For the uninitiated, it’s hard to imagine Al Khoudh as a hiking destination. Very close to the city, many have an impression that it’s just an industrial area if not an exclusive village for locals.
But Wadi al Khoudh and its surrounding mountains are amazing short hike destination — one that you can accomplish in two or three hours (return trip). But if you’re like us who take the time to know almost every corner of the destination, you too will end up hiking the trail and swimming in shallow wadi waters and might spend a longer time.
The Al Khoudh trail is about 3.7 miles long and begins right at the end of the old Khoudh village. Rated as one of the easy paths, it’s an ideal hiking destination for beginners looking for a little bit of diversity in their weekend adventure.
While it is an easy hike, the trail also provides its own set of challenges. After a 20 minute steep hike towards the mountains, where one will also pass through a popular biking trail, the road descends on a cliff where a metal ladder was set up to make the hike down more doable. While one can creep on the corners of the cliff, the two-storey high ladder is easier to use and is also safer. Anyone who has fear of heights may find this ‘climb down’ challenging but this is pretty much the only “slightly difficult’ ordeal one has to pass through.
The rest of the path is going in between canyons. The trail is marked and expert hikers usually finish the hike in barely an hour and a half.
Taking an off-road path, we found ourselves deeper into the mountains of Al Khoudh where the paths are uncharted. It’s not really recommended to stray off the path as in some areas, the rocks are loose. Even during the summer, some fauna however survives and the stark landscape with the few wadi plants growing in the area makes up for a good photograph.
The return hike led us into the flat but rocky trail along Wadi al Khoudh. Unlike other wadis, Wadi al Khoudh has shallower waters and on weekends, pre-corona, the place has been teeming with picnic weekenders and wadi bashers.
Even during our hike, we spotted nearly half a dozen cars wadi bashing and the splashing water did make up for quite a nice scene.
As previously stated, the pools in Wadi al Khoudh are usually shallower, with the deepest we find on our return just about knee-deep but that doesn’t mean it’s not enough for a quick dip.
After a hot hike, the water here is comfortably cooler and if you find the right dipping pool, makes it worth it for a quick swim.
It is highly recommended to do this hike in the morning as later in the afternoon will be torture because of the sun while evenings will pose a challenge as it is, after all, still a wadi and hiking in its rocky path in the dark is dangerous.
For those who have a longer time to spare, the pockets of water pools overgrown with vegetation are good places for a picnic. One can hide under the shade of this vegetation which gives comfort against the strong sun.
Overall, I concur with the ratings made by others that it is easy. But while it is easy, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own charm.
How to get
to Wadi Al Khoudh:
Quoting our friend Ali of omantripper.com, “You can get to Wadi Al Khoudh by taking the Muscat Express Road and taking the exit to Al Khoudh Village. The drive is about 30 minutes from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. After going through the village, the road ends into the wadi, in which you must go through a small stretch of really uncomfortably uneven wadi rocks to get into the wadi, see the google maps link below. You will definitely need a 4×4 car to drive in the wadi, and preferably a proper 4×4 as I have seen people in AWD (All Wheel Drive) cars get stuck there badly. Also, make sure you get out of there before it gets dark as the entrance/exit is quite hard to find in the dark.”