The Sinai High Mountain Region, found within the circular dyke around the town of St. Catherine, is a fantastic yet little-known trekking destination. Egypt’s highest peak, Mt. Katherine is an impressive mountain, and even the climb to Mt. Sinai is a demanding one. The region has a colder climate then the rest of Sinai, and even snow is not uncommon in winter. In the high mountain wadis there is considerable more water than in the desert, feeding water pools and sustaing hundreds of orchards. The high mountains extend all the way to the coastal plain in the west and south, with two of the most impressive peaks, Jebel Umm Shaumar and Jebel Serbal on the perimeter.
Treks start from the town of St. Catherine and can be organized on the spot overnight, although booking in advance does make sense. Camels are often needed to carry bags, food and mineral water, if you don’t rely on local water, but it is possible to do many treks without camels, carrying all your stuff yourself. The treks are usually all inclusive, that is guide, camel (if needed), all food, hot drinks, water, mattress and blankets are provided. Sometimes accommodation in garden is to be paid on top.
Popular destinations in the high mountains include Mt. Sinai, Mt. Katherine, Mt. Abbas Basha, Galt el Azraq, Bab el Donya, Kharazet el Shaq, and further away Jebel Umm Shomar and Jebel Serbal.
More information about places of interest -> The High Mountain Region.
The High Mountain Region is home to the Jabaleya tribe, and hikes in the area, with the exception of Mt Sinai, have to go through the tribal operator, Sheikh Mousa (Mountains Tours Office). Guides and camels are assigned according to a rotating system, which provides work to all the families of the tribe. The system, called ‘dor’, has positive and negative sides, both for the visitor and the community – read more about the tribal laws. You can also find independent Bedouin guides and tour operators who offer treks to the high mountain region, sorting the tribal issues themselves.