In the southwestern stretches of Saudi Arabia, towering mountains rise from the coast of the Red Sea, creating some of the country’s most dramatic and – to some – unexpected scenery. Among these mountains lies Asir National Park. Established in 1980, Asir was Saudi Arabia’s first national park. Its lands consist of over 1600 square kilometers, much of which is covered in dense juniper forest, despite the park’s proximity to vast deserts like the famed Empty Quarter.
The park offers visitors 67 campsites, 45 picnic areas, and a myriad of trails through the mountains and forests. Many extreme sports are popular in the area, and nature enthusiasts flock to the Asir National Park to observe its wildlife, including over 300 species of birds.
Mt. Soudah, Saudi Arabia’s highest peak at 2910 meters, also lies within the boundaries of the park. A popular cable car ride to the top provides visitors stunning views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, agricultural fields, and ancient stone villages before taking them through the layers of cloud that almost always surround the peak.