Upon visiting a couple of weeks ago & hiking up for the sunset (instead of sunrise), the trail was quiet & the hike up peaceful. There were only a few other hikers we met who were on their way down (we took the "original" trail, not the animal trail up) & as we hiked in late afternoon, the weather was great & we were shielded from the sun most of the time.
Upon reaching the peak, we were the only 3 people up there (along with our Bedouin guide) & the views on the way up & on the peak were breathtaking (as was the hike up). There were other things shared by our guide, such as the Broken Mountain with the blackened peak (where he God spoke to Moses from, resulting in the destruction of the mountain). There were also chapels & a small lake on this trail, along with the arches symbolizing entry into sacred territory.
Unfortunately, there were trash strewn along the path as the garbage bins were overfilled or felled by wind & not quickly cleaned up, resulting in plastic bags & bottles strewn here & there.
Our Bedouin guide was helpful, patient & professional, which we appreciated even more on the walk back down through the donkey/camel trail, which was easy although very dark. Fortunately, because of the darkness, we were able to enjoy many moments of wonderful stargazing.
Upon arriving at the hotel, we had a good dinner & better sleep. For those of you who prefer a more relaxing hike without having to compete for photo opportunities, we think a sunset hike would still be better than the sunrise one (especially seeing tour groups going for the sunrise hike in our hotel).
Apparently, there is also a "guesthouse" operated by the monks now in the premise of St. Catherine's Monastery with a restaurant, which would have been a good place to stay in had we known about it before.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.