Hiking : Wadi Naqab Trail Hike
Location : Ras Al Khaima, UAE
Level : Beginner
Recommended Gears : Hiking shoe / runners with good grip, Water min 2 liters, food, snacks, chocolates
Recommended season : Winter.
Wadi Naqab is a fantastic off-road destination for a bit of everything. A classic (if rather short) wadi-bashing experience with different levels of challenge, great camping spots and viewpoints, this all-rounder also offers an abundance of opportunities to get up to elevation for rewarding hiking. Ras Al Khaimah's impressive Hajar Mountains lean from Wadi Naqab towards the sea, showing their many colours and formations.
Reaching the starting point of the journey is bit tricky. If you have a 4 wheel drive you can cover most of the unpaved roads till the bottom of the mountain. If you don't have a 4 wheel drive you can use your driving skill on your sedan car to reach as close as possible. I insist not to try any risky drive in the morning itself. You could spoil your entire trip.
Once you find nice good parking area you can park your car and gear up. After the parking you will have to travel approximately one kilometer to 2 kilometer through big round gravels and rocks. These pictures will give you an idea about the view that you may expect in early morning around 9 o'clock.
You may still find some houses and farmlands nearby. You may also find some random goats and dogs. You don't have to wonder if you find any local people there. You may also find some other trekking groups travelling along the same road.
From a distance you may find that the mountains are not that big. The moment you start walking and get closer to the mountain, who you will find these rocks are about to fall right on your head and it's too big in size. The view is amazing. I have to stop many time to take good pictures, and my group kept moving forward and it was very difficult to keep up with them.
If you are really into photography just like me, you may find a lot of interesting subject to shoot. I would recommend to keep you a macro lens if you want to get some nice good textures that you may not find in the daily life of a city guy. I would also recommend to carry a wide angle lens at least an 18 mm to capture the view in a wide angle. When I travel I carry light, I am having 18-55 kit lens that will do majority of the task capturing the landscapes. I also carrier 35 mm Prime lens just want to shoot some portraits and selfies. Small tripod, not necessarily the large one which use in studio, it should be light weight and easy to carry, is also highly recommended during the trip.
It will be very difficult to find Shades and the temperature is extremely hot during the day. In the end it's a bloody desert. You may want to keep yourself drinking water frequently because you will be sweating a lot. It is highly recommended to carry 2 litre of water bottles with you. Carry this high calorie chocolates like sneakers or boundy, Fruits like dates, banana etc. Small bottle of Coca-Cola which is high content of sugar.
If you find any shade by chance, on the way, it will be highly recommended to take some rest before moving ahead.
Make sure your GPS device is tracking your travel frequently. I make sure this as habit whenever I take rest in between. I don't have dedicated travel GPS device with me. I use an old smartphone with GPS app in it.
This is a tricky part which I do mostly all of my trips. I have an Android device with Google Map installed in it. Prior to start the hiking trip I download the offline map of the designated place. So that I won't need data during the travel. One of the Other travel App which I use is Wikiloc. Wikiloc have advantage for hikers. All the popular hiking tracks are already there on this App. So if you are going for a popular hiking trail, probably someone might have already uploaded that trail before you. You can either use it or you can record on your own. I always make sure to switch off the data and wi-Fi, bluetooth to save battery power. I carry an extra power bank just in case of emergency.
Wadi Naqab is a trail hike through the valley of a mountains. It's pretty heavy and require an average amount of skill and stamina. Rocks are loose gravels are loose. So you need to take make sure you are not stopping on the loose rock. Make sure fit enough to travel around 9 kilometres in total.
The first 5km are through the wadi bed and up to a bat cave (with some scrambling you can go inside if you would like). After a short break and snacks we'll start up a managed path with beautiful cliff views to an old settlement where we will have lunch. Be prepared for surreal views!
you need a 4wd to reach the starting point. nice hike, not very technical but need good level of fitness. some steep uphill ascend, but the view and village at the top made it worthwhile. good hiking boots with ankle protection are recommended.