22 October 2021

Edge of the World – near Riyadh

Jebel Fihrayn, better known as The Edge of the World, is one of the most popular destinations around Riyadh and was given its name because of the stunning views from the top of the 300-meter-high cliffs overlooking the surrounding plain. This escarpment is part of the much longer Jibal Tuwaiq which is one of the most prominent natural features of Saudi Arabia as it spreads over 1 000 kilometers from the province of Najran on the south up to Qassim in the north. It even played an important role in Arabia’s History as along its foot was one of the ancient caravan trade routes that used to cross the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen into the Levant and Persia. Getting to the location involves a long off-road drive, but the routes are quite obvious. The southern route, through acacia wadi, is only open on Friday and Saturday and has a locked gate so is not passable during weekdays. The northern route, shown on Google Maps, is open all the time and is mainly across good hard ground. There are one or two small wadis that need crossing and this is relatively easy in a four-wheeled drive car or one with good ground clearance. We saw a couple of normal saloon cars who made it to the location, but they had to be very careful of not grounding the bottom of the car and drove much slower than our Landcruiser. Overall, I would rate the route as good in a four-wheeled drive and it is easily doable in your own vehicle following Google Maps directions. Once at the site the steep escarpment face is quite daunting and it was windy when we arrived in the early morning. The path to the top point is quite wide and firm, but care is needed as it is close to the edge of the cliff. We were a little worried due to the wind but once down onto the path the route to the top was less windy and relatively easy to navigate. It looks a lot scarier seeing people standing on the top than it actually is when you are there on the top yourself and is worth the effort of overcoming any fears.