Hiking the Haraz

Trekking in the Arabian Peninsula usually brings to mind images of sweltering deserts, but tucked away in Yemen's remote Haraz Mountains is a cool and verdant high country, only known to a few discerning hikers. At its heart is the 2,960-m peak, Jabal Shibam, pictured, under which sits the 12th century hilltop village of Al Hajjarah—the country's hiking hub. The fortified hamlet is one of the prettiest in Yemen, with numerous trails leading up the volcanic mountains and down to the Grand Canyon-like wadis (dry river valleys).
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But Al Hajjarah is only accessible by dirt road from the...

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