Rock Formations Of AlUla
Take in the striking scenery that the settlers and visitors to AlUla have enjoyed for millennia, by getting an up-close look at the dramatic rock formations that dot the desert landscape.
One of AlUla’s most recognizable rock formations, The Arch (also known as Rainbow Rock) is well worth the 90-minute drive from the centre of the city. Its bridge-shaped structure, which resembles a rainbow flanked by two clouds, is a rare sight indeed. Though you will be enthralled by this sprawling display of sandstone, don’t miss spotting semi-precious desert diamonds on-site. You can eye these multi-coloured pieces of quartz embedded in the rock itself and scattered on the surrounding ground.
Also known as Elephant Rock, this formation has captured the imagination of keen photographers the world over. As the name suggests, this red sandstone marvel is shaped like an elephant with a distinctive ‘trunk’ and ‘body’ – the result of millions of years of wind and water erosion. It’s a popular camping spot, especially during festivals when the structure is bathed in light and campers can take the chance to ride a horse or camel, keep warm by the firepits, and dine on delights from the pop-up eateries.
About an hour outside of the city centre, discover dark, thin pillars of stone stretching up to the sky. This is AlGharameel. You’ll need to go off-road to reach the site, so we recommend hiring an experienced driver with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Your reward is a view unlike any other, made even more dramatic at night when AlUla’s dark skies showcase a brilliant display of stars above the rocks. Stargazing packages welcome you to gaze at AlGharameel’s stone pillars and follow their spires upward toward the twinkling stars.
Visit the Dancing Rocks, so-called because these formations are sculpted by nature to appear as if they are swaying in unison. Located in the Raggasat Valley, the rocks seem to dance together, slightly removed from the surrounding rock formations. Appreciate the Dancing Rocks and others that extend as far as the eye can see, and plan a hike or dune buggy experience on-site. You can reach Dancing Rocks in 45 minutes from the city centre; hiring an experienced driver with a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.
Amongst the monumental tombs of Hegra, next to Jabal AlAhmar, you will notice a formation that resembles the profile of a human head gazing out over the desert landscape. Marvelling at (and taking pictures of) Face Rock is a must for any visitor to Hegra. As with all of AlUla’s rock formations, sunrise and sunset are prime times to visit, when the light plays on the sandstone, seeming to illuminate the rocks from within — a magical sight for observers and photographers alike.
Millions of years of erosion have formed an opening in one of AlUla’s signature sandstone outcrops. The effect is a jar sculpted by nature; though some say it resembles a bottle or bowling pin. Decide for yourself when you visit “Jabal Jarrah.” For access, make your way via SUV to Elephant Rock, then hike to Jar Rock for views of Elephant Rock and its valley, mountain and farm views. Because there are no parking or facilities at Jar Rock, and the hike includes slippery rocks and a steep drop from the “jar,” this experience is not recommended for children.
Explore More Experiences in AlUla
Yoga Classes 1.5 HOUR EXPERIENCE
Helicopter Tour 30 Minute Tour
Hegra Tour 2 Hour Tour
Hegra Rock Art Trail 1.5 Hour Trail
Alula Old Town Tour 1 Hour Tour
AlUla Old Town Market Shopping & Dining
Dadan & Jabal Ikmah Tour 2 Hour Tour
Hidden Valley Hike 1.5 Hour Experience
Oasis Trail 2 Hour Trail
Elephant Rock Visit 2 Hour Experience
Stargazing 4 Hour Experience
Cycling Trail 2 Hour Experience
Sadu Escape 4-Hour Experience
AlUla Oasis View Trail 3 Hour Experience
The Adventure Trail 3 - 4 Hour Guided Hike