Location ✦ Wadi Naqab
Region ✦ Ras Al Khaimah
Country ✦ United Arab Emirates
Difficulty ✦ MD
Duration ✦ 4h to 5h
Interest ✦ ★★
Access to the place
The track is good at first, but gradually deteriorates in the wadi bed. Much further on, after the last houses, there's a nice sandy bivouac area on a bend. You can continue for a while longer, then stop in a small depression in the wadi. It's impossible to go any further. This is the starting point for the hike.
Hiking to the start 0'
Immediate, as part 1 starts directly from the parking lot.
Course 4h à 5h
From the parking lot, head left up the narrow gully that rises to the northeast. Follow the dry torrent bed, there are a few IV steps, but they're not too bad. There are also a few Bedouin steps. Higher up, it opens up and, still following the main bed, you turn right, due north, to finally climb up and reach the ridge.
There's a wonderful view over the wadi and, at the very bottom, you can see the tiny Red Wall. The folded rock gives off orange-red hues. Continue upwards to the highest peak. You have to improvise a route to get there, with a few exposed IV+ steps at the end on a rock that's not very good... Ojo! At the summit, a fine view of RAK and the coastline (except today, as it's raining, but you can guess).
Descend a little to the east and pick up a well-marked path with yellow and then pink dots. Head north, staying on the ridges. In the distance, you can see the terraces and houses of a village that you'll reach fairly quickly. A little further on, there's also a village on the left with pretty terraces of green grass today... hard to believe we're in the Emirates in April!
Cross the village and climb up to the other side. Pass a fairly steep, narrow gully, continue on a ledge and finally take a slightly less steep, wider gully. Descend it without too much difficulty, with a few de-escalations all the same. At the bottom, there's a large impassable waterfall (and even a second one that you can guess). We're 100m above the Naqab riverbed.
The solution is to cross a little to the left (north) to find 2 easy descent options. We took the one on the left to discover the splendid Wadi Naqab, Tiwi's distant cousin. In the couloir, you can walk a little further up the whitewashed edges to reach the bottom, in the water and at the foot of an impassable narrow waterfall.
Retrace your steps and continue to follow the bed of the wadi. There are still a few waterfalls, but these can be bypassed using the side ledges. Then back along the wadi bed, continuing to use the system of ledges on the right (see Red Wall topo).