Muttrah Geotrek (مـسـار مـطـرح الـجـيـولـوجـي) is a hiking track in the town of Muttrah, Muscat which takes you through the mountain range that encircles the natural harbor and corniche at Muttrah. The track gives you chance to see brilliant views of Muttrah, Riyam Park and the Gulf of Oman from the mountains, and will also get you to see a side of Muttrah that you probably never thought existed, like beautiful rock formations (volcanic ophilolite rocks), mountain shrubs and clear ground water which might make you think you’re in a wadi! You will need to do a bit of climbing and navigating through slippery rocks in the track, and it should take you 3-4 hours, including the walk back to the car park (more on this later).
Apparently, this route was once the only link between old Muttrah and the natural harbor. An information board by the Ministry of Tourism indicates that the rocks have formed due to undersea volcanic eruptions, and this is the “best exposed ophilolite sequence in the world”. If you are a geology buff you will probably enjoy the hike even more.
How To Get There:
Muttrah Geotrek is not a looped track, meaning that at the end of the hike you will end up in a different location than where you started. We started the hike from the entrance close to the carpark of Riyam Park, you can spot the sign and the cement stairs on the mountain behind one of the houses opposite the carpark. If you start this way, the hike will end in Muttrah village, just a few blocks from the corniche. Obviously, this could be your starting point and you will end up in Riyam carpark. We recommend you start from Riyam park since there is lots of parking spaces there while the Muttrah village side is through a residential area with tiny alleyways.
View Muttrah Geotrek – OmanTripper in a larger map
Just note that you will pass through a cemetery (!) at the end of the track if you start from Riyam. We were shocked to find this and we really hope entrance/exit is modified to by-pass the cemetery.
Before You Go:
Make sure you have:
- Good footwear, some areas are really slippery
- Lots of water, as you will end up walking 3-4 hours
- Packed lunch/snacks, there is a spot in the middle of the hike where you can just sit under tree shades
We would describe the hike as moderate, it is a bit steep and you might be out of breath after the climb but there is nothing extreme and you can even take kids with you. You will have to navigate through some smooth rocks with small water pools in some stretches which can be a bit slippery, but there nothing new if you have been to any other wadi in Oman.
The path is well defined and marked with a three color flag symbol throughout, which are hard to miss:
We took about 3.5 hours to cover the trek, including lots of stops to take pictures and detours in addition to the walk back to the Riyam carpark. We suggest you allow 3-4 hours if you plan to do the hike, and a bit longer if you are taking kids with you.
Have you taken the Muttrah Geotrek? What did you think of it?