Book a hike
The Red Sea Mountain Trail is currently open for day hikes. Any section can be accessed and hikers can walk the whole day, but they must leave before sunset. Every morning, it opens again from 7am. Hurghada's security officials fix conditions under which tourism operates. Currently, local security have approved day trips. Clearance for overnight trips is still under consideration. Egypt's Ministry of Tourism have supported the Red Sea Mountain Trail, giving it high-level backing. Our sister project, the Sinai Trail, has operated overnight trips since 2015 and last year completed a 24 day hike. The Red Sea Mountain Trail Association expects overnight trips to be possible from autumn. Hiking tourism is new in Hurghada, which is why it is taking Egypt's security more time to recognise it and ensure it can be fully established in the region. A comprehensive series of one day hikes is set out below, which will support the Red Sea Mountain Trail and its communities until overnight clearance is given. Even when overnight trips are operating, one day trips will remain an important foundation for the trail. These one day hikes show the Red Sea Mountain Trail's most beautiful mountains, wadis and historical highlights. Options exist for all levels of fitness, experience and ability. Trips can be booked privately, by individuals for groups of upto six. From October 2019, on the second and last Friday of every month, trips open to the public will be arranged, allowing you to join others. Upcoming trips will be advertised on this page and enquiries can be made from our contact page.
Easy & moderate hikes
Shorter distances and limited elevation gain make these easier hikes. There are usually paths. Scrambling is limited, easy with only occasional mild exposure. All these hikes make excellent introductions to the region.
1. EL NAGAATA CIRCUIT (3-5km): El Nagaata is a natural spring whose waters drip down steep granite cliffs in Jebel Gattar. This hike leads into Jebel Gattar's interior, crossing huge, sweeping slabs of granite & winding through wadis dotted with palms. Chapels & hermit cells of early Christians scatter the landscape. Petrogylphs & leopard traps are found on the jeep approach. There is a short, steep scramble near the spring, but walking is mostly gentle & easy. Jeeps take 1.5 hours each way from Hurghada.
2. MONS CLAUDIANUS (3-5km): One of two great Roman towns on the Red Sea Mountain Trail, Mons Claudianus was built 2000 years ago. It was a quarrying outpost where operations were overseen & workers housed. Today, the town's empty rooms, temples & streets can be explored. Hikers will find broken columns & abandoned bathtubs scattered over the hillsides. This is a short, easy hike in gentle wadis & on Roman footpaths. Jeeps take 1.5 hours each way from Hurghada.
3. WADI FAALIG TO EL BIYAAR (10km): Traversing easy camel passes between low, rugged hills, this hike leads from the sweeping spaces of Wadi Faalig to El Biyaar, a deep well on the Plain of Monfia. Paths are often broken, but the walking is never too difficult & ups & downs are modest. Spectacular mountain scenery unfolds on every side of Monfia & nomadic Bedouin families are often seen in the region in spring. Jeeps from Hurghada need 1 hour approach & 1.5 hours return.
4. TALLA HAMRAA (10-12km): Talla Hamraa is a wild, winding wadi in the towering red ranges of Jebel Abul Hassan. This is a circular hike, where two low camel passes are crossed between Talla Hamraa and the neighbouring Wadi Abul Hassan. It is an adventurous route running deep in one of the Red Sea Mountain Trail's most spectacular massifs, with impressive mountain vistas all the way. Jeeps take 2 hours each way from Hurghada, and approach via the beautiful Wadi Ghuza.
Costs for one day hikes on the Red Sea Mountain Trail include jeep transport from Hurghada to the interior mountain trailheads and back - typically 3-4 hours driving - plus Bedouin guides, lunch, water and tea. Tribal permission fees from the Sheikh of the Khushmaan are also included. This covers all the essentials from the beginning to the end of a hike. The only thing hikers may need to add are special snacks and drinks. Once clearance is secured for overnight trips, which we expect in the autumn, an updated price list and schedule for trips on the Red Sea Mountain Trail will be published here. For any bookings, please get in touch via our contact page. Private trips and public trips - scheduled twice a month - have the same costs.
Moderate & difficult hikes
Expect longer distances, tougher, more frequent ups and downs and broken, damaged paths on these hikes. Scrambling on steep ground is sometimes required. These routes are more remote and feel more serious.
1. JEBEL TARBUSH UMSAYRI (3-5km): Known as Jebel Umsayri to the Bedouin, this small peak rises over the lowlands around Mons Claudianus. Spectacular views unfold over vast deserts from its 1143m top. It is the lowest, most accessible peak on the Red Sea Mountain Trail, requiring a steep scramble to the top, with an elevation gain of 400m from the start point. Descent can be made a different way & Mons Claudianus visited on the same excursion. Jeeps take 1.5 hours each way from Hurghada.
2. ABUL HASSAN TO WADI GHUZA (17km): This hike follows one of the Red Sea Mountain Trail's most beautiful sections, leading through the wild, remote wadis of Jebel Abul Hassan. Narrow canyons, winding gorges & four steep, rugged passes are traversed from beginning to end. Pools & creeks form in this region for several months after a good rain & nomadic Bedouin families often move around its wadis in search of grazing. Jeeps from Hurghada need 1.5 hours approach & 2 hours return.
3. MONS PORPHYRITES TO UM BALAD (15km): Following an ancient path, this hike leads from the Roman town of Mons Porphyrites to the satellite fort of Um Balad. A 1000m pass is crossed mid-way, with spectacular views to Jebel Gattar. Paths are in good condition but the pass involves 350m ascent & 600m descent. A shorter option is possible, from Mons Porphyrites to another satellite fort, known as Medina Badiya (10km total). Jeeps from Hurghada need 2 hours approach & 1.5 hours return.
4. RUWEISHID HIGHLANDS (7km): This hike involves a traverse of the beautiful Ruweishid Highlands. Starting at Gabr Ruweishid - the tomb of an old Bedouin raiding hero - the route leads through wild wadis, narrow, shadowy canyons, and over high passes to the Plains of Graygar. Spectacular mountain vistas to Jebel Gattar and Jebel Shayib unfold on the way. Tricky, mildly exposed scrambling steps are involved in some spots. Jeeps from Hurghada take around 1.5 hours on the approach & return.
Costs & trip schedule
One day hikes
6 person group, per person - €75
4 person group, per person - €95
2 person group, per person - €125
Public group hikes
17th & 18th January - Naqb el Thilma & Jebel Gattar
Mountaineering routes & scrambles
Every route below counts as a serious mountaineering proposition. Steep, exposed scrambles are required from bottom to top, and elevation gains can be over 1500m. Before anybody attempts these routes, the Bedouin must have walked with them and assessed them on a moderate one day hike. Of the routes here, Jebel Abu Abid and Jebel Um Anab are the best options over one day. Another excellent peak is Jebel Tarbush Umsayri, in the moderate options.
JEBEL SHAYIB EL BANAT (15km): Egypt's highest peak outside the Sinai, Jebel Shayib el Banat towers up 2187m, offering views over the sea to the Sinai & beyond. Climbing Jebel Shayib el Banat is not easy & it is recommended hikers wait for overnight clearances to be obtained, attempting it in two days. It involves continuous scrambling with steep, exposed steps & is only for the fittest, most agile mountaineers, used to moving light & fast on difficult rocky terrain. Jeeps from Hurghada need 1.5 hours approach & return.
JEBEL GATTAR (12km): Starting near the dripping spring of Um Deesa, this hike runs over Jebel Gattar's highlands to another spring: El Nagaata. Wild wadis, palms & abandoned chapels & hermit cells of early Christians are seen on the way & the hike has a wild feel. No summit is scaled, but there is 700m of ascent/ descent. Terrain is rough, with no paths & steep scrambling. Hikers must be fit, experienced & able to move fast. Jeeps from Hurghada need 2.5 hours approach & 1.5 hours return.
JEBEL ABU ABID (10km): Jebel Abu Abid towers up in the same massif as Jebel Shayib el Banat, as one its smaller, sister summits. Its 1900m top offers views over the Plains of Graygar & Monfia. On a clear day, hikers can see over the Red Sea to the Sinai. Getting here involves hiking a rough, rugged trail up Wadi Abu Abid, then scrambling up a loose, bouldery gully. Ascent & descent are made the same way, with around 1000m elevation gain from the start to the summit. Jeeps from Hurghada require 1.5 hours each way.
JEBEL UM ANAB (10km) - A massif of three high pyramid peaks, Jebel Um Anab rises opposite Jebel Shayib el Banat. Getting up Um Anab's highest peak is a technical rock climb, but visitors will be able to traverse a beautiful, broad summit ridge on its high parts. Getting up to the ridge involves steep, loose scrambling but although rugged, the ridge is solid & without real exposure. The climb starts from the spring of Um Anab. Jeeps from Hurghada require 1.5 hours approach & 2 hours return.