day time, We are planing to do this hike early morning with head torches. And to return soon after sunrise. What is your advice? Thanks in advance.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Sep 11, 2019

    I would suggest aiming for waypoint 15 for sunrise, so you can see clearly for the following section. The temperatures would be good for the way up as the altitude takes care of the rising daytime temperatures, but on the way back it could be a hot finish.

  • Photo of 'Foxey' Colin Fox

    'Foxey' Colin Fox Sep 13, 2019

    Hi NuskiNafeez, I have done this route and happy to join you if you fancy some company. Would be interesting doing it in the dark and see the sunrise. Best Colin

  • Photo of NuskiNafeez

    NuskiNafeez Sep 13, 2019

    Hi Colin. We are planing the hike on 24th night or 25th early morning. If you are ok with the dates you are more than welcome.

  • osoward Nov 5, 2019

    Thanks for the route and all the info.
    I am planning on hiking it up from the bottom. I am hoping to not have to hike back down. Are there any taxis at the top (perhaps by the car park) that you could take back to your car?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Nov 5, 2019

    Highly doubt it as it's an hour from town. Could call one out but they would probably have a hefty charge. Would probably cost a few hundred. Hitch hiking down would be more reliable i reckon!

  • osoward Nov 5, 2019

    Thanks. It sounds like it’s take two cars or hike back down

  • Photo of vbenwell

    vbenwell Nov 17, 2019

    This is a great hike from bottom to top and back again, I did it yesterday as a solo hike but I think its unrealistic putting it as an EASY catagory for all the new people who are starting hiking for the first time or fairly new to hiking (even with the long time 8hrs). I agree with all your wey points and descriptions. The route at the moment is only visible for those that can read the rocks and after last weeks rain there has been a lot of rock shift! I've done this route many times myself and even yesterday I took a wrong path but was able to backtrack. Please rate the catagory in terms of other peoples experience... Not just how you found it as a regular hiker and how well the route is laid out. I understand why but this definitely isn't an easy hike, especially for newbies. And even more so if unprepared for distance, time, weather, water etc This is when accidents happen and routes get closed down. Maybe if it's just a record for yourself, save is as a local copy! Or record everything you took with you... navigation system, amount of water, snacks, appropriate footwear, etc etc. I'm just a concerned hiker fearful for all the unexperienced newbies out there thinking this is gonna be an 8 hour walk in the park!! Thanks for considering. 😊👍🏻

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Nov 17, 2019

    Hi vbenwell,

    I agree that the trail is long, and based on the climate of the UAE, as well as the height gains and even remoteness in the middle, the route can be hard for some. However it is important to note, based partly on other comments, that others hold the opposite view also, that routes marked with harder grading were very easy for them. In regards to physical difficulty, it is highly subjective, but I have tried to use the broad range of gradings, and ultimately this route is one of the easiest in the UAE, relatively speaking.

    Wikiloc does explicitly state that the difficulty rating is "technical". it is based on the "technical challenge of [the] trail, not the physical exertion." Therefore I will leave the grading of this route as easy, as it involves only walking, with no particularly awkward steps or use of hands at any point. Technically it is easy.

  • Photo of vbenwell

    vbenwell Nov 17, 2019

    Hi Ben,
    Yep, fair enough, I get that, physical difficulty is subjective, and walking is all the Ghalilah/Jais route is in terms of technical ability... I just hope everyone reads all the information provided on a route, and then plans their hike accordingly. There are just too many irresponsible hikers out there. I've met quite a few on my hikes and travels, I for one would hate to aid their recklessness!

  • Photo of Laith Wark

    Laith Wark Dec 1, 2019

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Ben has explained the trail very well, and it's a great day walk. It's worth taking the GPS track as the trail can be hard to follow in some of the upper sections. I gave the "easy to follow" rating three stars to encourage others to take a GPS track with them and not expect the trail to be clearly visible for the whole route. It could be done by "bush navigation" if you had time and didn't mind a little back-tracking in case of wrong turns.

  • Ros Alston Jan 20, 2020

    Can this be a loop or do we just need to do the walk back following the same path? Working on how to get back to the car with just two of us in one car... Presumably this takes you up to the summit of JJ? Do the zip lines and roads spoil the hike somewhat? Heading off this coming Thurs to camp, for a Friday hike - hoping the 10% chance of rain remains just that and doesn’t spoil the walk plans!!

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 21, 2020

    with one car it would be a return trip yes. The path finishes on the Jebel Jais road. If you then turn left/East when getting to this top road it would proceed up the mountain. The Zip lines start further up this road and are on the SE side. The route comes up the NW side and joins the road at it's end. Therefore the zip lines and roads are the end of the hike and can't be seen until the last few meters of the route. Reference the OSM map and/or way point on this route if you need these details visualised, and check out the description for the finer details.

  • joecollins2008 Mar 15, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    A lot of information here thanks, first time using Wikiloc.

    Thinking of doing the hike at the weekend, or would you say the whether is too hot at the minute?

    Also I understand that during the middle stages the signs become less clear, I believe you can buy the premium version of Wikiloc, will this assist further is finding the route? Or is all the GPS when using an iPhone just relying on phone signal?

    Can I also just confirm that the 8 hours stated in for a return trip?


  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Mar 15, 2020

    Hi Joe,

    I can't comment on the benefits of having wikiloc Pro as I'm not using it myself. However for this route, with the moderately clear path throughout, waypoints, gps track, text, photos and diagrams provided, getting lost would really be quite a feat.

    The weather is still good at the moment, and the altitude gain will help. However the sun is strong.

    The 8 hours stated is a 'slow' time just to the top. It is 3.5 hours for a 'slow' return to the bottom.

    Hope that helps,

  • QaisarJan Sep 12, 2020

    Thanks all for very useful comments, I plan to do this solo in late Sep or early Oct. Is it a good time of the year for it? Also, once I meet the road on top, how far away is the flag post from there?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Sep 12, 2020

    Sept/Oct will still be warm, but starting at first light would make it ok. The path more or less ends at the flag.

  • QaisarJan Sep 25, 2020

    Thanks Ben,
    I Just did it.. took 3h 25 min from the dam parking to the flag post on Jabel jais... 2h 27min on way back... Those heights close to the cliff are challenging both ways, soared to 41c on way back, less than 5L of fluids is suicidal ,.. bring 8-10 energy bars or fruits etc. I started 0740, about 1.5 hours from first light ... hardly any shade throughout the track except next to those cliffs

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Sep 26, 2020

    Good to get out early in the season, but still hot. Thanks for the details.

  • N0thalie Oct 11, 2020

    Hi Ben. Sounds really good. Thank you for sharing, I'll add to my todo list.
    I am wondering how you know all the peak names, wadi names, etc. I'd like to be able to put name on the various places I see during my hikes.
    Thank you for your input!

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 11, 2020

    I have slowly built up the list of names from chatting to people, often people I bump into in the villages on route, as well as referencing some older maps, and having some local friends translate. Also I find that people are helpfully quick to correct, so I sometimes have used some random names initially and found the correct ones as a result!

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Oct 15, 2020

    Hi ben
    I am new to hiking and you have mentioned it as easy

    How about any groups required or we can go by alone.

    Any signified skills required to complete this trial

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Oct 15, 2020

    Do I require any hiking tools or just a back pack with water and snacks is enough.

    Boots required or any running shoes is enough?

    Since it is Wadi what about water flow in it?

    Whether we should avoid it during rainy seasons? How to know the weather forecast?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 15, 2020

    Hi Meer, This route isn't in a wadi, it follows a ridge line. As a beginner, and generally, having others with you makes it a safer bet. I have graded the route as easy however it's subjective, and not so much a beginner perspective. It's not a stroll in the park, but it's not technically difficult. Footwear really comes down to personal choice, boots give more ankle support, but less agility. I would say this route is doable in running shoes and it is better for moving fast, but coming down may be heavy on the feet; typically a beginner won't be rock hopping like a mountain goat though. For weather forecast, check on-line, believe nothing, prepare for anything and keep your wits about you. As a beginner, avoid the common traps; take sufficient water, know when to turn back, have a head tourch, means of contact, and tell others where you are going if you go alone. Hope that helps,

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Oct 16, 2020

    So this wadi ghalilah to jebel jais route take to the top of mountain?

    How much hours it will take to reach top?

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Oct 16, 2020

    Is there any WhatsApp or Facebook group for such free hiking activity so that I can join with them

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 16, 2020

    It will take you to the ridge where the road goes. The summit of Jebel Jais is some distance away. The information on timings is all in the route description. Check meetup for hiking groups, as many people meet up via that.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Oct 16, 2020

    Thank you 😊

  • Jeena Sanu Oct 26, 2020

    Hey, is this trail still open? And is going this thursday and starting the trail around 6am be recommended?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 26, 2020

    I haven't head anything of it closing, and QaisarJan posted above that they did it just a month ago. Early starts are good at this time of year.

  • Jeena Sanu Oct 27, 2020

    Hey Ben, will there be drinking water available on the hike? How much water should one carry?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Oct 27, 2020

    I would never bet on water being available. The only options for this would be water tanks. There are no shops. In terms of quantity, it varies per person, fitness levels, speed and time of year. Generally at this time of year, to go up and down will be around 3-4L for a beginner.

  • Vishnu C Dec 3, 2020

    Dear Ben

    Thanks for the trail. I am a novice hiker and my wife and I, along with our 10 year old son were planning to take this trail to do some camping on our own.

    Are there are any camping opportunities on the route?

    We are really not looking at hiking the entire route.


  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Dec 3, 2020

    Hi Vishnu,

    I have camped on this route, but our expectations when camping may differ. Between points 13-15 are the best options, specifically around point 14. However be aware that isn't right out of the car, it's around half way up. At the start point, it is possible to camp down near the road, a few hundred meters down the valley before the parking spot.

    Hope that helps,

  • Vishnu C Dec 3, 2020

    Definitely. Thank you for the quick reply. Regards

  • Photo of Obaid Rizavi

    Obaid Rizavi Dec 15, 2020

    Hi Ben, I want to do this route, does it require any specialized equipment or gear?

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Dec 15, 2020

    Hi Obaid, It doesn't require anything particularly specialized. Obviously good footwear, a bag to carry water and food and a rain jacket in case of rain, would make up the essentials, but this is very much a beginner route technically. A good pair of walking socks is a nice touch for the downhill though.

  • Photo of Obaid Rizavi

    Obaid Rizavi Dec 16, 2020

    Thanks, Ben! Love the logs you’ve created here in detail.

  • Photo of Lyndon Lopez

    Lyndon Lopez Dec 25, 2020

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Hi Ben,

    I tried your trail but i made a loop back to wadi Ghalilah car park. The experience is really cool! I finnished in 9hours. Will do this trek again as its a good way to increase your endurance in hiking. Thanks Ben!

  • Photo of 'Rainbow Hiker' Patrick Vijay D'Silva

    'Rainbow Hiker' Patrick Vijay D'Silva Dec 31, 2020

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Hi Ben,
    Yesterday we hiked this trail and continued towards HH Palace and further to 1935 Summit of Jais and then returned back towards the Jais View Deck Park.
    Basically we had to plan logistics for 2 cars, but it was worth it.
    The Trail is demanding but gives you a feel of achievement too.
    Thank you for the detailed Trail.

  • Karthik Raghu Jan 7, 2021

    Hi Ben is there any opening time, or can we start early. I am planning to start around 5am.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 7, 2021

    This isn't a park or controlled access area in any way, so there are no access limitations as to when you can go.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Jan 23, 2021

    Hi Ben Robbins.,

    Thanks a lot for your information on 16th October reply to my chat. Suddenly I got interest in hiking and you are the first person I asked and clarified my doubts. And you said about meetup app from that onwards I have done four trails .
    Thank you so much

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 24, 2021

    Thanks Meer, your welcome

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Jan 24, 2021

    Dear all,

    Anyone interested in wadi showka mountain trail on 26th jan Tuesday. As all hiking groups on meetup is active only on weekends and for me no holidays on week end. So only I m planning on week day.

  • Hamad AlJasmi Jan 26, 2021

    where’s the starting point

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Jan 26, 2021

    Either waypoint 1, or waypoint 25. Make sure to be clear on all the points covered in the description before you do this. It takes more than a start point to have a trip planned out.

  • lunarmount Feb 7, 2021

    Anyone interested in doing this trail on 13th Feb ?

  • Photo of miriensita78

    miriensita78 Mar 15, 2021

    Hi Ben,I am planning to do the route on my own on Wednesday,I am a slow hiker,but can walk for hours without stopping.Is there any exposure to heights or tricky point on the track?Thanks for all the information.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Mar 15, 2021

    Hi miriensita, There isn't anything particularly crazy or I would have definitely included it in the description. The most exposed parts are at Waypoints 17, and between 21-22, where there are still decent paths which are simple balcony walks. The risk of exposure comes from the sun.

  • Photo of miriensita78

    miriensita78 Mar 26, 2021

    Thanks,I will wait until fall when temperatures are a bit lower.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Apr 28, 2021

    Hi all,

    Go to the above link it says hefty fine for even individuals going for hiking without permit. Is this news true if so can we go to hike without permission or any permission required uae govt

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Apr 28, 2021

    Hi Ben Robbins and all
    There is event of 3 days 55 kms hike in ras al khaimah on Nov does anyone has registered for it

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Apr 28, 2021

    Although this site says slightly differently, my understanding is that this is in place to stop tour operators taking groups out who are not licensed. They say that it effects individuals organising treks, but rather than a few friends, I think this is targeting these larger groups who get together through sites such as meetup. It has also been poorly enforced if at all. For events these are permitted as long as the operator has the licences/permits. I have not registered for it no.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Apr 30, 2021

    Hi Ben Robbins,
    Hope you are doing good,

    I have registered for Highlander 55kms a three days hike start from ghalilah dam and end at jebel jais lower segment which will be held at November . So definitely we need to take stairways to heaven to reach top. I have done trails such as jebel lower trial, jebel jais upper trial, showka dam, showka pools, khatt mountain. I am ready do long distance hike but my only concern is stairways to heave route. Do we require any special to do stairways to heaven. When I see you tube video the path is very dangerous.
    What is stairways of heaven is it so dangerous or just a steep steps and how long distance it covers like 1 or 2 kms.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Apr 30, 2021

    Hi Meer,
    You don't require anything special such as ropes for example. It does require some decent navigation and a head for heights. Check out the route here:

  • Photo of nat.livelife

    nat.livelife Jul 18, 2021

    I no m mm m. M. Mok on. M ok I no no Kolkata

  • Imke Clark Sep 4, 2021

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Hiked the trail yesterday in 6 hrs which included the walk from the top to jebel Jais viewing park ( it links to a route from there so again a nice trail to follow and arrange a pick up). It was very enjoyable, clear path but a lot of lose rocks on the trail. It was ‘easy’ because of a clear trail. It was however quite strenuous as it’s 1400 meters up! Thanks for the excellent description. Really appreciated.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Dec 8, 2021

    Hi Ben

    Today I did same trail.
    But did not reach the road. Almost done 80 percent after that we cannot find and way was more steep so we returned.

    But you reach the road in some other route.
    If we raach top is there any other route, I crossed two balcony.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Dec 8, 2021

    You did in 2016, now no sign boards. We saw last sign biard in 3.5 kms but trails keeps on going till 6 kms.

  • Photo of Meer Waheeth

    Meer Waheeth Dec 8, 2021

    I saw the 8th photo which has barrels still we can find it, after that also we did for 1 or 2 kms after that it was very steep and cannot find proper route.

  • Photo of Ben Robbins

    Ben Robbins Dec 8, 2021

    Sounds like you reached the gully. After a few hundred meters at the top of this gully the path re-emerges and it's an easier walk on of lower gradient to the road. I would suggest downloading the way-points to help you navigate.

  • Photo of vl-sher

    vl-sher Feb 8, 2022

    I have followed this trail  View more

    A lot of thanks to Ben Robbins for his descriptions of Stairway to heaven and Wadi Ghalilah!
    The way down the Wadi Ghalilah took me 7 hours. The section from point 25 to 22 (refer to the second Ben's track) reveals no problems with navigation (though GPS has poor quality also) - just go down the gully trying to follow the old steps or thick black water pipe. The descent is steep (about 350m). I have not found the trail between point 22 and 21 so I followed the black water pipe and found a nice camp site with the green grass . Unfortunately my GPS battery was very low so I have not got the GPX track. Approximately from the camp I've moved right (heading north and leaving the pipe on the left) and crossed the trail somewhere before .
    Please click here for the details of my route.

  • henrik.broman May 4, 2022

    Did it today, upperparts after 4-5 km from start ( dam) are washed away. Can be hiked but trail is not intact and not as easy to spot going up as going down

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