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Reviewed July 9, 2018

facilities such as road and infrastructure could be developed, no street lights, no proper display boards to reach the hill top, not a great experience

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank 883prasadn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2018

We stayed around 2000m from sea level and walked on one of the easier trails. the place is very good for people who will want some outdoors activity like mountain biking or hiking trails. it was hot even in the night during summer , but it is said to be nice during winter and snow falling on the peaks of the Al Hajar mountain range.

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank Footloose112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2018 via mobile

You can't reach the top of the mountain by car, but anyway you can see the beautifull views. The balcony walk is amazing. We were camping on the mountain and it was very cold even in may! There is a lot of goats everywhere and they tried to stole toilet paper from our car

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank 735tjasav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2018

Magnificent views, excellent guides

We booked a guide through Husaak Adventures for 2 hikes on Jebel Shams. Husaak Adventures conveniently has an office next to the reception at the Sama Heights Resord. Our guide, Ahmed, a young Omani university student who hails from a nearby village, has been leading hikes around Jebel Shams since he was 16 years old. Ahmed cheerfully shares his knowledge and experience of his Jebel Shams playground with visitors.

Before starting the hike, Ahmed conducts a security briefing including common sense do’s and don’t’s. Husaak provides a packed lunch and water as part of the hike fee.

Our first outing was an 8km hike to Jebel Shams Viewpoint (aka IMAX) 35 OMR per person. The trailhead starts right outside the Sama Heights Resort. It’s a fairly easy ascending hike through rocky terrain culminating in a spectacular, open view of the impressive canyon.

The Jebel Shams Balcony and Lake 10km hike (49 OMR per person) is described as an easy to medium level hike. The trailhead is a 10-minute drive from the Sama Heights Resort and starts at the edge of the village located close to the road’s viewpoint of the canyon. This hike skirts the edge of the canyon, hence the name Balcony, and descends towards an abandoned village made up of several mud huts and forgotten vegetable patches. To reach the lake behind the village, you will have to clamber up some pretty large boulders. The lake is a peaceful spot for a break and a snack. While there, a shepherd and his son passed through with their 20+ goats. The views throughout the hike are magnificent.

Although a visitor could feasibly undertake these hikes, especially W6, without a guide, you’re in better hands and will have a much more enjoyable experience in the company of someone who knows these mountains well.

Better pre-arrival communication would be a BIG PLUS. We tried to book a guide prior to arrival and get more information about the available hikes and didn’t get far.

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank newtella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2018

We did the W4 hike to Jebel Shams South Summit (2,997m). Important to note that the highest mountain in Oman, Jebel Shams North Summit (3,009m), is out of bounds to the general public due to military use. Regardless, this is an epic hike.

Most guidance we read before the hike said this was 9km up and 9km down and will take 10-12 hours. I'm not sure the distances are exactly right as our strava (2 of us) recorded c. 24km in total (excluding a c. 2km detour we accidentally took), but the timing is about right.

We set off just after 6am, got to the South Summit at 11am and got back to the car park start point at 4.30pm after having an hour at the summit. So 5 hours up (would have been just over 4 had it not been for the slight detour) and 4.5 back (we slowed our pace on the way down when we picked up a guy walking on his own who looked in need of some company).

The hike follows painted red, yellow and white flags. A lapse in concentration can mean you miss the next one and end up getting a bit lost (as we did). Given you are walking over rocky expansive terrain, it is surprisingly easy to lose sight of these little flags but as long as you have your eyes peeled the route is easy to follow and the flags point in the direction to the next one.

The first half / two-thirds of the hike is up to and along the canyon. You spend the first 2km or so walking up to the canyon and then after admiring the great initial views, turn left and walk along the canyon edge.

You basically hug this edge for 3-4km; there is one small wadi you go down into and back up out of but you never stray too much further than 20m from the canyon edge. At the top of the canyon you then follow a wadi up to a big slab of rock that has a smooth floor and side (another 1-2km) where you turn a corner (follow the rock around) and start walking in a more easterly direction until you reach a col after another 1km with an incredible view point. You'll know it when you get to it - sandwiched between two cliff faces with epic views out east and a tree providing some shade; it also feels more or less directly below the north summit.

From here, it's c.3.5km in a south east direction to the south summit. This part of the hike is quite undulating and you need your hands free at some points. You dip down and climb up out of mini-wadis and just when you think you're at the summit or climbing the final part, there is another, bigger peak, behind it. However, following the painted flags and persevering will mean you reach the south summit which is marked by a raised trig-point / rock pile with a shiny metal plaque on the top.

The views from here are mightily impressive with a huge drop to the east. You can also look up to the North Summit which is surprisingly far away.

The walk back is again marked with the same flags and is tough on your knees. As is often the case, we found downhill much harder than uphill due to the constant impact of rough rocky ground on your knees.

Essential / things we wish we knew before:
- Take at least 5 litres of water - you'll need it (we took 4.5l each and it was just about enough but any longer out on the hill and we'd have needed more)
- Don't hike in trainers - wear sturdy walking shoes or boots (my friend wore nike running trainers and they were destroyed by the end of it)
- Take a hat - the route doesn't have much shade therefore you are exposed to the beating sun for the full day

All in all, a challenging and very rewarding day hike!

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank DCC1892
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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