Guide To The Edge Of The World in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Your Ultimate Guide to visiting the Edge of the World outside Riyadh! Find out all you need to know about the amazing Edge of the World on your own with the help of this guide. Best times to visit, how to get there, opening times, where to hike, safety tips, driving directions and GPS co-ordinates are all listed in this guide.
One of the most popular desert treks from Riyadh is the Edge of the World along the Tuwaiq Escarpment. Definitely worth a visit and a perfect day trip because of the spectacular scenery and an unforgettable experience so close to Riyadh. The Tuwaiq escarpment that runs about 700km through central Saudi-Arabia is a scenic plateau with plenty of beautiful viewing spots. What makes Edge of the World special is this part of the escarpment has long edges that reach outward from the plateau and the view from them looks “endless”, in other words only a flat plain can be seen in the horizon as far as the eye can reach.
You can visit Edge of the World (EOTW) on your own by the help of this guide and our upcoming guide-book. If you’d like to go there with a tour guide we can help you with that as well. Please contact us at contact (at) blueabaya.com to help arrange a private tour to the Edge of the World.
edge of the world riyadh saudi arabia

Edge of the World Guide by Blue Abaya

Tuwaiq escarpment

on the edge!

View down from Edge of the World Riyadh Saudi Arabia

The location is about 90km outside of Riyadh and it takes about 1,5 hours to reach. The Edge of the World should not be attempted to reach by other than a 4×4 vehicle as the last length of the trip is very rocky and there’s loose gravel and some soft sand. Some people have managed to get there by regular cars without getting stuck but it’s a big risk to take. The safest bet is to go in a convoy of several cars and make sure all the cars have a full tank and a shovel, tow strap and spare tires and/or tire repair kits.

Never stop in the soft sand!

The best season for visiting would be the fall and winter months when skies are clear and the temperatures are warm or cool. Edge of the World can get extremely hot in the summer months because there is no shade there whatsoever. If you want the site all to yourself the best would be to visit on a weekday. During the years this site has become increasingly popular among expats and winter weekend afternoons might even have a small crowd on site.

When taking the trip, you should leave early enough to prepare a minimum of two hours for driving, to have at least two hours at the site and a good two hours for the way back during daylight hours. The desert track can be very tricky to drive in the dark and it’s easy to get lost. Eventually all tracks lead out of the acacia valley back to the gate. It should be noted that the rangers close this gate at 6 p.m so if you don’t make that time you are stuck in the acacia valley for the night.

 At the site there will be a lot of climbing and walking to do to reach the actual edge, remember to take enough water with you and sun screen plus a hat.

This is the end of the desert track where the cars will be parked and the walk starts either up to the cliff toward the edge or down to the plains.

Keep in mind the whole site is in natural state and there will be no fences or warning signs anywhere, so caution needs to be practiced anywhere near the cliff ledges as there might be loose rocks and danger of falling from rock slides.The danger of falling here is real, a respiratory therapist Laurie K. Roland (may her soul rest in peace) fell to her death at the Edge of The World. Bringing small children to this site is risky and parents should be extremely vigilant in watching them. Wear good hiking shoes or sneakers, no Crocs or sandals!

Even though just climbing up the cliff from the car park is sufficient enough to enjoy the breath-taking scenery, it’s worth walking all the way to the end of the cliff where one can really experience the feeling of being on “the edge of the world”. From the cliff continue walking right for a few hundred meters. Next there’s a steep climb down and then a narrow path that leads to the last rock cliff with the spectacular views. The walk will take about 15 minutes to half hour one way depending on your abilities.

You will see lots of sparrows and eagles flying around the escarpment and many birds have nests in the walls.

Keep a look out for fossils too, the escarpment is rich in fossils because it used to be the bottom of the ocean some 50 million years ago! Looking down into the valley you will see dried up rivers twirling into the distance, after heavy rains they will become real rivers because the water rushes down from the escarpment into the plains. Some areas on the plains become very green in the spring time.

The climb down starts from the car park area, here you will see an opening like a window in the escarpment and by walking further there will be a small path on the right side which leads all the way down to the plain. This is a very strenuous walk and you need to take lots of water to make this trip. Here is the start of the path down to the valley:

The rock window at Edge of the world

 On the way you can see camels, goat herders, and find many people setting up camps under the acacia trees in the Acacia valley. If you are planning to stay the night this would be the ideal location because the valley is full of soft sand.

Directions:

From Riyadh take the road 535 (King Khaled Rd.) north heading towards Salbouk. After approximately 30 km you will reach an intersection and turn left to route 5766 heading towards Jubayla. Set the odometer at zero here. Continue straight passing through a few small towns. Eventually the road becomes route 5762 leading to Sadus. From this road you will turn off to the desert track on the left at location N24 57 21.2 E46 13 41.6, approximately 30 km from the intersection. There are no sign posts here, it’s just a dirt track that seems to go nowhere but this is where you start your off-road part. There is a blue sign in Arabic about 50 meters from the road.
Now continue on this dirt track straight and you will soon see a fence on the left, continue beside it now slightly the track turning to the right. This track leads you to a dam and a gate next to a small building where the rangers are posted. Pass the gate and turn right. Now you are in Acacia valley. From here you will drive along the wadi for a good 20kms and the terrain will eventually become more rocky in the end until you reach the edge of the world location. The track has some forks in it, try to keep to the right but don’t enter into the small valleys, they are dead ends.

GPS coordinates for the Edge of the World end location N24 56 41.4 E45 59 32.1

 

 

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  • AnonymousAugust 22, 2012 - 6:08 am

    is this a repeat post cos from memory you did a post on the same place before? lol maybe I’m just going nuts!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 22, 2012 - 9:49 am

      No, but I posted some pics from the site before and posted this in the desert treks tab as well!ReplyCancel

  • NoorAugust 22, 2012 - 7:13 am

    Wow this is pretty amazing. How was your EId I was wondering if you were in Riyadh last night or not.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 22, 2012 - 9:50 am

      It was ok, quite busy, and yes I was here :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousAugust 22, 2012 - 11:22 am

    That has to be the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen! Absolutely, incredibly spectacular. My, my, the world is a beautiful place. Francesca from Ottawa, CanadaReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:08 pm

      Hi Franscesca and I agree it's really spectacular out there!ReplyCancel

  • KatriAugust 22, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    That looks absolutely gorgeous! I have dreamed of Middle East for years now and you’re really feeding my travel fever. :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:07 pm

      Thanks Katri! there re so many amazing places around here, you should definitely visit!ReplyCancel

  • SoileAugust 22, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    Ah, one of the definite highlights during my stay in Saudi. Even though it was in ther middle of the summer and the heat was killing us. Great pics too!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:06 pm

      Soile did you guys camp out there too? Maybe we can do that someday inshallah :)ReplyCancel

  • KarimaAugust 22, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    Wow great photos! Eid Mubarak from your newest follower :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 7:58 pm

      Thanks for following, Eid Mubarak!ReplyCancel

      • OzyMarch 31, 2016 - 5:38 pm

        Hi. Layla please join my party on 22nd. I wish we can meet someday. I really love what you do and I loved your articles

        Mustafa OzReplyCancel

  • Lady CarrotAugust 22, 2012 - 9:04 pm

    Amazing photos….mashAllah :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:05 pm

      Thank you! They are from several different visits :)ReplyCancel

  • Billy J. LewisAugust 23, 2012 - 6:34 am

    Great post. My wife Claudia and I visited EOTW yesterday with a small caravan of friends from various embassies. We climbed down into the caves to rest in the shade after hiking around to the different peaks. We ended up having a great picnic in the valley afterwards too! Thanks for posting the GPS coordinates we hope to take visiting friends there in the future…ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:05 pm

      Billy I'm glad you found it and enjoyed the site!ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousSeptember 1, 2012 - 6:09 am

      Hey Billy did u find the way open? I tried to go to EOTW one month ago with a group of friends but we found the access closed, some people there told us that something happened there (too many westeners partying , camping an so on) and they decided to close the way to it. Is it now open and reachable?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousAugust 24, 2012 - 11:26 am

    Love your blog! In the US we have few sources of information about daily life in Saudi. Your blog has given me a much more positive view of the country and its people. I have sent the link to my friends too.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 25, 2012 - 8:04 pm

      Thank you for the encouraging words and that makes me so happy to hear I've managed to give you a more positive impression of Saudi and the Saudi people. Even though I'm critical of certain things relating to Saudi culture at times, this doesn't mean I view everything as negative here. One of my goals for this blog has always been to give a more realistic and positive image of SaudiReplyCancel

  • syaAugust 24, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    nice article… i want to read all of article in this blog,,,
    :) thanks 4 share ..ReplyCancel

  • tasneemAugust 27, 2012 - 11:19 pm

    lovely pics there setting up a Muslim westerner Shash by London Ghazi why don’t u join? I’m English born in Saudi Arabia. n go to Arab school so I speak 2 languages.in fact im a teenagerReplyCancel

  • ZaraAugust 30, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    great photos. i wish i was there!!ReplyCancel

  • Archiaston MusammaSeptember 24, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

  • Sarfraz AbbasiOctober 10, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    This is about the 10th time i have come to this post since i found it. Im kinda obsessed to capture this with my camera. unfortunately, and lets just say mistakenly i didnt buy a 4 x 4. I was really happy with my sedan, until i saw this post.

    now im trying to get my suv friends to get to this place.should be blast to visit this. will show you the pics if and when i visit it. thanks for a great post and im sure your directions will really come in handy. been checking that spot on the google maps and you are right, keeping to the right side is acacia valley is a great tip.

    have a good dayReplyCancel

  • Ali AnwarOctober 12, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    Made the trip today and this has to be one of the most spectacular views on the planet. Your directions were spot on :) Great write upReplyCancel

  • Romana SimmonsFebruary 6, 2013 - 10:05 am

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away free. I love seeing website that understands the value of providing a quality resource for free.
    Regards
    ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 13, 2013 - 3:14 am

    would you know who the western nurse was who fell?ReplyCancel

    • CarlDecember 13, 2013 - 8:49 am

      Laurie K Roland, it was a serious tragedy and proves that it’s a very real danger of being out there, the edge of the cliff has alot of loose stones and people that are out there with sandals on, are putting themselves at risk.ReplyCancel

      • Garry ParsonsNovember 5, 2016 - 9:48 am

        Laurie K wasn’t a nurse ….she was a respiratory therapist from Stratford General Hospital, Stratford Ontario Canada . We were best of friends and worked together here at the hospital for sometime. She died there December 18, 1997. I still miss her and that crazy laugh!! But she certainly would want me to correct that nursing error… right Carl !! The strange thing is I was just thinking about here tonight on my night shift and found this website kind of by accident.ReplyCancel

    • Garry ParsonsNovember 5, 2016 - 9:58 am

      My name is Garry Parsons and I was a good friend of the respiratory therapist that fell on December 18, 1997. and being a respiratory therapist she would want me to make that correction for her !!!
      We work together here in Ontario Canada at Stratford General Hospital when she left to go to King Fahad National Guard hospital in The summer of 1997. She actually called me a couple of days before she fell and we were going to make arrangements for her to be picked up at Toronto airport about a week later. I still have some unanswered questions about the accident. I just sent a note to Carl who answered you also , I’m working the night shift tonight for the ICU and for some reason I looked up the edge of the world for Saudi Arabia and was thinking about her actually when I came across your note. Fact is sometime stranger than fiction !! Many thanks for your post and your curiosity Anonymous.
      With kindness , GarryReplyCancel

  • Shiraz KhanOctober 10, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Hey there :)
    Greetings…!

    Thanks for sharing info. & stills for such great place
    We will be travellin tonight to the EOW, hope it’s still open n reachable. We’ve planned to leave at 2 am so that can enjoy dawn view at this spectacular place n take sum snaps, Fingers crossd.
    Hope we reach there safe n sound. Will share the pics if we make it up…

    Regards,
    S.K.ReplyCancel

    • JoelNovember 2, 2013 - 1:35 pm

      Hi there. Would just like to know if you were able to go to this place. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • HaikalNovember 1, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    This looks amazing… do you know of any tour operators that can help arrange an overnight camping trip to the Edge of the World?ReplyCancel

    • JoelNovember 2, 2013 - 1:38 pm

      I really want to go there. I hope there are organized group tours for this.ReplyCancel

  • omar jamalNovember 3, 2013 - 7:51 pm

    is their phone signalReplyCancel

    • Shrijith JMay 15, 2014 - 8:08 pm

      GPS in mobile would work right ?ReplyCancel

  • Sony FugabanNovember 4, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    Can’t wait to go to this place…ReplyCancel

  • […] 8. Edge of the World One of the most spectacular views in Saudi-Arabia can be experienced from the Edge of the World which is part of the 800km long Jebel Tuwaiq Escarpment. When looking to the horizon from the edge it appears as if the plains continue endlessly. For the location and directions how to visit this magical place, go to Blue Abaya’s Guide to Edge of the World. […]ReplyCancel

  • Bilal ShaikhApril 18, 2014 - 2:23 am

    We r planning to visit this week in a group, last time i reached the dam but could not find location while travelling ahead of dam foubd military campsReplyCancel

  • […] Guide to the Edge of the World by Blue Abaya […]ReplyCancel

  • Faisal abdulrahmanJuly 15, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Am from Sadous the village near by am conducting major research about the area if u have any information or photo ju help is appreciatedReplyCancel

  • Best Of Blue Abaya 2012December 7, 2014 - 6:39 am

    […] Check out the popular desert trek guide to Edge of the World here. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] For more info, imagery, directions to the Edge of the World, you can check the Blue Abaya guide here! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] city limit so interesting. What kind of places can you find out there? Escarpments like “the Edge of the World” to seemingly never-ending sand dunes in different hues of orange, red, gold and yellow and […]ReplyCancel

  • ahmadMarch 20, 2015 - 10:12 pm

    Hello
    does it require professionals to climb or climbing is not that hard?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaMarch 22, 2015 - 11:26 pm

      hi Ahmad!
      there is no climbing involved if you take the normal route. If you begin from the bottom of the valley upwards it’s very strenuous climb but you don’t need any professional equipment for it.ReplyCancel

  • TrentonMarch 25, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Hi Blueabaya,

    We are planning to visit the Edge of the Mountain and the team is composed of boys and girls, will that be a problem? Will the girls be needing to wear abaya during the trip to EOTW? Thank you very Much!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaApril 1, 2015 - 5:51 pm

      Hi there, it shouldn’t be a problem if they are related or on a tour group, if the group is mixed of singles. or then a single woman or man could be “chaperoned” by a married couple. Always better to be on the safe side and remember the laws of the land :)ReplyCancel

  • JamielahApril 11, 2015 - 8:56 pm

    Hi, did you know any private tours company that can arrange this for me?
    I am a single expat living in the Eastern Region and would love to venture out to the hidden track of KSA. ThanksReplyCancel

  • […] of gold-toned rocks jutting out of the desert floor, which you can climb. Layla has produced a guide to this stunning region on her blog, and is well worth seeking out for more […]ReplyCancel

  • ShanlungAugust 3, 2015 - 12:11 pm

    You reported very nicely on Edge of the World with lots of beautiful photos.

    I have been there about 9 years ago, in a very different kind of Riyadh, where the Kingdom Tower was the most northern part of the city.

    My report of my trip to Edge of the World at that time
    http://shanlung.livejournal.com/61287.htmlReplyCancel

  • […] 8. Edge of the World One of the most spectacular views in Saudi-Arabia can be experienced from the Edge of the World which is part of the 800km long Jebel Tuwaiq Escarpment. When looking to the horizon from the edge it appears as if the plains continue endlessly. For the location and directions how to visit this magical place, go to Blue Abaya’s Guide to Edge of the World. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] During these two months she was in KSA,  we did the following to desert trips: Raghbah tower, Edge of the World, Maraat, Shagraa, Red Sand Dunes, Lake Kharrarah, Rawdhat Khuraim and Riyadh River (Wadi Hanifa)! […]ReplyCancel

  • harbiSeptember 27, 2016 - 2:51 am

    hey there , am in riyadh and if there is any group thinking of going for day or over nights tours , plz let me know

    am living alone in riyadhReplyCancel

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