Mount Moses' - Mount Sinai - peak is 2,285 meters or 7,497 feet, and it is one of the things that people have on their bucket list. This is one of the most sacred place for Muslims, Christians, and Jewish as it is believed that this is the place where Moses received his ten commandments, which is why it is known as Mount Moses.
Mount Catherine is the highest mount in Egypt, so do not confuse the two. Also, at the top of Mount Moses there is a Greek Orthodox Church and an open Mosque. Even if you are not a religious person, it is still worth it as you will feel the special energy in this place.
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How to Get to Mount Moses
It is best to book a tour from either Dahab or Sharm El Sheikh to hike Mount Moses. You can either hike from the afternoon to see the sunrise from the top - be aware it gets super crowded during that time since nearly everyone does the same thing - or you can hike during the day to see the sunset from the top.
If you choose the first option, to choose to start your hike early at night or evening since it will be quieter and less crowded. If you choose the second option, just know that during summer it will be so hot and the sun & the heat will be hard to bear.
You can of course go by yourself or with your friends and family without booking a tour. You can start your hike at any time you want and you can take as many breaks as you want. You can also go to the monastery at the bottom of the mountain and then hire a guide from the entrance.
If you want to avoid the crowd, aim to climb the mountain during the Sunday when the monastery is closed as there will be less people.
Best Time to Hike Mount Moses
Sinai in general is a hot desert climate zone, with little to no rain and warm to hot temperatures overall. It does snow sometimes, especially Mount Catherine. When it comes to the time of the day, it is best to reach the top of the mountain and watch the sunrise. As for the best time during the year, it is better to visit during spring and autumn. During spring and autumn; the weather is nice and not too hot or too cold.
During winter, it gets really cold in both Mount Moses and Mount Catherine, so I wouldn't recommend unless you will enjoy that weather. It would be quite an experience during winter and seeing the snow, but be aware it is gets so cold!
During summer, because of the high altitude, it doesn't gets too warm at the top, but in the nearby towns/cities it gets so hot. Again it depends on your preferences. Always have a jacket/sweater even during summer, because it might get a bit cold at the top of the mountain.
If you want to see the sunset, then it is best to start your hike between 12:00 and 03:00, depends on you and how long you think it will take you. If you fitness level is average; it should take you around 3 hours to reach the top.
How Hard is it to Hike Mount Moses
Hiking Mount Moses is easier that Mount Catherine, if your fitness level is average then you will be fine. A tip is to take it easy, you can take as many breaks as you want, you shouldn't rush it.
Routes to Summit
There are two principal routes to reach the summit of Mount Moses, a camel route and a longer and shallower route. Siket El Bashait is the longer and shallower route and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the summit. The other route called camel route is obviously easier since camels can go up through that route. If you are not able to do the entire route yourself, you can choose the camel route and take a camel to the top, you will have the stairs at the end to do by yourself.
It is not an easy hike for sure and you will not feel the need to do it again soon after, but it is doable. You will find a lot of rest spots along the way to take breaks, have a drink, and use the restroom.
Do not worry, the Bedouin guide are really nice and patient, so you can take as many breaks as you want.
What to Pack When Hiking Mount Moses
Pack as little as possible for the hike, you need to be light and not carry so many things.
Cash: For tipping, tea or drinks in general, camel ride if needed, mattresses and blankets....etc.
Sweater/jacket: It might get chilly at the top so you will need to be warm.
Torch: Some parts are a bit dark and you don't want to trip or something, so have a torch with you.
Thermo clothes: If the weather is not nice, then you will need thermo clothes, but have ones that dry easily since you will be sweating.
A second set of clothes: You will get sweaty, so depending on the weather, you might need a second set of clothes especially trousers.
6 Things to Know Before Hiking Mount Moses
You can hire a guide at the entrance of the monastery.
You can rent mattresses and blankets so it you won't be freezing. A sleeping bag would be more hygienic, so if you can carry one, then do so.
Tip your Bedouin guide. Tipping in Egypt in general is expected, but in that situation be sure to be generous when tipping them. They only get a fixed price, so be sure to be generous and support the local community.
It is safe to climb Mount Moses! Do not be worried, the mainstream media make it seem like it's a dangerous area when it is not at all. You will find a lot of security checkpoints but this is normal procedures to make sure you are safe.
In Sinai in general, locals and Bedouin might stop you and ask you where you are from and where are you staying, this is normal, they are just securing the area.
Pack as little as possible for the hike, you need to be light and not carry so many things