MOUNTAIN ROADS

Saudi Arabia 2017 | TOURISM | PHOTO ESSAY: HEJAZ MOUNTAINS

Though desert landscapes are the first to come mind when picturing Saudi Arabia, the country's western side is home to topographic variety and geographic wonders in the Hejaz Mountain Range.

Al Baha Region

Heading south along the range, Jabal Shada Al Zahran is the highest point in the Al Baha region, though it is still quite a bit lower than the highest point in the Abha region, which is even further south. Jabal Shada Al Zahran is rumored to be haunted by jin, or spirits. Also in the Al Baha region nestles Zee Al Ain Heritage Village, a fortified village surrounded by a verdant oasis fed by a spring. Many structures like Zee Al Ain Heritage Village abound throughout the region.

Taif Region

In the mountains of Taif, in the central part of the Hejaz Mountains near Jeddah, it is greener than most people expect of Saudi Arabia. The road from Taif to Jeddah, famously dubbed Scorpion Road, is a common route for pilgrims making the journey to Mecca.

Abha Region

Following the range down along Saudi's Red Sea side, the highest peaks of the Hejaz Mountains are in the Abha region; rocky, jagged peaks protrude from the earth, yet unsmoothed by the natural forces of rain, wind, and time.

Here, the Hejaz Mountains intersect with the Faifa Mountains of Jizan Province. Jizan Province is one of Saudi Arabia's premiere agricultural regions. It is here—in this southwest corner of the Kingdom—that several wadis intersect with the mountains.