Muscat Treks: Ruwi Mountains Trek

Muscat Treks Series – in this series I will be writing about some of the treks and unmarked trails in and around Muscat – ones that can be completed in a relatively short time making them ideal as an easy weekend outdoor activity or a post-work trek for anyone living in Muscat. For similar posts of this series check out my posts on Sa’al MountainAint Trek & Fanja Tabletop Mountain. Now, onto Ruwi Mountains trek!

If you are like me, you must be finding it hard to concentrate on driving in Muscat sometimes with all the beautiful mountains and hills surrounding the roads – this is especially true for me when driving towards Wadi Kabi (الوادي الكبير) and Ruwi (روي) . I have often wondered how accessible these mountains are and what sort of views you can get if you get up there. Well, the Ruwi Mountains Trek (مسار مرتفعات روي) partially answered some of these questions – a short, accessible trek to the hills overlooking Ruwi with views of the old Central Business District (CBD), Ra’s Al Hamra, Mina’ Al Fahal (ميناء الفحل) and even the Oil Storage Tanks (soon-to-be-decommissioned??off Qurum Heights Road.

Ruwi Mountains Trek takes you from Hellat Al Sadd (حلة السد) neighborhood up the mountains (or hills?) between Wuttaah, Ruwi and Wadi Adai. The trek is completely unmarked with a barely discernible trail to follow, and requires a bit of climbing and scrambling at various points; however, it is an easy and short trek that should be doable for most people. Once you reach the flat area in the top, you will have some good views of Ruwi and the old CBD to the East, and if you look towards the North-West you will be able to see some giant tanks (which can also be seen off the highway if you’re taking Qurum Heights Road towards Muttrah) – these are the old crude storage tanks which were used to store oil from fields in the desert and pump them to Mina’ Al Fahal. There is probably a path that could take you down towards Ruwi, but we did not try that and returned from the same place we started, but that is something I am definitely keen to try next time once we park another car on that other side. The looped Ruwi Mountains Trek took us about 1.5 hrs with just over 3 km distance (including very little time taken for photos – unfortunately the quality of photos in this article are sub-par, and I will have to make another trip to get some better photos. It just got dark too early during our visit).

Ruwi Mountains Trek Considerations & Trek Map:

The rocks are quite sharp, so care should be taken when navigating through especially in the steep parts. At the flat area in the top you will notice lots of barbed wires and some old barracks which you should keep an eye for – these indicate that the place may have been a training-site or some sort for the army in the past.

Take suitable footwear with you, ideally hiking boots but tennis shoes will also do (if you don’t the probability of them them getting damaged due to the sharp rocks), and pack sufficient amount of water with you. You may download the map of my trek up Riw Mountains trek as .kml file (compatible with Google Earth), as recorded using my Garmin Watch from here.

How to get to Ruwi Mountains Trek:

Hellat Al Sadd can be reached from Sultan Qaboos Highway just off Wadi Adai Roundabout – it is near where lots of the car showrooms are – it is under 20 kms drive from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. The map below indicates the location:

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