Notes: The starting point is only reachable by a road-worthy AWD or 4WD. Please do not try reaching there with a low ground clearance vehicle. If driving a sedan, you may be required to park at least 3-4 kms from the starting point, depending on how much you intend to risk your sedan's chassis.
We had excitement built in, even while driving to the starting point of the trail - right before the Exit 126, on E311, a desert fox ran across the highway in front of our fast moving car. The slightly fluffy tail was conspicuous. The gravel road begins on the right, while on the road to Jebel Jais. This is the exit to Wadi Ghail/Leopard Canyon, both of which are marked on google maps. The starting point, is a 7.5km gravel (heavy) road from this exit on the paved road.
We reached the starting point (a parking lot /flattened ground) at 6:15am. The sun was yet to bless the wadi and the weather was chilly. This ground is right next to some sort of a huge antenna, that has a red strobe light on top of it. We continued walking on the gravel road towards the wadi, and it took us through a small village that is sparsely populated with wonderful friendly residents and plenty of curious goats.
While you keep left, you will soon enter the wadi/ravine on the left and shall cross small boulders with beautiful ravine walls (balconies) on either side. After around 2km walk, you will soon reach Waypoint 4, that presents the panoramic view of the famous "hanging gardens". The feeling of a subtle solitude and the quietness surrounding the hanging gardens were interrupted only by the echo caused by a few flapping wings, in the wadi. Take your time to absorb nature at her best.
Continuing on the trail, required us to walk over the hanging gardens that has multiple balconies (WP6). Be careful of not taking the upper balconies, as these become difficult to cross, with narrow ridges. Once you cross this, you open up into a beautiful, dry waterfall bed (WP7). The ravine is narrow after this, and it involves a bit of bouldering. Soon, you shall be standing in front of the famous "vertical wall". It looked like a dead end (WP8 and WP9), without ropes, however, there is a narrow climb on the right. We realised that the rocks that were placed there, are loose, while there was minimal grip. This wasn't an easy pass, but we managed to climb it with mutual assistance. That said, I would rate this climb as the difficult aspect of the hike. Climbing further, brought us right above the vertical wall, that has a mountain pass on either side. We continued on the right, through the ravine.
Further up, we came across the first human rock construction (WP11). I feel that turning a sharp right here, would have taken us to the Bahar village settlement. However, we continued further through the wadi. Soon, it was apparent that we were treading a route that was full of large boulders and no signs of any cairns or rock constructions. Eventually, we decided to turn right (WP12). It did get us a bit to stop and think whether we were lost. However, on climbing the steep mountain wall (WP12), we were able to see the Bahar village at a distance. The walk from this point until the village was probably the most boring part of the hike as the sun was already up and there is absolutely no shade on this path.
The Bahar village is a beautiful rest spot with some provisions (sweet mountain water and a resting area - thanks to the residents/owners). Post this point, the descent is steep and a continuous assault on the knees. The steepness is apparent and can be gauged from the elevation graph of this hike.
Highly recommended trail, and we intend to do a reverse hike, to avoid the steep descent.