Geographical Situation

Wadi Bani Awf is one of the 4 main valleys on the northern slope of the Western Hajar : from east en west, there is Wadi Mistal, Wadi Bani Kharus, Wadi Bani Awf, and Wadi Sahtan.

The waters of Wadi Bani Kharus and Wadi Mistal meet in Wadi Al Abyadh.

Wadi Bani Awf flows towards Ar Rustaq where it meets Wadi Sahtan.

Above Wadi Bani Awf, the pass of Sharaf Al Alamain is the only way to cross the mountain chain by car (4WD mandatory), granting access to the southern slop and the cities of Al Hamra, Bahla, and Nizwa.

Quite central, the valley has also side tracks to reach Wadi Sahtan on the west and Wadi Al Hijir / Wadi Bani Kharus, on the east.

It’s also the valley shich has the most eneven terrain.

Map of Wadi Bani Awf
Yellowm lines : tarmac road and off-road tracks
Blue Lines : Snake Canyon
Green Lines : Hiking trails (marked and unmarked)

Access by car

The entrance of Wadi Bani Awf is just after Al Awabi. the first few kilometers are asphaltesd.

From Tikhah, starts off-road driving.

All along the valley, we are impressed by the broken harsh terrain and the many oases we cross.

Successively, secondary tracks lead to Wadi Sahtan on the right, and to Wadi Al Hijir (and from there to Wadi Bani Kharus) on the left.

In Zamah, you are in front of the exit of the Snake Canyon, a very narrow and deep canyon cut in black limestone (called by the geologists “fetid limestone”).

The track then ascents steeply on the right to round the canyon. It goes down in the lower branch of the canyon at Bimah. Befor reaching the bottom of the valley, a second track leads to Wadi Sahtan and a few other villages of Wadi Bani Awf. In Bimah, the track goes up again to skirt the second branch of the canyon.

We find quickly a side track on the right which leads to Balad Sit, emblematic village of the valley. The main track goes down passing along the soccer pitch and reaches the bottom of the valley at the entrance of the upper Snake Canyon.

A bit further, we notice another small canyon which grants access by foot to Balad Sit. For climbers, this small gorge is a very good spot : many routes have been equiped. Then, the track starts a long ascent to Sharaf Al Alamain pass going through Al Hajir and Hat.

All along the way, view points are splendid.

4WD is mandatory (in both ways) to drive through this wadi, as well as some experience of off-road driving in steep mountains.

Snake Canyon

It’s a beautiful very narrow canyon, cut in suprising black limestone.

The upper branch is the more technical one : 3 times abseiling at the begining of the descent, first 5m then twice 20m. Then it’s a following of bouledering, scrambling, jumping, and swiming.

The lower branch (from Bimah) is easier : there is no abseiling ; just a few places to climb down, a few jumps, slides, and of course swimming and bouldering…

Both branches meet half-way : we then continue the descent scrambling and swiming and reach a beautiful cave which we cross swimming (sometimes walking if the last floods brought stones in the pool…). Finaly the valley widens and we finish on dry terrain walking and scrambling.

It’s a classic in Oman. Not very difficult, fun, and impressing. Obviously, helmets are the minimum required safety equipment. For the upper part, you’ll need also harnesses, eights, carabiner, and at least a rope (or even 2) of 40m. To avoid scrathes, a wetsuit is recommended, but, to be honnest, we wear it accoding to the season : in Winter, we do, since water is cold! in Summer, we don’t, because it’s extremely hot when we are not in the water…

Unless you are experimented canyon enthusiast, it;s better to take a guide. You’ll find one easily in Balad Sit or Bimah in the guesthouses. We can also organize it for you with Deep or another local guide from the valley : Snake Canyon Inferieur et Snake Canyon Superieur.

Villages of Wadi Bani Awf

All along the valley, you’ll find villages of different size, with their palm gardens and terraced fileds.

The most famous is Balad Sit : set appart from the main valley, with access through a narrow gorge, we discover suddenly a village build on a small rock, surrounded by palm gardens and terraced open fields, and at the foot of impressive cliffs of more than 1000m.

Hiking and trekking

Many hiking trails link the villages of the high valley (Bimah, Selmah, Balad Sit, Hat), and give access to the main ridge. Some are marked, and others not…

From the main ridge, we can reach the village of Misfat Al Abreyeen, on the southern slope, Wadi Sahtan or Jebel Shams towards the west, and Wadi Bani Kharus and Jebel Akhdar towards the east.

All itineraries are splendid.

If you hike by yourself, there are plenty of information on the website Wilderness Trekking Oman. Keep in mind that many itineraries are very wild and little travelled, and that some paths might be in poor state and exposed…

We offer several treks from or to this central valley of the Western Hajar :

1 – From Wadi Sahtan to Wadi Bani Awf

6 days

Level 4

Trekking – from Wadi Sahtan to Wadi Bani Awf

Available in JanFebMarsNovDec

1 x Camping

1 x Bivouac

2 x Homestay

1 x Accomodation

A beautiful 6-days trek on the northern side of the Western Hajar (Wadi Sahtan & Wadi Bani Awf) and along the ridge. An original and little used route that will give you opportunity to discover traditional Omani mountain life.
2 – From Wadi Bani Awf to Misfat Al Abreyeen

5 days

Level 4

Trekking – From Wadi Bani Awf to Misfat Al Abreyeen

Available in JanFebNovDec

4 x Accomodation

A classic route to cross the Western Hajar Mountains through Sharaf Al Alamain Pass : canyoning in the Snakle Canyon, and then a 4-days mountain trek. Beautiful palm groves, and quality guesthouses!
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen
3 – Crossing Jebel Akhdar

9 days

Level 4

Trekking – Crossing Jebel Akhdar

Available in JanFebNovDec

3 x Camping

5 x Accomodation

A beautiful 9-days trek to cross Jebel Akhdar range on an original route from Wadi Bani Awf to the Samail Gap. We hike mainly oon the ridge, but also through the northern valleys (Wadis Sahtan, Bani Awf, Bani Kharus, Mistal).

Because of the beauty of the valley, it’s central location in the range, and its dirt-track which give access to the souther slope, it is an area which we visit often in our Hiking Tours and Discovery Tours

Do you prefer to join a small group?

We offer Discovery tours, and Hiking Tours from October to April and Mountain Treks from November to March, on itineraries of different levels and adappted to the season.

You’ll find at the bottom of the page all ou next tours visiting Wadi Bani Awf.

Travel there

520 OMR

7 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 3

Canyons of Oman

from 13/10/2024 to 19/10/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

2 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A great tour to discover Oman's Hajar mountains during the warm season, when it's too hot for classic hiking : easy canyoning and aquatic hiking almost every day, but also Nizwa, Sur, and a night in the desert!
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen Nizwa Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Sur Wadi Tiwi Wadi Al Arbeyeen

420 OMR

5 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 4

Trekking - From Wadi Bani Awf to Misfat Al Abreyeen

from 03/11/2024 to 07/11/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

4 x Accomodation

A classic route to cross the Western Hajar Mountains through Sharaf Al Alamain Pass : 2 wadis and 3 mountain hikes, beautiful palm groves, and quality guesthouses!
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen

500 OMR

8 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 2

Discover and Adventure in Al Hajar Mountains

from 03/11/2024 to 10/11/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

5 x Camping

2 x Accomodation

A discovery tour largely off the beaten track in which we cross respectively the Western and Eastern Hajar ranges. Great mountain landscapes and secluded oases, but also desert, sea, and wadis!
Wadi Mistal Lowhills Wadi Sahtan Wadi Bani Awf Nizwa Wadi Bani Khalid Eastern Hajar's Plateau Wadi Al Arbeyeen Bandar Khayran

600 OMR

8 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 3

Hike and Discover Northern Oman

from 09/11/2024 to 16/11/2024

Open (Needs 1 to confirm)

3 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A good glimpse to Oman's various landscapes with hikes in the mountain and in the wadis, and 1 day/2 nights in the desert. Also the visit of Nizwa and Sur, and the observation of green turtles!
Wadi Bani Kharus Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen Nizwa Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Ras Al Had Sur Wadi Tiwi Wadi Al Arbeyeen

870 OMR

12 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 2

Discover and Adventure in Oman

from 17/11/2024 to 28/11/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

8 x Camping

1 x Homestay

2 x Accomodation

An adventurous itinerarythrough remote and little visted places. But at a slow pace and with easy walks and hikes. A lot of nature, and many camping nights in remote wild beautiful places!
Wadi Mistal Lowhills Wadi Bani Kharus Wadi Bani Awf Nizwa Sinaw White Desert Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Eastern Hajar's Plateau Jebel Abyadh & Jebel Aswad Wadi Al Arbeyeen Bandar Khayran

500 OMR

6 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Trekking from Wadi Sahtan to Wadi Bani Awf

from 24/11/2024 to 29/11/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

1 x Camping

1 x Bivouac

2 x Homestay

1 x Accomodation

A beautiful 6-days trek on the northern side of the Western Hajar (Wadi Sahtan & Wadi Bani Awf) and along the ridge. An original and little used route that will give you opportunity to discover traditional Omani mountain life.

700 OMR

8 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Trekking across Jebel Akhdar

from 30/11/2024 to 07/12/2024

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

3 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A beautiful 8-days trek to cross Jebel Akhdar range on an original route from Wadi Bani Awf to the Samail Gap. We hike mainly oon the ridge, but also through the northern valleys (Wadis Sahtan, Bani Awf, Bani Kharus, Mistal).

650 OMR

7 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Hiking across Western Hajar

from 28/12/2024 to 03/01/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

3 x Camping

3 x Accomodation

7 of the most beautiful hikes across the Western Hajar mountain range through sheperd hamlets, villages, oasis, rocky slopes, and vallleys. 4 hikes with short drives in between, and last 3 days trekking (no driving between the hikes).

650 OMR

8 days

Group of 3 to 10

Level 4

Western Hajar & Rub Al Khali

from 19/01/2025 to 26/01/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

3 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A beautiful trip for lovers of wild open spaces : a 3-days trek crossing the Western Hajar mountain range, and 2 days / 3 nights in the middle of the high red dunes of the Rub Al Khali desert.
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen Rub Al Khali Desert Nizwa

1300 OMR

15 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 2

Great Discover of Oman - Comfort

from 02/02/2025 to 16/02/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

14 x Accomodation

A rather easy tour, sleeping every night in accomodation, to take the time to discover various aspects of Oman : 6 days in the mountain, 5 days on the coast of the Indian Ocean and its nearby deserts, and 4 days in the wadis and the Sea of Oman.
Wadi Mistal Lowhills Wadi Bani Kharus Wadi Bani Awf Wadi Sahtan Al Hamra Misfat Al Abreyeen Jebel Shams Nizwa White Desert Masirah Island Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Sur Wadi Tiwi Wadi Al Arbeyeen Bandar Khayran

500 OMR

6 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Trekking from Wadi Sahtan to Wadi Bani Awf

from 09/02/2025 to 14/02/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

1 x Camping

1 x Bivouac

2 x Homestay

1 x Accomodation

A beautiful 6-days trek on the northern side of the Western Hajar (Wadi Sahtan & Wadi Bani Awf) and along the ridge. An original and little used route that will give you opportunity to discover traditional Omani mountain life.

700 OMR

8 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Trekking across Jebel Akhdar

from 15/02/2025 to 22/02/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

3 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A beautiful 8-days trek to cross Jebel Akhdar range on an original route from Wadi Bani Awf to the Samail Gap. We hike mainly oon the ridge, but also through the northern valleys (Wadis Sahtan, Bani Awf, Bani Kharus, Mistal).

850 OMR

12 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 2

Discover and Adventure in the heart of Al Hajar Mountains

from 23/02/2025 to 06/03/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

7 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

An itinerary largely off the beaten track to discover in depth the 2 main mountain ranges of Northern Oman : the Western and Eastern Hajar. In the heart of nature and traditions!
Wadi Mistal Lowhills Wadi Sahtan Wadi Bani Awf Wadi Bani Kharus Al Hamra Misfat Al Abreyeen Jebel Shams Nizwa Wadi Bani Khalid Eastern Hajar's Plateau Wadi Tiwi Wadi Al Arbeyeen Bandar Khayran

550 OMR

7 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 4

Until the top!

from 02/03/2025 to 08/03/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

1 x Camping

4 x Accomodation

A demanding hiking trip in the Western Hajar mountain range : some wadis, a 3-days trek from Wadi Bani Awf to Misfat Al Abreyeen, and the ascent of Jebel Shams (3000m), summit of the country.
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen Jebel Shams

520 OMR

7 days

Group of 3 to 7

Level 3

Mountains and wadis

from 23/03/2025 to 29/03/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

3 x Camping

3 x Accomodation

A great trip early spring, when the heat arrives : mountain hikes early morning, at high elevation, or along the water, and aquatic hikes. Camping high in the mountain or in the desert (where it cools quickly after sunset), and hotels in lowlands.
Wadi Bani Awf Jebel Akhdar Nizwa Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Wadi Al Arbeyeen

540 OMR

7 days

Group of 3 to 8

Level 3

Canyons of Oman

from 04/04/2025 to 10/04/2025

Open (Needs 3 to confirm)

1 x Camping

5 x Accomodation

A great tour to discover Oman's Hajar mountains during the warm season, when it's too hot for classic hiking : easy canyoning and aquatic hiking almost every day, but also Nizwa, Sur, and a night in the desert!
Wadi Bani Awf Misfat Al Abreyeen Nizwa Wahiba Desert Wadi Bani Khalid Sur Wadi Tiwi Wadi Al Arbeyeen