The Challenge of Al Heet Cave

So, let’s talk about Al Heet Cave (also known as Ain Heet). It’s a place that was discovered by I don’t know who and I don’t know when but it proved to be “different” and interesting because it has something not seen in Riyadh so it became an instant “tourist spot.” You’re probably thinking of going there after seeing it in our Facebook page.
A group of photographers introduced the Cave of Al Heet to me and my brothers. They were shooting there for half a day and the brothers decided to tag me along. I am not new to “caves” having been introduced to it the hard way in Sagada’s Sumaguing Cave in the Philippines. It wasn’t a “walk in the park” and it’s one of those things I know I wasn’t made for. Obviously, I am not athletic and I am not outdoorsy, except if you count traveling outside the house as that. But knowing that this is Saudi Arabia, I don’t know what to expect for a cave. Maybe it would be easier. Maybe it would just be a small opening in one of the rock mountains somewhere and there would be a straight path inside the cave. Easy much? Hmn.

The road to Al Heet: 50 kms, 30 minutes away on a not-so-busy day.
Al Heet is a town on the outskirts of Riyadh wehere most industries are. Going to Al Heet is quite easy especially if you know the way to the Industrial City 2. You just have to go to the North Ring Road, exit to Al Kharj Road and exit in Exit 11 where it clearly says Al Heet. From there, it gets quite a bit tricky. The only thing I remembered is we turned left after the Al Jazeera Pharmaceutical Industries, saw a bunch of buildings, turned on a few streets, crossed a rail road crossing, turned again, saw a small camp of camels, and headed towards the “mountains.” A few tight spots on the way and we were there. (Map below.)

Free fresh powder for all when you open your windows. 😛
Just outside the cave’s entrance.
Reached it!
The thing about “tourist spots” in Riyadh that I learned of for the past five years that I’ve been here, you have to manage your expectations of them. I had really no expectations of Al Heet Cave and when I saw it, I was uhmn hesitant to go. The place is littered with garbage and the place is filled with people and vehicles. Of course, I wasn’t expecting this because I thought it was a new discovery, haha! The opening to the cave was a bit small from above and the worst part? I have to traverse a steep incline to go down there. It was rocky and sandy at the same time. Most of the rocks move when stepped on. And the cavern looks like it’s about to give in. Not fun and enticing at all.

Uhmn, that’s the entrance?!?
Are you saying I have to go down there?!?
And pass through this unstable rocks?!
My companions were just in slippers and I was thinking, no one told me it would be this friggin’ hard (even if I’m the one in a more suitable Crocs)! I was screaming bloody murder to my bros (in my head): “Look at me and you want me to do what?!?” Hahaha! It’s quite funny now that I think of it considering that every one in our group and the group after us went down any way even if most of them were complaining at first.

I mean seriously?!? I have to go down that?!?
And so after that downward path, a natural pool filled with crystal clear water welcomes you. The water is in parts deep, you couldn’t see its bottom but the area near the rocks are manageable. So this is the part that’s more or less worth the travel. It’s something new in Riyadh. It’s rare. So rare that the water here is not always present. It just so happens that there’s water inside this time. And it’s not always as clear as this. So plan your trip to Al Heet Cave accordingly.
Wooo, it looks like a lap pool!
The cave’s natural pool and the very happy kabayans enjoying the cool water.
Who has the time to write graffitis on the wall?!?
It gets crowded around 9 o’clock in the morning. So it’s better to go there early so you won’t have to battle for spots in the pool area. And also, you get first dibs on the cool water. Otherwise, by the time you go in, every other person has already taken a bath there and you don’t even know if the water gets replaced. Haha! Also, I don’t recommend bringing your kids with you. They wouldn’t be able to navigate the incline. My tips: Wear rubber shoes, don’t hold on to any thing (ex. hand bags), and bring water. BE CAREFUL!

Hello, outside world!
The view from an abandoned outpost outside the cave’s entrance.
So will I be back? No. Do I suggest you go here? If you’re clamoring for adventure, yes. If you’re a homebody like me, stay in the comforts of your houses. Is it worth the trip? Personally, I would have to say no. But then again, it’s something off the beaten track and it’s still a discovery. However, since it’s fast becoming popular, the authorities might be alerted by the volume of people converging to the place so be aware of the circumstances. Ultimately, going there is entirely up to you. ~ Sundrenched
Al Heet Cave
Coordinates:
N24 29’07.50″
E46 59’50.41″
Al Heet, Exit 11
Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaMap:

Click for a larger version.

PS. Thank you to my younger bro and SIL for the natural pool photos. Thank you to my older brother who prepared this map in a hurry because I was accusing him of giving me the wrong coordinates in our Facebook page because someone complained that they got lost. Apparently, the coordinates are correct. 

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About Author

Janelle
Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

13 Comments

  1. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    did you have a guide? if you did, can i have the number please cuz im planning on going on friday. Thank you so much for your feedback of the place, it looks AMAZING!

  2. hello 🙂 Can you please let me know how the guide was and the number. Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Been in Riyadh for four years but haven't been to this place…….thanks for the info……great job Pink Tarha…

  4. @Anonymous 8:08PM and * Shine *: We did not have a guide as in a professional guide to the place. It was just one of our friends who knew about the place and where it was. We were in a convoy going there. So there&#39;s no number to give, sorry. There is a map and a coordinate on the entry that you can hopefully use. :)<br /><br />@Rogelio: Thanks for reading The Pink Tarha! We appreciate it. 🙂

  5. Is there some Police checkpoints that you encountered?<br />…

  6. @Archie Garcia: No, we didn&#39;t encounter or reach a police checkpoint.

  7. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    Thanks for your wonderful photographs and the map.Seems interesting.

  8. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    Thanks for this informative article n specially sharing the pics,tips n gps co ordinates. Good work. Keep it up.

  9. Avatar ross Reply

    Just came from al heet cave today. I was prepared to go down but with bunch of women hungry Panas and Pakpaks on the way… Na-ah! I am more scared of being groped than falling. Tip, avoid going during holidays.

    • Janelle Janelle Reply

      The Heet Cave is no longer like what it was when I first visited because there were too many people visiting it already. The water does not look clean anymore. Yes, better to stay away during holiday.

  10. Avatar mike Reply

    This cave still open / safe to go? Good job Miss Janelle.

  11. Avatar Jamie Reply

    Are women allowed to participate because only men are in all the photographs of the al heet cave

    • Janelle Janelle Reply

      Women are allowed inside the cave. It’s just that who wants to swim in the water filled with men?! Lol. Jk. But yes, women can visit Al Heet Cave.

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