Walk from Riyam Park to Muttrah

November 2006 (English only)

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Wadi Walk C38, grade 1:
Easy, suitable for inexperienced trekkers.
Set up by the Oman Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Directorate General of Tourism


A nice way to spend an weekend morning or afternoon. Close to home in the Muscat area, yet very quickly away from the modern world.

A 'wadi' walk along an ancient path, climbing up from Riyam Park (Muttrah) into the Ophiolite hills flanking the south of Muttrah Harbour, halfway an abandoned settlement with fields and falaj system, winding down along another wadi in the direction of the Muttrah Souk and back through Riyam Park.

Round walk about 4 km, time 2 hrs.
Map taken from Google Earth. Information copied from the Information board C38 at the start of the walk, Oman Ministry of Commerce and Industry Directorate General of Tourism

How to get there: Drive along the corniche from Muttrah in direction of Muscat. Turn right at Riyam Park roundabout and almost direct right again at Riyam just after the Mosque. Walk C38 is signposted to the right (a big red signpost). You can either park your car in the Riyam Park parking area, or on the small square at the start of the walk. The start of the path is hidden away behind some houses and unclear. Roam around, but be careful and avoid stepping in big holes. Halfway up the slope you will see an iron pipe that goes up into the mountains. If you look closely you may observe that it is actually following a path up. That's the one. It is marked with with yellow-withe-red painted flags. The first couple of hundred metres is a beautiful stone staircase with great views over the harbour. The path takes you into a quiet valley with an abandoned village and from there down again into Muttrah. You can complete the circle by walking along the old road from Muttrah to Muscat -at the back of Muttrah fort- along Riyam Park, back to the parking place. After rains the wadi-walk down may be wet with many pools.
The stones on the path/staircase up are polished from heavy use in the past. Within minutes you will be away from the busy capital area, enjoying the scenery behind and the ophiolite mountains ahead. It can be hot with the sun above and black rocks around, but once up a fresh breeze will help cooling and the scenery is great. Take enough water and a camera.

The old path up from Riyam. A magnificent stone staircase

Looking back over Riyam and the stone staircase. A good excuse to rest.
Halfway, snuggly in a hidden valley, are the remains of an abandoned village, fields and a falaj system. The ideal spot for a sit in the shade of a few acacias, a picnic, or for the more adventurous, a bit of exploring of the falaj system and its source.

Muttrah harbor with its gigantic incense burner

Leading up to a very quiet valley with right in the middle the abandoned field-terraces and ruins of an abandoned village.
Look closely and you will see the remains of a falaj system following the contours of the hills from a narrow gorge south of the ruins.

You can easily walk to the start of the falaj. At the time these pictures were made in November 2006, the wadi was dry, but mud and moisture indicated that not long ago there must have been quite some pools.

You can explore this wadi many kilometres further as it winds its way (easy going) to the south intersecting more quiet valleys and small pools of water. It could be wet. This is a nice walk on its own.

Path C38 is well signposted from the abandoned settlement following a wadi. Near the end at Muttrah there is a small ridge to climb to avoid ending up in a real dead end because of a dam that blocks the wadi. Just follow the signs. Across the ridge is a huge graveyard. The path follows the edge of the graveyard along the slope of the ridge and leads you to the wall that encloses part of it. Walk along the wall to the road and from there downwards to the harbour. The old road to Muscat at the back of Muttrah fort leads you back to Riyam park. You may also want to go for an icecream in the nearby Souk. Up to you.


The end of the track with a view over Muttrah, the fort and an impressive graveyard on the slopes below.

References

  • Oman Discovery - Trekking Path Project Newsletter no.1, November 2003

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@ J. Schreurs November 2006