Rising above the Kingdom at more than 3,000 meters above sea level is Saudi Arabia’s highest peak, Jabal Sawda (which means Black Mountain in English), standing firmly in the stunning, southwestern region of Asir. This magnificent mountain is located about 20 kilometers from Abha city and is part of the inland Sarawat Mountain Range looking over the Kingdom’s southern Red Sea coast just north of Yemen.
Jabal Sawda is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike for many reasons, from its cool climate to its stunning juniper trees, wide variety of flora and fauna to its wonderous attractions. Indeed, it is said that the mountain actually gets its name from the abundance of trees and greenery that cover it, and because it is usually covered by fog due to its high peak, standing tall into the clouds on many days.
Visitors from across Saudi Arabia and beyond regularly flock to this geographical wonder to enjoy its beautiful weather, particularly during times when occasional monsoons come in from the Indian Ocean, bringing with them moist winds and cooler weather. Aside from the regular visits, picnicking, and walks, Sawda also attracts avid hikers to its terrain, offering challenging and scenic paths for all levels of skills, and it sees a lot of photographers as well, many who enjoy capturing inspiring nature shots from magnificent slopes and vantage point.
Since 2018, however, Jabal Sawda has been vying for the top spot when it comes to the height criteria with another of Saudi Arabia’s stunning mountains, Jabal Ferwa. This is because the Gilbertson brothers, two Americans who travel the world and attempt to scale its highest peaks, shared new measurements captured using high-resolution satellite data in August of 2018 and claim that Ferwa may in fact be Saudi Arabia’s highest peak! Their measurements show that Ferwa stands some three meters taller than Jabal Sawda.