Oman (Sultanate of Oman)

Languages: Arabic

Currencies: OMR · Omani rial (ر.ع.)

Capitol: Muscat

Continents: Asia

Borders: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

More useful information

Area: 309,500km2

Population: 5,106,622

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +968

Timezones: UTC+04:00

Last updated on February 12, 2024

Magnificent trails - the best canyon hikes in Oman.

One of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can do in Oman is hiking through magnificent canyons. Oman is known for its rugged landscapes and stunning canyons that offer unique opportunities for exploration especially for hiking enthusiasts. There are few well known canyon hikes in Oman, but what’s more – I’ll show you the unique part of each trail – from hidden villages to hidden caves – best kept secret in Oman.

Secret places of best canyon hikes in Oman -

How to plan canyon hikes in Oman.

It’s important to know hiking through the canyons can be tough, consider factors such as trail difficulty, length, accessibility and weather conditions (avoid hiking especially in rainy season). Research the various options and choose a canyon that suits your preferences and hiking capabilities. 

Oman has several beautiful canyons to explore, such as:

  • Wadi Shab,
  • Wadi Bani Khalid,
  • Snake Canyon,
  • Wadi Tiwi,
  • Wadi Al Arbaeen,
  • Wadi Al Hoqain.

Wadi Shab Secret Cave in Oman.

Wadi Shab is one of the most popular and beautiful canyons located in the Sultanate of Oman, specifically in the Al Sharqiyah region. 

Secret places of best canyon hikes in Oman -

How to get to Wadi Shab from Muscat?

Getting to Wadi Shab: Wadi Shab is easily accessible by road from Muscat (the capital city of Oman). The journey of 150 kilometres takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic. It is recommended to have your own transportation or hire a driver to reach the Wadi entrance.

Trail difficulty: The hiking trail in Wadi Shab is considered moderately challenging. It involves walking, climbing, and swimming through the canyon, so it is important to be in good physical condition and have appropriate footwear. The entire hike takes around 3 to 4 hours, depending on your pace.

Entrance fees: Currently, there is an entrance fee to access Wadi Shab.

Do I need 4WD car to get to Wadi Shab?

Secret places of best canyon hikes in Oman -

4WD car is not required to get to Wadi Shab – there is a convenient free of charge car parking near the main road, where you can leave your car. Once you parked your car you will need to take 2 minutes boat ride to reach the canyon (1 Rial ~ 3 USD). There are regular boat operators and you don’t need to buy any ticket in advance.

Hiking Wadi Shab Secret Cave.

The start of the canyon trail is nice and easy. However – if you hike in summer season the temperatures are ruthless. Take few litres of water, you won’t be able to purchase on the way.

Wadi Shab is one of Oman’s most popular canyon hikes. It offers a combination of walking, swimming, and hiking through narrow passages and stunning pools. I highly advise to take waterproof bag for your belongins, water shoes and gopro!
The highlight of the hike is reaching the secret cave – hidden waterfall at the end of the canyon. 

Wadi Shab Secret Cave & Waterfall.

Once you reach the end of the canyon you have discovered the secret cave, which used to be the best kept secret of Wadi Shab. However, getting inside the cave can be a little challenging. You need to swim through a narrow passage leading to the cave. You can hold the side rocks to help yourself getting through the passage. During high tides you might need to swim 1-2 meeters under the water. 

Hiking Wadi Shab Secret Cave without a tour guide.

Hiking Wadi Bani Khalid.

Wadi Bani Khalid is a picturesque wadi (valley) situated in the Eastern Hajar Mountains – approximately 200 kilometers from Muscat.

Wadi Bani Khalid is a stunning canyon walk through clear turquoise pools of water, surrounded by large rock formations and lush green palm trees. Aside from swimming, Wadi Bani Khalid offers opportunities for hiking and exploring its natural surroundings. There are various trekking routes that visitors can take to discover the wadi’s natural beauty.

The wadi is accessible via a wellaintained road, making it easily reachable for visitors.
One of the main attractions of Wadi Bani Khalid is its natural swimming pools. These pools are fed by natural springs, creating cool and refreshing places to take a dip, especially during the hot summer months. 

Hiking Wadi Tiwi the secret village.

Wadi Tiwi is another incredible canyon, which leads through magnificent Miban mountain village toward a secret waterfall. Miban village is well know from cover photos of many travel magazines and guidebooks.

The wadi is easily accessible by car and is approximately a two-hour drive from Muscat. As you enter Wadi Tiwi, you’ll be greeted by towering cliffs and a winding road that leads you deeper into the wadi’s enchanting landscape.

Read Full post on Hiking Wadi Tiwi secret waterfall.

Beginning of the trail leads through few local villages and famous Miban Village. Then the trail will lead down along terraced fields of date palms, which is surprising to see them but at least they provide some shade.

At the second stage of the trail you will need to hike down the rocky sections to get to the incredible secret waterfall and its emerald-green pools, which are filled with crystal-clear water. These pools are fed by underground springs and are surrounded by lush vegetation, creating a tranquil oasis in the heart of the arid mountains. We spent 2 hours swimming in the cool waters and relaxing by the pools.

Hiking Wadi Al Arbaeen.

Secrect places of best canyon hikes in Oman -

Wadi Al Arbaeen is a less crowded wadi, perfect for those seeking a more secluded hiking experience.

The trail takes you through rocky terrain, past small waterfalls, and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

When hiking in the wadis of Oman, it’s important to be prepared with proper hiking gear, plenty of water, sun protection and waterproof bag (for ypur belongins). It’s also advisable to check weather conditions and seek local advice before the hike.

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!