Balcony Trail and Jebel Shams (a unique trekking in Oman)


Have you heard about the route of the Balcony Trail in Oman? Surely not, since for us it was a small discovery when Oman arrived. Is ahiking route overlooking the Jebel Shams, the highest peak in the country, next to the most vertical and deep canyon. It seems spectacular as well as complicated, doesn't it? Well, not at all.

The Balcony Trail route

Looking for a trek in Oman

If you read us regularly you will know that we are passionate about hiking and mountain. When we decided to travel to Oman one of the reasons was because the amount of mountains and the hilly landscape of the northern part of the country. Therefore for a trip of about two weeks that we had thinking it was at least a hiking route.

Our little hotel in Jebel Shams
Balcony trail

It is necessary to know that Oman is an arid country and therefore in order to look for a route it is necessary to have very clear the meteorological conditions. It's very hot, and the sun, that scorching element at certain times of the year, you have to be afraid of. By half saving this obstacle the area of Jebel shams, the highest peak in Oman (3,028m), seemed the best place to stretch your legs, and I think so, since we found a route with views, mythical and easy. After all we were not looking for long journeys on this trip.

A route for those without vertigo

Balcony Trail can be classified as an easy and simple route, suitable for almost everyone. It has an unevenness of less than 300m and the most curious thing is that it begins by gradually descending along a spectacular canyon that accompanies you throughout the route (Saab Bani Khamis).

Jebel Shams Resort
Jebel shams

The route starts from the small town of Al khitaym, but first you have to arrive on a dirt track only suitable for 4 × 4. If you take a normal car, be careful and especially very slow. The reality is that from the asphalt road that ends at the Jebel Shams Resort to the village they are just 2km, so it is possible very, very carefully.

The route begins

Almost from the edge of the cliff, next to the canyon, and with the village behind you begins the Balcony Trail. Follow a path that to the left always leaving the canyon on your right. It has no loss. Is a narrow path, but enough for one person and sometimes up to two in parallel.

Balcony trail
Balcony trail

The best time to start is after 11 or so, to have the cannon illuminated and thus not have shadows if you are looking for a good photograph. As they are about 4 hours round trip, when you are returning to the village of Al Khitaym part of the Balcony Trail route will be in shadow and you will appreciate it.

The tour

At the beginning of the route you can see up to 3 small booths with tables to admire the spectacular canyon and the Jebel Shams, booths with the sole purpose of being excellent viewpoints of this picturesque point of Oman.

Balcony Trail viewpoints
Balcony trail

At no time during the course of the route did we have vertigo or danger, although it is true that from the path or from above it seems unfeasible to cross the canyon in the way that the Balcony Trail does. That is the best, since when you gradually approach the points where you think the path will not pass, you will do so without any problem.

Balcony trail
Balcony trail

It is frequent during the tour to meet goats. As in any part of the world when there is a goat on the mountain the first thing you think is how it is possible for them to climb and reach certain points. Here it is no less and they seem of the Spiderman family.

Balcony trail
Balcony trail

At the end of the tour there is a pequeño abandoned town where it is still possible to see his previous way of life. There are several cultivation terraces, several houses and within them it is possible to see where they cooked or where they kept food or clothes. The truth is very interesting.

Do not forget to download the track to the right of this page. Just below the map puts download

Via ferrata in Jebel Shams

This area of ​​Jebel Shams is famous for its famous via ferrata, via that we cannot do because of the strong wind. The Balcony Trail really ends where the via ferrata ends, so it is feasible to make the track and the route in a single day. To the route would have to add 4 more hours.

In order to make this route, material is needed, so we recommend hiring a tour for this particular part. In Get Your Guide you can see the activities in the area.

Balcony trail
Balcony trail

Practical data

Before leaving for Oman

  • Search and compare flights to Oman at the best price
  • Guide of Lonely Planet of Oman
  • Car rental in Oman with 15% discount
  • Oman Hotels through Booking

How to get?

The route starts from the town ofAl khitaym, not far from the Jebel Shams Resort. It is accessed from the Nizwa road always taking the direction to the Jebel Shams. From the resort you have to take a dirt track that goes directly to the town.

What to take on the route?

There is no water or food on the entire route, so it is convenient to take both and especially the second. In summer the sun is scorching and it is easy to become dehydrated.

For the material we recommend the following:

  • Summer shoes, short if possible
  • Shorts and short sleeve t-shirt
  • Polar fleece, it can be cold in January or in the shade at sunset
  • Polarized sunglasses and cap
  • A small backpack
  • Map/GPS. Without this, don't even show up. As GPS our recommendation is Garmin GPSMAP 64
  • Lots of sun protection
  • Water in quantity and food

Where to sleep?

Free camping in Oman is legal, making it a good option for the more adventurous. If you prefer another option there are 2 or 3 hotels in the area, but the closest is the Jebel Shams Resort.

Travel insurance

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