Hike and Discover St Katherine, Sinai High Mountain Region Of Egypt

You can travel to the town of St. Katherine in the Sinai peninsula in Egypt at an elevation of about 1600 meters from sea level, at the foot of the Sinai High Mountains. You can go hiking on trails of Mt. Sinai. They look like this:

Over a thousand visitors come to visit St. Katherine’s Monastery, the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the World built on the site

St. Katherine hiking trek infographic


St. Katherine is a popular hiking destination located in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is home to the famous Mount Sinai, as well as a number of other peaks and hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

The most popular hiking trail in St. Katherine is the trail to the summit of Mount Sinai. The hike typically takes around 3 hours and can be quite steep in places, but the reward is a breathtaking sunrise or sunset over the surrounding mountains and desert.

There are also a number of other hiking trails in the area, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. These include the Colored Canyon, a narrow gorge with towering walls in shades of red, orange, and yellow; and the Jebel Abbas Basha, a challenging hike that rewards hikers with stunning views of the surrounding peaks.

St. Katherine is also home to the St. Katherine’s Monastery, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, which can be visited as part of a hiking tour.


  • Saint Catherine’s Monastery: At the foot of the mountain lies the historic Saint Catherine’s Monastery, which was founded in the 6th century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited Christian monasteries and houses a rich collection of religious artifacts, including ancient manuscripts, icons, and a rare collection of early Christian art.
  • Climbing the mountain: There are two primary routes to reach the summit of St. Katherine: the Steps of Repentance and the Camel Trail. The Steps of Repentance is a more challenging route, consisting of about 3,750 steps carved into the rock by a monk in the 6th century. The Camel Trail is a longer but less steep path, which can be hiked or traversed on camelback.
  • Sunrise and sunset: Many visitors choose to climb the mountain at night to reach the summit in time for sunrise, witnessing a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Alternatively, some prefer to climb during the day and watch the sunset from the peak.
  • Flora and fauna: The St. Katherine Protectorate is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the region. The area is known for its ancient and rare Sinai wild roses, as well as other native flora. Fauna includes the Nubian ibex, Sinai leopard, and various bird species.





The Sinai mountain range was formed 600 million years ago. It is mostly red granite rock with some metamorphic, sandstone, and limestone. Be careful because Regular flash floods still happen.


You should start hike at dawn when the weather is cool and sun is low.


You can use camels to carry your gear.



Every visitor or group of visitors to Mt. Sinai must have a guide by the authorities. Guides are provided by the tribal rotating system at the Police check point and cost 130 LE.

Wear some good hiking shoes because the trail is rocky as shown here.

The view from top is amazing





Large groups are welcome.



Bring your camera or smartphone to get some good photos.



Part of the trails are paved, but mostly they made of dirt and rocks.




Wadi El-Arbaein route looks like this:


  • What is the significance of St. Katherine? St. Katherine is known for the St. Katherine’s Monastery, one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. It is said to be located where Moses saw the burning bush, making it a significant pilgrimage site.
  • What is the climate like in the Sinai High Mountain Region? The Sinai High Mountain Region has a desert climate. Summers can be hot during the day and cool at night, while winters can be quite cold, especially at higher altitudes.
  • What are the hiking opportunities in the region? There are many hiking trails in the region. One of the most popular is the trail to Mount Sinai (also known as Jebel Musa), where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Other trails lead to stunning natural sights like the Rock of Inscriptions, Jebel el Deir, and Jebel Abbas Basha.
  • What gear do I need for hiking in the Sinai High Mountain Region? Good hiking boots, sun protection, a hat, and plenty of water are essential. For longer hikes, you may need camping gear. During the winter, warm clothing is a must.
  • Is it safe to hike in the Sinai High Mountain Region? While the region is generally safe for tourists, it’s always important to check the current travel advisories for Egypt. It’s also advised to hire a local Bedouin guide for your hikes, as the trails can be challenging to navigate.
  • What wildlife can I expect to see? You may see a variety of desert-dwelling animals such as ibex, gazelles, foxes, and many species of birds. Always remember to observe wildlife from a distance and not to feed any animals you encounter.
  • What are the accommodation options in St. Katherine? St. Katherine has a range of accommodations, from basic guesthouses to more comfortable hotels. There are also campsites available in the region.
  • What are the local customs and culture? The local population includes both Bedouin tribes and residents of Greek Orthodox faith tied to the monastery. Respecting local customs, such as dressing modestly and asking permission before photographing people, is important.
  • Do I need a guide to hike in the region? While it’s not mandatory, hiring a local Bedouin guide is highly recommended for hiking in the Sinai High Mountain Region. The trails can be hard to navigate and local guides not only provide safety but also offer rich insights about the local culture and environment.
  • How do I get to St. Katherine? The most common way to get to St. Katherine is by road, either from Cairo or Sharm el-Sheikh. There are regular bus services from both cities, or you can hire a car or taxi. Be prepared for a scenic but long journey!
  • What is the best time of the year to visit? The best time to visit St. Katherine and the Sinai High Mountain Region is during the cooler months, typically between September and April. The summer can be scorching hot and is generally not recommended for hiking.
  • What else can I do apart from hiking? Apart from hiking, you can visit the St. Katherine’s Monastery, explore local Bedouin culture, try local cuisine, and engage in stargazing – the region’s clear skies and high altitude make it an excellent spot for observing the night sky.
  • Can I camp in the Sinai High Mountain Region? Yes, camping is allowed in certain areas of the region. It’s an incredible way to experience the stunning landscape and starry skies. Just make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and respect local customs and regulations.
  • Are there any local festivals or events? The St. Katherine’s Monastery sometimes hosts religious festivals and events which attract visitors from around the world. The local Bedouin community also has their own celebrations and traditions, which you might have the chance to observe.


Mount Sinai mountains infographic

Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Horeb or Gabal Musa, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is considered a holy site by several religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

The mountain is approximately 2,285 meters (7,500 feet) high and is part of a range of granite peaks that rise from the surrounding desert. Visitors can hike to the summit, which takes around 2-3 hours, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

There is also a monastery, St. Catherine’s Monastery, located at the base of the mountain. It is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, dating back to the 4th century, and is home to a number of valuable religious artifacts, including the burning bush.