Mount Shada in Al-Baha

MOUNT SHADA, nicknamed the mountain of four seasons, is located in northwestern Al-Baha covering an area of 68 sq. km and housing the hottest sunrays of the summer and the warm breeze of the winter.

Mount Shada in Al-Baha







Saudi Gazette report

MOUNT SHADA, nicknamed the mountain of four seasons, is located in northwestern Al-Baha covering an area of 68 sq. km and housing the hottest sunrays of the summer and the warm breeze of the winter.

Its apex stands at 2,200 meters above sea level rivaling the heights of Sarawat Mountains, the largest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula. The mountain played an important role in ancient times as indigenous communities sought shelter in its crevices and lived off of its natural resources and abundant greenery.

Over the years, the mountain has been the source of countless tales and legends.

In 2001, the Saudi government took interest in turning the mountain into a nature reserve under the management of the Saudi Wildlife Authority.

Between Mount Altahi and the apex of Mount Shuab Aljouf, wild and rare creatures such as the Arabian leopard, striped hyena, Arabian wolf, foxes, lynx, rock hyrax and many wild birds thrive. There is also a unique assortment of over 400 types of plants such as the juniper and olive trees.
In an expedition through the mountain, the lenses of the Saudi Press Agency brought these sites and the mountain’s cartography to the attention of the Saudi Wildlife Authority. The expedition was led by Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, the superintendent of the authority, and spanned all the way up to Mount Shada’s 11 km peak.

Shuab Aljouf, an area occupying a third of Mount Shada, is an attractive landscape of flora and geological wonder where roses bloom in the spring and granite rocks shimmer beneath the sunlight. Moreover, these rocks have ancient drawings of the surrounding natural inhabitants such as the Nubian ibex and the oryx.

Near the peak of the mountain is Alsour village. Fields of coffee are prevalent there along with Barbary fig plants, pomegranate trees and other plants and trees. All of these plants are watered by wells dug 25 to 80 meters deep. Standing at its highest point, one can view the horizon where many other villages and cities are dispersed.

As for the geological structure of the mountain, people living there have used its rocks for building homes and to store crops, honey and water. The highest village in the mountain is Alkabsah, only reachable by walking a few kilometers. The village has an office of Al-Baha Municipality and a health center, exceptionally adorned with wildlife and plants.

Further to the north is Aljowa village, which is overrun by hyenas and lynxes after its inhabitants deserted it years ago. The Mount Shada reserve also has a collection of granite rocks. The rock’s porous construct allows rainwater to easily seep through and reach plants. The annual rainfall in the area is estimated to be 319.2 millimeters.

The reserve has wild animals such as Arabian leopards, hyenas, lynxes, ferrets, foxes, porcupines, baboons, rock hyraxes, crows, eagles and vultures.

The upper part of the mountain is currently being studied by Al-Baha Municipality, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities and the Saudi Wildlife Authority with the purpose of developing the reserve into a tourist attraction.