Jabal Shams is one of the most beautiful and greatest mountain in Oman. Its’ height is a bit more than 3000 meters above the sea level. This unique mountain is located in the wilayat of Al- Hamra in the Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate about 240 KM from the Capital of the Sultanate, Muscat.
Geographically it is a remote area, it homes to different animals, but these are not dangerous, but the presence of Venomous creepers, snakes and insects can not be denied. It is important to mention that the highest point of the mountain is north summit, which is a military base and is prohibited for general public and tourists. The north summit is 3007m high. The second summit of this mountain is south summit, it is 2997m high and is opened for tracking. Because of the presence of a great rock fault on the side of the path of the road ascending to its’ summit, which is the second largest fault of the Arabia. On its’ sides there are many wild trees such as the bot tree, the Aalalan tree and the olives. The drive up the mountain is somewhat long and winding. During rainy season it is difficult to drive due to slippery road.
Its’ peak is the highest in the Sultanate of Oman. It is named as Jabal Shams (The Mountain of the Sun) because when the sun rises in the morning Its’ rays first of all kiss its’ peak similarly when the sun sets in evening, last Rays of the dying sun touch it, this all show as the Sun is rising and lasting at its’ high peak.
The weather of this mountain remains pleasant in Summer and extremely chilly during winter. During summer the climate of this area becomes cooler than other parts of the Sultanate, that is why it attracts the people of capital Muscat and other parts of the Sultanate. In summer season because of pleasant weather, it becomes one of the best for hiking and camping. In winter its’ temperature falls to freezing point. When snow fall starts it reflects a beautiful view for those who come to enjoy snow fall.
The inhabitants of different villages of the mountain face difficulties during winter when snow fall make them isolated from rest of the world. During the chilly months in winter the transportation becomes difficult. From January to March maintaining contact with the outside world is disturbed because communication towers become covered with snow. The village people of this mountainian area plant different fruit trees, such as apples, peaches and pomegranates,the winter is the harvesting season of pomegranates.
The pomegranate trees are mostly seen in this mountain. The fruits are the source of income for the inhabitants of the area in addition to some handicrafts. The mountainian sell these at reasonable cost on tourists. At the top of the mountain two things attract the visitors, one is radio tower with its blinking red light at night, the other is sight of “GrandCanyon” of Oman during day time.It is also considered one of the largest Canyons of the world,it is 500m deep, one can get an incredible view down the Canyon from the just off the road.
Because of pollution free atmosphere there the sky at night looks beautiful from the peak, specially in moon lit nights the whole environment becomes fascinating, in dark nights the twinkling stars and milky ways become the part of memories of the visitors. During day time the canyons, valleys and land scapes seem stunning. The cute goats grazing in valleys attract the attention of the viewers from the top.
In chilly winter the grand canyon is completely covered by a dense fog but when it becomes clear up the viewers enjoy the beautiful scenes. Infact the highest peak of Oman is a source of amazing beauty and facination for tourists. The surrounding valleys and canyons attract the attention of tourists and they come here to enjoy at this popular tourists resort in summer and also in chilly winter. The people who take interest in hicking come with special arrangements and enjoy hicking along the rim of Wadi Ghul. The hicking in jabal al Shams needs special fitness and stamina. The tracks are usually barren and in sunny weather become difficult for hickers. The hotels and camping facilities are available to provide rest to the tourists. To fully enjoy the Jabal us Shams, tour season and weather conditions play a vital role, the months of March and April are the best one to fully enjoy the visit of Jabal al Shams.