Randonnées Escalade Alpinisme Via ferrata Canyoning Ski de rando Raquettes

Search Close search


Kirithon Gorge, Wadi Naqab

Publié le |


The canyon of the Gorges du Kirithon has been completely re-equipped following damage caused by a huge flood 2 years ago. In the heart of Wadi Naqab, a beautiful ascent leads to a small high-altitude village: Sheri village. Passing on the other side, we discover the start of another deep gorge that leads back to the starting point. Dry, even if the pools must fill up with rain, the descent of this somewhat lost canyon offers 3 beautiful abseils of 40 to 60m in large white waterfalls wrinkled by the passage of water. The Kirithon Gorges canyon, with its atypical itinerary, is a great canyoning option in the Emirates.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Torrential canyon
Location ✦ Wadi Naqab
Region ✦ Ras Al Khaimah
Country ✦ United Arab Emirates
Difficulty ✦ v3-a1-III
Max abseiling ✦ 58m
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

From the E18 road that runs from RAK to RAK airport, turn off to reach Wadi Naqab by road. At the end, take the 1st good track, then a second not so good one, to end up on the pebbles of the wadi in slow motion. Park at the end of a small track that climbs to the right, where the approach to the Kirithon gorge begins. Bivouac possible here.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2h

From the wadi, take the track on the right and cross the small pass to descend into the wadi on the other side. At the bottom, on the left-hand side, there's a small path with cairns, the start of the ascent to the village.

The approach trek alone is worth the detour. It's a well-marked Bedouin trail, with cairns all along, and even equipped with superb steps to cross the immense walls and climb 600m to the high-altitude village, before switching to the opposite side.

Follow the marked path up the wadi bed. After about 20 minutes, at the level of 2 water tanks, turn right and enter the gully coming from the right. From here, it's a steep climb! 15 minutes further up, you pass a large hole where a colony of bats lives. After another 15 minutes of winding up and down, this time you fork left and enter another gully. Climb on, climb on, and after some fine aerial steps, you turn onto a ridge and get your first glimpse of the village houses at the very top. Another 20 minutes to reach the plateau and the heart of the village. 1h20 from the starting parking lot.

At this point, you have to cross over and pass behind the terraces and houses to descend into a small wadi on the left and climb up on the opposite side to reach new terraces. The path is less well marked, but still visible. Go around the terraces to the other side and start descending directly. You now overlook the wadi of the Gorges du Kirithon. The descent to the wadi bed is tricky. We found a passage using a rocky spur to de-escalate, with a few exposed passages but not so difficult. After about 2 hours from the parking lot, we reached the bottom of the wadi bed. Start of the canyon.

Course 3h

The canyon is quite challenging, with few obvious escapes along the way, even if some passages are less steep. It includes 4 compulsory abseils and numerous de-escalations in the chaos, not always easy to find. The longest abseil is 58m long. All belays are equipped with 2 bolts, except the 1st, which is 8m long. You'll need a bit of rope if you need to connect the points if the equipment has been damaged. It goes without saying that you should also bring a can of Kiri and some Tuna, which gives the gorge its name, Kirithon!

Although dry under normal conditions, the basins can be quite full after the rains.

Rappel 1 (8m, 2 bolts)

After a 15-minute walk across the bed and boulders, we reach the 1st waterfall. Descend it for a few metres to find the point that just allows you to pass a small overhang. Continue along the bed and boulders. The wadi is winding and quite steep. The pools are dry, but you can guess what it might be like with water.
Rappel 2 (40m, 2 bolts on right)

Large, very vertical waterfall. 25m on a spider's thread. Then follow the bed and avoid the next cascades by climbing to the right, then to the left, then to the right. This transition is quite long.
Rappel 3 (40m, 2 bolts)

Impressive waterfall, with a small roof to negotiate at the start. We finish on a small ramp.
Rappel 4 (58m, 2 bolts to the right)

Just after R3. An inclined waterfall at the start but with a more than vertical finish. We end up in a large basin that is normally dry. End of canyon.


No more abseiling, but the final couloir back to the starting point is not so easy to negotiate, with lots of chaos and de-escalation. You often have to look one way and then the other to find the passage. We then return to the small pass that leads back down to the parking lot.

Map & topo



Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Discover more from Climbing7

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading