If you’re considering a hiking trip to the UAE, add Ras Al Khaimah to your list of places to visit. The trails and hikes there are breathtaking. From captivating mountain views to evocative desert dunes , Ras Al Khaimah has something for everyone.

So, if you’re interested in exploring some breathtaking and unique sights, this article is for you. Let’s check out some of the best trails and hikes in UAE, specifically around Ras Al Khaimah. 


About Ras Al Khaimah’s Trails

You may have heard of Ras Al Khaimah as the home of the world’s longest zipline. Or perhaps you’ve heard of the nearly 1000 archaeological sites, each filled with a rich history dating back centuries. 

But beyond its extraordinary history, Ras Al Khaimah boasts stunning natural beauty. Its diverse geography includes mountains,, and evocative desert dunes throughout the Emirate. Some of these have become popular trails and hikes, while others retain an air of mystery perfect for exploration.

10 Trails and Hikes

If you’re interested in visiting Ras Al Khaimah, you’ll want to add these hikes to your list of things to do:


  1. Shawka Dam Mountain Trail
  2. Ghaf Trail
  3. Wadi Naqab
  4. Samar Trail
  5. Sheri Village Trail
  6. Wadi Shah Loop
  7. Wadi Modaynah Dam Loop
  8. Yabnah Summit
  9. Stairway to Heaven 
  10. Wadi Ghalilah Dam to Jebel Jais

Shawka Dam Mountain Trail

The Shawka Dam Mountain trail is a moderately difficult loop trail that runs for about 6.5 miles. It usually takes experienced hikers just over three hours to complete. 

With an elevation gain of 1400 feet, you’ll feel the change in the air as you climb. Since the Shawka Dam is a popular trail, don’t be surprised when you run into other hikers. 

It’s a well-marked route as long as you pay attention to the signs around you. The stunning views offer some of the most memorable sights in Ras Al Khaimah. 


Ghaf Trail

If you keep moving steadily, you can probably complete this 4.5-mile trail in about two hours. The elevation will change from 4079 to 5307 feet, and the route carries you on a loop. 

The trail is technically demanding and might require quick thinking, so you’ll want to do your research before heading out on your hike. 

Once you reach the top, you’ll be blown away by the marvelous vistas surrounding you.


Wadi Naqab

Sometimes known as the Red Wall Hike, this stunning trip through Ras Al Khaimah will take you through one of the most famous parts of the Hajar Mountains. 

The trail is a total of nearly nine miles, but you can split it into multiple sections if you’d rather not take it all at once. 

You’ll enjoy scenes of beautiful rock walls and dry river beds along the way. 


Samar Trail

If you’re an avid hiker of any skill level, you’ll find the 4.2-mile Samar Trail loop a satisfying experience. Situated near Al Qir, Ras Al Khaimah, this moderately challenging route will take just over two hours to complete at a steady pace. 

The Samar Trail is the lower part of a bigger trail called the Jebel Jais Hiking Trail. 


Sheri Village Trail

You’ll love the view you get once you reach the peak of the Sheri Village Trail. The scenery is stunning and unique, and there’s plenty of shade along the way to shield you from the sun.

The hike can be grueling at times, even if you’re an experienced hiker. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure you have reliable gear you can count on before you set out. 

You can likely complete the loop version of this trail in about six hours, assuming you take plenty of breaks to enjoy the outdoors. 


Wadi Shah Loop

Otherwise known as the Hidden Oasis Trail, this nearly nine-mile loop trail takes you on an exciting journey with an elevation of 2510 feet. It’s moderately difficult and best to be enjoyed with others. 

You should be done with the trail in about seven hours at a steady pace. Make sure you rest as often as you need to and enjoy the lush greenery of Ras Al Khaimah.


Wadi Modaynah Dam Loop

Situated in the picturesque Daynah, Ras Al Khaimah, the Wadi Modaynah Dam Loop is a famous loop trail in the UAE. You won’t be disappointed by the vistas or the exercise you’ll get here. 

At almost eight miles long, Wadi Modaynah is an exceptional trail for any avid hikers looking for a new and beautiful path to explore. 


Yabnah Summit

As far as out-and-back trails go, the Yabnah Summit is one of exceptional beauty and excitement. If you enjoy fresh challenges, you’ll enjoy this trail.

It might take up to nine hours to complete depending on how consistently you move. The 11.3-mile trail takes you on an elevation of about 4320 feet. 

The Yabnah Summit is a challenging trail and is not usually a popular choice. You might consider taking some hiking buddies with you.


Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven is one of the best and arduous hikes in the Wadi Ghalila of Ras Al Khaimah. The trails run through Jebel Jais mountains and are highly recommended in hiking and climbing circles. Make sure you have good shoes before you set out on this hike! The 19 kilometer route includes a climb of about 1,800 meters and takes about 9 hours to complete. The full loop is popular with advanced hikers. 

An expert tip is to start hiking early (as early as 5:00am)  in the day to complete the most distance possible in the shade. The hike during the summer months is more difficult than winter. You have to be an experienced hiker with endurance to withstand the high heat and humidity. 

Another popular way to hike the mountain is not a day trip but to complete it across 2 days. Stairway to Heaven should not be missed by any novice or advanced hiker. You will not be disappointed with the panoramic views and challenging trails.

Wadi Ghalilah Dam to Jebel Jais

The final trail on the list is one of the more extensive and demanding trails to complete in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s a 9.5-mile loop trail with an elevation gain and loss of 4573.

While the trail is easy to follow, it’s technically more challenging to complete. You’ll find the physical demands are enough to make this excursion difficult, even for an experienced hiker. 

Keep in mind it could take about 12 hours to complete if you keep moving steadily. But the views are absolutely worth it. 

Wrapping Up

For centuries, Ras Al Khaimah was one of the Arabian Gulf’s most important trading posts. Today, it’s still an important business location but it also happens to contain some of the most beautiful spots on offer in the UAE. 

These are the best trails and hikes in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. You won’t be disappointed by the beauty and splendor you experience on these hikes. Make sure you have reliable gear, plenty of snacks and water, and a good hiking buddy before you embark on your UAE adventure. 


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