Approaching Wadi Shab in Oman

riving southeast on Highway 17 from the small town of Fins, I noticed that the craggy barren brown mountains to the west contrasted the brilliant aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Oman to the east; and there was little more than that on the almost-deserted desert highway.

I approached the exit to Wadi Shab — which was clearly marked with a brown traffic sign — where I was to visit out of curiosity: a veritable oasis in the desert were it not for the Gulf of Oman and the hot, humid air.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

A winding road on a moderate downhill grade approached a small town — all of which combined to obscure the actual entrance to Wadi Shab.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I do not exactly know why; but I thought that the road approaching Wadi Shab was rather cool, for lack of a better word — even though it is no Lombard Street in San Francisco in terms of grade and curves.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

At the bottom of the hill, the entrance to Wadi Shab suddenly appeared at the sign shown in the photograph below.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The sign was secured solidly to its base by four bolts — which is more than I can say about the stability of the base itself.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

You might say that things are looking rather rocky for this sign; and the goats which wandered around lackadaisically near the entrance to Wadi Shab did not even bother to greet me.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Ba-a-a-a-a-ah. Stupid goats…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I turned right into the parking lot next to the waters of Wadi Shab, which was situated directly under Highway 17.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I parked the rental car in the shade in a fleeting attempt to keep the car from being even hotter as a result of the desert sun shining on it — which, of course, was eventually unsuccessful.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I got out of the car and looked back towards the entrance to the parking lot.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The building on the right housed public toilets.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I walked around the area of Wadi Shab near the highway.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Additional photographs will appear in a future article. Please stay tuned…

All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Approaching Wadi Shab in Oman”

  1. Phillip says:

    Brian,

    I am looking to visit Oman and Wadi Shab in mid January. Any insight on whether this is a year round attraction? Or do the pools go away at some point? Also, is it difficult to navigate the canyon, or is it one way in and one way out?

    Thanks,
    Phil

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I automatically thought that Wadi Shab was open year round, Phillip; but now I am not sure.

      Then again, I was there in mid-February of this year; so I cannot imagine why it would not be open in mid-January of 2016.

      When I wandered into the canyon, I noticed pipes and trenches — perhaps for the purpose of moving the water if necessary. These may either be for flood control or for moving the water when portions of the Wadi are dry — I do not know; but I did see three men working on one of them along the way.

      Parts of the canyon did have varying degrees of difficulty; but I reached the oasis in the middle of the canyon where one can go swimming. For me and others, there is this bizarre staircase which does not go all the way down at one point; and the part that is missing is approximately five feet tall. There are also arrows painted on some of the rocks to guide you through. Some of those rocks can be rather slippery when wet…

      …but if I made it through, so can many other people, I believe.

      I have photographs to show what I am talking about; so please let me put a priority on gathering those photographs and creating at least another article for you prior to your trip in January, Phillip.

      I also owe Joey another article on Bahrain with photographs…

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