Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’ with the date palms of A’Nakhr village almost a kilometre below © Tony Walsh
Wadi A’Nakhr carries on deep into Jabal Shams mountain for about 8km to the eponymous A’Nakhr village. The drive is bumpy and in places the canyon is but a few metres wide – your car will just squeeze through. Here, at the terminus of the track, is where many of the rugs available for sale along the road to Jabal Shams are woven, in a spectacular setting at the base of what is usually referred to as Oman’s Grand Canyon. The whole setting is beautiful and if a drive is not possible, why not walk?
An at-times vertiginous path skirts the western edge of the Wadi A’Nakhr Gorge and leads to the abandoned village of As Sab.
There is a dramatic 3-hour round-trip trek follows the course of an ancient donkey path starting from the Jabal Shams plateau at the village of Al Khateem. The ground underfoot is stony but quite easy going, covering a total distance of only 3.5km, and with a difference of just 100m and a highest altitude of 1,900m. The at-times vertiginous path skirts the western edge of the Wadi A’Nakhr Gorge (popularly known as Oman’s Grand Canyon) and leads to the abandoned village of As Sab. The village once housed some 15 families who used to grow watermelon, onion, chilli powder, tomato, wheat, pomegranate, lemon and basil. You can still see a flour grinder among the houses.