Al Wahbah crater

Al Wahbah crater

AL-Taif AL-Taif

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Which is also called "Maqla Ṭamiyyah" (Ṭamiyyah Quarry), it is a deep hole in the ground with a circular diameter of about 3 kilometres and a depth of 220 metres, and it is the largest crater of its kind in the Middle East, it is located about 254 kilometres from the city of Taif.

The middle region of the crater is covered with a layer of white salt, which some attribute to the buildup of precipitation at the crater's bottom, resulting in the formation of a small-sized shallow lake that does not leak into the ground.

Topography of Al Wahbah crater

When a group of scientists looked into the origins of this crater, they discovered that it was most likely formed as a result of a massive volcanic eruption, while some say it was caused by a meteorite fall, but there is no clear answer as of yet.

When you descend about 15 metres from the earth's surface toward the crater, you will notice the presence of many palm trees and plants that grow from small water springs, and when you go even further down to the bottom, you will be surprised by the presence of a few desert grass, Arak trees, which gradually disappear as you move towards the hole's centre.

The reason for the naming and location of Al Wahbah crater

It was called Maqla Ṭamiyyah after Mount Ṭamiyyah, which is located next to it.

Al Wahbah crater is located in the western region of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it is about 200 kilometres northeast of the city of Taif, also you can easily reach it by the Riyadh-Taif highway passing through the village of Umm Al-Doom, and also passing through the village of Hafir Kishb, and you can also go to it by taking Mahd adh Dhahab road towards the southeast of Medina.

The Legend of Al-Wahbah crater

The legend tells, that on one rainy night, Al-Wahbah mountain (A female mountain) saw another mountain when lightning strikes, and that mountain is called Ketten, she liked him (it) very much and loved the way he looks, and Ketten mount was in the central region of Najd city between the city of Buraidah in Qassim and Medina in the west of Saudi Arabia, and almost halfway between the two cities, then, Al-Wahbah mountain decided to move from her place towards Ketten, but there was a mountain in between them called Shalman and he (it) was her cousin, Shalman felt jealousy, and when he saw her he threw a spear at her that hit her foot and knocked her near her love (Ketten) and she was never able to reach him, and that made a huge hole in her which is the crater.

How to visit the crater of Al-Wahbah mountain

If you want to visit it, all you have to do is take Al Wahbah crater road leading to the site - the road is paved, and for this, it is better to use an SUV, Park in the parking lot, and upon arrival, you can now get to the visitor centre of the small museum.

Hiking can be done in beautiful shaded areas. For tourists who want to see the bottom of the crater that is covered with white salt, there is a steep path with a staircase carved into the rock that you can follow, and if you go there during the winter, it is best to wear hiking boots, bring plenty of water, and don't expect cellular network coverage.

When you make this trip, it is best to do it early during the day and preferably in winter, because in the summer the temperature in this area reaches up to 50 Celsius, which makes the descent to the crater in a period of 45 minutes and the ascent in 90 minutes a very difficult task, so it is better to choose winter if you can, as it is the best time for this visit.