I finally managed to hike Wadi Shawka route. For some reason this route was never appealing to me. But recently, I decided with my pregnant wife to explore this route based on its reputation for being easy with beautiful views.
And to my surprise, I actually did like Wadi Shawka route. I liked what they (guessing it is Visit Ras Al Khaima) have done to the place, how they designed the route to have multiple options with little resting gazeebos to chill by.
So here’s all you need to know about this route.
One of the advantanges of Wadi Shawka route is how straightforward it is. It is suitable for hikers with all experience and fitness. I mentioned my pregnant wife earlier to point out how easy it is, but if you are pregnant and never hiked before, PLEASE do not attempt this.
Another reason that drew me to this route is its accessibility, it is only 1 hour away from Dubai with nice parking at the start.
And not to forget to mention, if you are a trail runner, it is a very nice route for you with good training profile.
I rate this man-made route as easy to navigate on, you can pretty much follow “Google Maps” as the route is visible on the app.
Wadi Shawka route starts at the parking above the dam. There are multiple forks on the route, don’t be confused, they are simply options to make the route longer or shorter as all routes start and end at the parking. I drew the routes on the map below.
Bonus route: if you feel energetic and want to explore something fun in the area, I highly recommend linking the yellow route with the Shawka Pools route. Here is everything you need to know about Shawka Pools in this blog post.
The parameters of this route will varry based on which route you take.
- Elevation gain: 300m +
- Highest elevation: around 600m
- Starting elevation: around 310m
- Round trip distance: 6km to 12km+
- Time required: 2-5 hours
- Start & end points by the parking: 25°06’24.0″N 56°02’40.5″E
- Alternative end points: 25°06’14.7″N 56°02’21.9″E
Needless to say, hikes in UAE and Oman are demanding due to 2 major factors:
- Weather, it is very hot in the region, which requires you to stay hydrated. Always take extra water with you.
- Harsh terrain and extreme drops: the geology of the area is very hard and harsh. The terrain is hard on the feet and joints, especially with the altitude gain/loss in short distances. So wear a good pair of high ankle shoes and use trekking poles.
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 the day.
And inform someone who knows when you are starting the hike and when you expect to return.
Suitable to most fitness levels. If you like hiking, you have no excuse not to exercise to increase fitness. After all, you want to enjoy your day comfortably. And it is one thing to complete a goal while suffering, but it is a lot more rewarding when you achieve it while you are enjoying the process.
Wadi Shawka route has pretty descent views. I liked how the profile takes you above the dam, in between the hills, then over the hills, over and over again. In addition, I really liked these little resting areas they built, so bring your lunch and enjoy your meal with nice views.
- Avoid starting the hike midday or at night, best time to start is the morning.
- If it is raining, watch out from falling rocks and unstable grounds.
- Please don’t leave trash behind, and if you see any trash laying around please collect it.
- The UAE is well known for its snakes and scorpions, this is not to scare you, but to raise awareness on the matter. Check the rocks and underneath them before sitting.