As Sab W6 balcony hike (also know as Oman Balcony hike) is yet one of the most scenic and famous hikes of Oman. It is for all levels and kids friendly (with adult companions). I recommend doing Jabel Shams Summit hike if you want a longer and more challenging version of this hike.
The path is straightforward, easy and very well maintained. There are few exposed sections but secured with railings. It gets narrow at points, so give way to others.
W6 hike starts and ends in Al Khatim village, which is also the parking. You will come across a few locals selling stones and art craft from the area.
From the parking walk towards the grand canyon, the dirt road will lead you to a small staircase on the edge. Turn left past the staircase (navigate north) and follow this ancient donkey trail. It is called balcony hike because it is a walk on a cliff overlooking the grand canyon. It takes you through an abandoned village called As Sab, and ends by a beautiful natural lake. Which also is the start of the famous Jabal Shams Via Ferrata.
The route from As Sab to the lake is a bit tricky as the path disappears. You have to descend about 10m and cross the narrow canyon, and you will get to the other side of As Sab, where it is almost all flat abandoned agricultural fields. The lake is only 10 minutes away from this section, and you have to gain about 50m in elevation
- Starting elevation: around 1,900m
- As Sab village elevation: around 1,700m
- Lake elevation: around 1,750m
- The agricultural fields elevation: 1,700m
- Round trip distance: around 4km
- Time required: 3-4 hours
- Parking points: 23°11’37.9″N 57°12’04.4″E
- Start/end points: 23°11’36.3″N 57°12’07.5″E
- Lake points: 23°13’08.6″N 57°12’25.6″E
- As Sab abandoned village points: 23°12’56.6″N 57°12’22.9″E
- The agricultural fields points: 23°13’04.9″N 57°12’29.8″E
As Sab W6 hike is easy, but do not underestimate the heat in the area.
So carry sun cream, sun-glasses, emergency blanket, head-light, lighter, hat, trekking poles, hiking bag with waist straps, water, more water, healthy snacks and food for half a day.
And inform someone knows when you are starting the hike and when you expect to return.
Start as early as possible so you avoid the midday sun.
It does not require any fitness since it is a walk. As Sab W6 route is kids friendly, however, I highly recommend keeping kids close to you, despite the rails, kids misbehave and escape them. Avoid running on the trail since it is narrow.
This entire place is breath taking due to the nature of the cliff overlooking An Nakhur village at the bottom of the canyon. The abandoned village is very nice, please do not ruin nor take anything that is placed there. The owners still exist and they live in An Nakhur village.
- Avoid starting the hike midday or at night, the best time to start is the morning.
- I do not believe you need a guide for this one, but if you have no experience at all, make sure to inform someone about your location and expected time back. You will meet many hikers on the path, and you really cannot get lost.
- Please don’t leave trash behind, and if you see any trash laying around, do the community a favor and collect it.