Hanifa Valley (Or Wadi Hanifa) is a watershed that is running along the side of Riyadh, Capital of Saudi. Running from the Northwest to Southeast for a distance of 120 km. Considered on of the special natural features of the City, The Valley runs in a slope from The North to the south. That’s why I’m considering it as the best track to explore in Riyadh.
Hanifa Valley History
The name of the valley is from Banu Hanifa. They were the main tribe in the are in the Islamic conquest time. In pre-historic time rain fell in this region. Effect of the global climate change, rain seized to drop and the area became deserted.
Hanifa Valley current Situation
Hanifa valley now managed and developed by burohappold. With sewage treated water running in it besides to the yearly floods. The valley developed to be a national park. and provide water for irrigation for the agricultural lands beside it. also, walkways and paved roads constructed along the valley to enjoy it.
Hanifa valley exploration
As this might be the longest track in Saudi. With small traffic and pollution. I decided to explore the whole 120 km starting with the Hanifa park down in the south. till we reach the top of the valley. I will follow the greenery and the trail. Document it all to be and archive for all runners of the world who would like to run in Riyadh.
Hanifa Valley Part one
Part one is a 9 km stretch of the Western ring road to Al Urayja road. Part of the stretch is on the trail and other parts you have to run on the sidewalk or on the pavement. Because the trail flooded with water. The best part of Hanifa Valley is that it has the least traffic I’ve seen so far in Riyadh. While you are running you will encounter a handful number of cars. which is safe for your run and also there is less pollution in the air. During the run, you will be running in populated areas. But the inhabitants of this areas don’t care about you, so you will not find it scary to keep running till you reach your goals. Except for some street homeless dogs, if you are afraid of them, everything is ok. There is plenty of water stops along the way, Either public toilets or free drinking water refrigerators. for more information about the route check the below map I’ve created on mapmyrun.com