RIYADH: The Tuwaiq Mountains, which are said to be familiar to every citizen of Saudi Arabia, are among the most fascinating mountain ranges in the world.
This mountain range is a narrow escarpment that cuts through the plateau of Nejd in central Arabia, running from the southern border of Al-Qasim in the north to the northern edge of the Empty Quarter desert near Wadi ad-Dawasir in the south. It is located approximately 120km from the capital, with the trip taking about an hour and a half by car.
Given that this spot is particularly popular among adventurers and tourists, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman compared the disposition of the Saudi Arabian people to the Tuwaiq Mountains during his speech at the Future Investment Initiative Conference.
The Edge of the World, which offers an astonishingly dramatic view, is located at the end of a windy desert path that continues along the ridge of this escarpment.
Tuwaiq is the diminutive form of the term for collar, and the Tuwaiq Mountains were given this name because they are shaped like a 800km-long cordon that surrounds the Riyadh Region.
Visitors who come to the Tuwaiq Mountains for hiking can take various routes to reach the summit. Since the topography features sharp inclines, while the path is made of loose gravel, there is a need to climb steep slopes, and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
You can enjoy seeing camels and ancient ruins along the riverbed cutting through the valley below, as well as fossils that are a relic from back when this area used to be on the sea floor.
It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes to reach the edge of the cliff, but there are many places along the way where you can stop to enjoy the views.
Since the gates to go outside close at 6 PM, you must make sure to give yourself enough time for the way back, unless you are planning to camp overnight in the Acacia Valley.
Because you will need a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and a sports utility vehicle to access areas where you can enjoy the distinctive sunset and night sky that is full of stars, it would be ideal to join a group of multiple people traveling by car.
* This story originally appeared on arabnews.jp, read it here.