AL-WA’BAH CRATER (فَوْهَة ٱلْوَعْبَة)

It is the largest and deepest volcanic crater on the Harrat Kishb basalt plateau. Al-Wa’bah Crater is 250 m deep and is 2 km in diameter. It is surrounded by Al Luhayan, Umm Rilan, and Zabna mountains, forming a scenic view. The bottom of the crater is covered with white sodium phosphate crystals.

While it was thought for some time that a meteorite formed the crater because of its circular form and high sides, it is now commonly accepted by geologists that the crater is a maar crater and was formed by volcanic activity in the form of an underground phreatic eruption – a massive steam explosion generated by molten basaltic magma coming into contact with underground water.

There is a visitor’s center with toilets next to ample parking. However, security guards and police told us that it was impossible to walk to the bottom of the crater (like a few years ago), and we could only walk around. They also built some walls and viewpoints around the crater.

We also lost two hours by changing and fixing the wheel. The inner rear tire on our dual mount has exploded (probably because of heat – the last record was 98°C). So in the nearby shop, we took off the rear wheels and swapped them. Then we checked the pressures of all tires and took the damaged tire off to keep the rim. The Indian worker had zero English but did the job well, just for 25 SAR.

Fixing our tires

Parking location – Al-Wa’bah Crater: 22.894730N 41.131035E (🚻)