From 3,000 meters at the top of Oman’s tallest mountain, Jebel Shams, to the flat area just below the summit, you can see 1 kilometer straight down into Wadi Ghul, Oman’s Grand Canyon. From this area, called “the balcony,” the drop is so far and the canyon so vast it is hard to get a sense of scale. Rock formations and layers in the ancient rock give the canyon an almost other-worldly feel. It is the deepest canyon in the Middle East, and the second deepest in the world after Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
On the far side of the valley lies the Ghul village, a collection of traditional mud-brick homes built into the mountainside. With small plots of agriculture and date plantations, the green stands out against the orange mountains and lands. There is also an abandoned old Ghul village, where the trailhead for the trekking path begins.