Finally, the temperatures are dropping and it is time again to dust off our hiking boots for the winter season 2016/2017. The route for this month might still be a bit too long for September, or you may need to start at sunrise. This route is not very difficult but it is not clearly marked and there are many tracks and paths so it is easy to get lost. We highly recommend using a GPS to follow the route safe in the knowledge that you are on the right track. For those who dare, there is also an alternative bypass to the route which is much steeper and exposed.
Thanks to its easy access and scenic views, this is a busy hiking area and I have never encountered so many other hikers than when on this route. Simply follow the E311 or E611 to RAK, then follow the road signs to Jais Mountain (Jebel Jais). You can park your car in the wadi directly next to the Jebel Jais road,so a 4×4 is not required. The route is circular and you can do it in both directions. These instructions follow the route in a counter-clockwise direction, but in summer it might be better to do it clockwise since you will have welcome shade in the wadi on your way back.
Follow the wadi from where you parked your car and take the next wadi on your left. The wadi up to the first village is marked quite well with spray painted arrows and cairns (stones stacked on top of each other as markers). Once you reach the village, sticking to the route becomes a bit tricky and we were wandering around a bit until we found the correct path (you will see this also on the GPS route file). Make your way up to the hill top where you will find another cairn marking the high point of the hill. From here you have great views up to Jebel Jais, as well as the surrounding area with the winding road and other villages.
Hike down to the next village you can see when looking towards the road. In the village, turn left to enter the easy way down after a few hundred meters. You can enter the bypass in the village – it’s more exposed and steeper, and is therefore only recommended for more experienced hikers. Follow the path down until you reach the wadi again, and follow the wadi back to the Jebel Jais road. You will need to follow the road downhill for a few hundred meters to return back to where you parked the car.
OutdoorUAE do not take any responsibility for accidents or inaccurate or wrong route information. You follow this route at your own risk. Be aware that you might not have phone
coverage and please carry enough water and a first aid kit at all times.
You can download this route online – www.outdooruae.com/routes