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Wadi Tool

Wadi Tool (وادي تول) is a wadi in Wilayat Dima Wa Al Tayeen in the Al Sharqiyah region of Oman. Water flows through Wadi Tool all the way towards Dayqah Dam in Quriyat, with the wadi essentially becoming Wadi Dayqah. We found Wadi Tool to be a fantastic wadi to visit, with the most stunning feature being the many unique rocks and caves surrounding it, as well as the continuous stream of water along the whole path. Its flat and easy terrain make it particularly attractive for first-time ‘wadi trekkers’ (except for the first obstacle – more on this later), while also providing many suitable picnic and camping locations!

Some interesting ‘graffiti’ here – modern vandalists tend to write their name or unintelligible phrases, not drawings of figurines & animals. Makes me wonder if this is actually old or just a hoax(?)

Wadi Tool is tucked within the Eastern Hajar Mountains of Al Sharqiyah region, in the opposite direction of the mountains from Quriyat and away from the coastline. Wadi Tool receives flows from several other wadis (including Wadi Dima & Al Tayeen) and flows on to become Wadi Dayqah where the dam is located near Quriyat. The trek at Wadi Tool follows this water path downstream for approximately 15-17kms, including the portion of the wadi submerged with water from the ‘lake’ at Wadi Dayqah Dam. We did not attempt the full trek during our visit, as we only ventured approximately 5-6 kms into the wadi before returning. With many stops, it took us a total of 5 hours, but this can certainly be done in much shorter time even with stopping (we just couldn’t help stopping at every pool since it was very hot out there, and of course I had to take many pictures).

The first part of Wadi Tool after you park your car (or after a bit of walk – depends how far you drive in, see Google Maps link below to find where we parked) is the trickiest, as there are some huge boulders, and pools blocking the way. Here you’ll need to do a bit of scrambling through the boulder stones and then swim in the pools to go through. It may look like you can easily bypass this area if you stick instead to the right-hand side of the wadi; however, the drop is really steep from the wadi edge, and even though there is an old rope attached (hard to see from the top) we did not attempt it as it still looked risky. The area just before crossing the boulders also has the best pool for swimming with cascading waterfalls that are just gorgeous, and is a wonderful place to just swim and relax. The trek at Wadi Tool after this portion is essentially on flat wadi pebbles along a water stream, with numerous pools as well as different rock and limestone formations along the way. What is cool is that you’ll also see many caves and caverns on both sides, some twisted in weird shapes. Some of the wadi boulders also resembled glaciers to me on the first instance due to their extremely light colors!

The trek from Wadi Tool to Wadi Dayqah dam can obviously be done with a one-way path and cars left on both ends; however, this can be a bit tricky for a single group attempting it as day-trip, since the driving time from Wadi Dayqah to Wadi Tool is long if you take the paved route (we understand that the mountain path is often impassable after rains). With two groups each starting from either end this could be done in a day, the path seems to be reasonably flat with little climbing or scrambling involved. We will need to survey the area at Wadi Dayqah side to ensure a suitable exit place before attempting that, as well to assess how much swimming is required (we’ll update this section then). However, you can check this route on WikiLoc if you plan on doing the hike.

We found Wadi Tool to be a unique wadi to visit, with some stunning rocks and fresh water along the whole path. I personally found the trek to be a tad bit tedious, as the terrain is always flat, and you don’t get the challenge of scrambling between wadi rocks like in Wadi Shab or Wadi Al Arbaeen; however, I suspect I wouldn’t have felt this way if we were pushing to go faster to cross all the way to Dayqah dam. Either way, we still believe Wadi Tool to be a fantastic wadi to visit, whether you’re challenging yourself for a long trek to Wadi Dayqah, or just want to relax at the cascading water pool in the start!

 

How to get to Wadi Tool:

Wadi Tool is approximately 180 kms from Muscat if you take the Dakhiliyah highway route through Samail. We haven’t attempted the alternative mountain road from Al Amerat yet, which we understand to be often impassable.

For the normal path, you’ll need to get on the highway to Dakhiliyah from Muscat (Route 15), then turn towards Ibra/Bidiyah after the Bidbid intersection to get on Route 23. A portion of this section is through Wadi Al Aq, which is quite scenic but best to avoid at night due to many cars trying to overtake at blind bends. A dual-lane highway is still under construction which will bypass Wadi Al Aq, and should shorten the travel time. Afterwards, take the turn off towards Dima Wa Al Tayeen (also spelled Dima Wa Al Taiyin) on Route 25. Continue driving until you reach an area where you’ll be driving parallel to a wadi called ‘Wadi Al Khabbah’. There is no sign here, but you’ll need to drive off the road onto the wadi to reach Wadi Tool (the exact spot we took the turn off is shown on the Google Maps link below, which left us with ~3.8 km driving distance in Wadi Al Khabbah, but you can take the turn off wherever you find a spot). You’ll be crossing several water streams and driving on wadi rocks for this section, so a 4WD is definitely recommended (you might get away with an AWD), make sure to check the water depth before crossing the streams as the water level varies after periods of rain.

The entrance to Wadi Tool is on your left (the paved road is on your right), where you’ll see several houses built inside the wadi, newer ones on the left of the opening (you can’t miss the big red house with plantations) and older mud houses on the other side, from here you can assess how much further you can drive before you park your car and continue on foot.

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