Hiking Levels: How To Decide Which One is Right For You
Blog written on 10-10-2022
If you’re looking for a fun way to have an active, thrilling, and enjoyable weekend, you should try hiking! It’s a lot of fun, but beginners have to know about the basics of hiking and figure out your hiking level –which you can learn by checking out our guide. The UAE is full of dynamic trails and mountains waiting for you to conquer them. Before trying them, you have to understand the different hiking levels and which one is right for you.
Some hikes are more challenging than others. If you try to take on a hike that’s above your level and experience as a hiker, you might not enjoy it as much as if you were to take an easier hike. Your body may also not be prepared for the hike’s intensity, and you could risk getting injured. Should that happen, it can inconvenience both yourself and the rest of the group! Here are the three hiking levels you should know:
Beginner-level hikes are generally for people new to the hobby. They typically require a lot of walking with very little (if any) actual rock climbing or bouldering. These are recommended for new hikers or hikers who aren’t typically very active.
Beginner-level hikes typically last just an afternoon and rarely over a few days. They’re a great way to keep your weekends active and exciting!
If you’re new to hiking and dream of taking on the UAE’s most challenging trails, we recommend you start with beginner-level hikes. This way, you’ll get a taste of what hiking is like before taking more advanced hikes.
Recommended level of physical activity for beginner-level hikes
As mentioned previously, beginner-level hikes are for beginners in the hiking world. While it’s recommended for people to be physically fit and active before hiking, beginner-level hikes are very forgiving and don’t require high cardiovascular fitness levels. However, it never hurts to do a bit of leg and cardio training in the weeks leading up to a hike. Jogging with some minor leg workouts will definitely help make your next hike a lot less exhausting.
Additionally, beginner-level hikes are also great for injured or returning hikers looking to return to the hobby after a hiatus.
Tip for beginner hikers
Enjoy it! A beginner-level hike will likely be one of your first few hikes, and you should focus on having fun rather than challenging yourself. We also recommend you take lots of photos, too!
Beginner-level hike in the UAE - Masafi
If you want a relatively easy hike with a chance to cool off in some natural pools, Masafi is a great place to start! It is a small village located at the Hajar Mountains' base, so there’s no shortage of great views in the area. The hike itself isn’t overly difficult, and is very welcoming to beginners and it only lasts for about three hours. If you want to book a Masafi hike, you can read more about it here!
If you’ve got a few beginner-level hikes under your belt and are up for a bit more challenge, it’s time to move up to intermediate-level hikes. While these will still be mostly boots-on-the-ground, they will also feature more climbing. Intermediate hikes typically feature more climbing and bouldering action than beginner ones.
Intermediate-level hikes tend to last anywhere from an afternoon to a full day. This kind of hike is a full-body workout, as you’ll be walking, running, and climbing, all while carrying a bag.
Recommended level of physical activity for intermediate level-hikes
Due to the amount of climbing intermediate-level hikes require, they’re tailored for more active hikers. They require quite a bit of upper body, core strength, and endurance. Otherwise, you may not enjoy the hike as much, or worse, pull a muscle and get injured.
Tip for intermediate hikers
Pace yourself! Hikes aren’t a race, but they can take quite long. Aim to finish a hike rather than speedrun it, or else you may find yourself exhausted while hiking your way back to the cars.
Intermediate level hike in the UAE - Rainbow Hike
The Rainbow Hike is a popular and well-known hike in the emirate of Fujairah. Known for the dazzling colors of the rocks along the trail, it’s a relatively easy hike. However, as it does require quite a bit of bouldering and climbing, it requires at least decent levels of physical fitness to be enjoyed completely as it requires about four hours (or more) of hiking. If you want to book a hike to this beautiful trail, check out this page for more information.
The difference between an advanced and intermediate-level hike should not be underestimated. These are for hikers who seek to test their physical and mental limits and require sufficient levels of physical fitness before even attempting them. If you’re considering an advanced-level hike, you should expect steeper slopes, longer trails, and a lot of climbing.
Advanced-level hikes typically last a full day or even longer, depending on the trail. These are true tests of endurance and strength and will require everything from walking to bouldering to rock climbing.
Recommended level of physical activity
Advanced hikes are for athletic, active hikers. You need to be physically fit to attempt this level of hiking difficulty. Choose this hike if you’re an experienced hiker with several hikes under your belt. It also helps if you’ve done endurance, such as running.
Tip for advanced hikers
Always stretch and warm up before you get on the trail. Sometimes, even the most advanced hikers can forget the most fundamental steps. Stretching and keeping your body warm before a long hike will help you avoid injury–which you don’t want to encounter at the peak of your hiking career.
Advanced-level hike in the UAE - Jebel Jais
Located in Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais is known as the tallest peak in the UAE. At almost 2,000m above sea level, Jebel Jais is the highest point in the country and is advised for only the most daring of hikers.
As fun as hiking is, there’s much more to do in the UAE than that! Check out what else you can do in the UAE by booking an experience with us. You should also follow our blog and Instagram for more updates!
I’m a travel curator who has visited over 30 countries and is currently based in Dubai. For more of Tingu Travel’s experiences, you can follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok @tingutravel