Mount Sinai

Featured photo of Mount Sinai

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, separates mainland Eqypt from Jordan, and the Mediterranean from the Red Sea. Mount Sinai (Gebel Mûsa) is a mountain massif in the south central part of the peninsula, where the land tapirs into a triangular point, surrounded on two of its three sides by gulfs of the Red Sea. Mount Sinai is a barren rocky massif, rising from red sandy plains. Of its many peaks, some debate exists over which is the original Mount Sinai of Moses and Mohammed. The mountains with the most supporters in the debate are Gebel Mûsa (7,500 ft.), whose very name is Arabic for "Mountain of Moses," and Gebel Katherina (8,651 ft.), the massif's highest peak. Mount Sinai is not a spectacular peak, but its fame lies in its religious significance to Christians, Jews and Moslems. Moses is reported in Exodus to have received the word of God via a burning bush on this mountain, and to have received the Ten Commandments in a cave near the summit. Mount Sinai is also the place from which Mohammed ascended into Heaven. Both churches and mosques have been built on or around the mountain through the centuries. The most prominent is St. Catherine's Monastery, an impressive sixth century structure which occupies much of Jebel Musa from the base to 5,000 feet up its north side. Monks of the early centuries zealously carved 3,000 steps into the mountain, leading to the summit. This route gains 2500 feet in elevation from the monastery, climbing past large cypress trees and ancient ruins. A trail connects the summits of Musa and Katherina, and a small chapel stands atop the latter. Today the monks at St. Catherine's serve as mountain tour guides, but only on certain days, so it is wise to check ahead.

Elevation (feet): 8,651
Elevation (meters): 2,640
Continent: Africa
Country: Egypt
Latitude: 28.5167
Longitude: 33.95
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Apr, May, Jun
Nearest major airport: Cairo, Egypt, Tel Aviv, Israel
Convenient Center: Abu Rudeis, Egypt, (over 70 miles) Elate, Israel, (nearly 170 miles) Camping is permitted near the mountain, and St. Catherine's monastery has limited accomodations

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 36 trip reports for Mount Sinai.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22368 - by cantioviatorum on Jan 09, 2013
    Driven up during the night from Sharm el Sheikh. Began ascent from St. Katherine monastery 2AM on the hiking trail (also used by camels) with Bedouin guide; summited 505AM. Chilly climb using...
  • Log #21583 - by Tan Jee Tien on Jan 22, 2009
    Climb this during my 1st Pligramage trip from Egypt to Israel. My wife came along and her camel ride up was a riot/suicidal.... the camel ran up & reached the last staging point first. Well she got...
  • Log #21059 - by Terry Fortner on Oct 08, 2007
    It was a nice walk up in the dark to see the sunrise with hundreds of people from all over the world. the view was great from the top. A religious experience.
  • Log #20509 - by Klooster P van der on Nov 30, 2006
    Many many peaple Very cold on the top Nice vieuw
  • Log #19275 - by P.Ramanujam Murthy on Sep 27, 2006
    I was inspired by Mt.Sinai where Moses received his Ten Commandments. Decided to feel the vibrations with my good friend Mr.Stephen Thomas of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Log #19446 - by Judy Wren on Sep 27, 2006
    Very strightforward climb. It`s a walk! Took the camel path up and the stairs down. A bit cold on the top. Dress warm in winter.
  • Log #7070 - by carl Yanch on Sep 15, 2004
    I was 67 when I climbed the mountain. I was on an overlanding trip with Dragoman. I raced two other young men to the top. They beat me by five minutes.
  • Log #7071 - by Stephen Thomas on July 01, 2004
    It was just fantastic. No words can describe the feeling. Right from the bottom St Catherine to the top it was magnificient and powerfull. Full of positive vibes and lots of energy.
  • Log #7072 - by Tim Pitts on June 30, 2004
    Neat place, though with a little research you'll find Jebel El Lawz across the water in Arabia is the real mountain.You can almost see it from the summit(maybe you can).Glory to Jesus for all the...
  • Log #7073 - by Ryan Bontrager on June 21, 2004
    This was a fantastic climb even if this is not the real Mt. Sinai. I was under the impression that this was the real Mt. Sinai but maybe it is not. Any I started my journey in Cairo at a local bus...
  • Log #7074 - by Chad McAlpine on June 17, 2004
    A fun climb. Be prepared for the huge difference in climate between day and night. Make sure that you bring a warm jacket!
  • Log #7075 - by Paolo Amiotti on June 11, 2004
    climbed by night from Santa Caterina. Beautiful experience but cold and too crowded!
  • Log #7076 - by Mia en Jef on Mar 24, 2004
    Een klim waar we onvoorbereid aan begonnen: een steigend pad van 7 km, 750 treden en heel koud. Toch was het een fantastische ervaring. De sterrenhemel is grandioos!! Voorzie warme kleding, degelijke...
  • Log #7077 - by Diana on Jan 28, 2004
    Nearly got shoved off the edge by a camel a couple of times! Although I'm quite fit, I don't think I was prepared for the length of the climb. Also had the impression that we'd be able to lie down at...
  • Log #7078 - by Dave on Jan 07, 2004
    Climb at night and then prepare yourself for the awesome, almost biblical, scenes as the sun rises. An experience I will never forget. It's worth the climb just to look at the stars..... and the...
  • Log #7079 - by SIMON BALL on Aug 22, 2003
  • Log #7080 - by Seb Farina on July 25, 2003
    A very gruelling experience. Set off at 2am. Cheated a bit and took a camel ride to the last 750 steps. Never been on a camel before, so thought it was a good excuse.
  • Log #7081 - by Paul Jones on July 05, 2003
    Not for the feeble hearted!
  • Log #7082 - by Stuart on June 20, 2003
    Even after 15 years I remember it well-Of course, I was younger then but I ran up with 2 friends at night, froze while sleeping on the top(NB Take something warm, and also plenty of water-I...
  • Log #7083 - by Alex on May 12, 2003
    I was stationed with the Multinational Forces and Observers based out of El Gorah near El Arish. I and about 50 of my fellow Peace Keepers went to visit St. Catherines Monastary as part of a...
  • Log #7084 - by Frida Rydén on Aug 03, 2002
    Went up to the summit in daytime...very hot but nice view.
  • Log #7085 - by Roger A.C. Williams on Dec 04, 2001
    Climbed Mt. Katherine (Jebel Katreen) then Mt. Sinai (J. Musa) next day.
  • Log #7086 - by anna on Nov 27, 2001
    Summitted at 5:00 A.M. but couldn't stay for the sunset because our van was leaving at 8:00 sharp. Only about 200 other tourists there, so climbing was not crowded at all. Got windy near the top but...
  • Log #7087 - by Bill Skibinski on Nov 25, 2001
    I haven't climbed this mountain, but I have done extensive research, and I am convinced that Jebel Musa is not the Mount Sinai of the Bible. Jebel el Lawz, located in NW Saudi Arabia is the most...
  • Log #7089 - by paul on Aug 19, 2001
    Very easy - far too many people - suggest you try the mountain "next door" Mt Katarina the highest in Egypt - no people a long gentle stroll - start at 02:00 to avoid the heat..
  • Log #7090 - by Tom en Daniella on Apr 29, 2001
    2:00 in the morning, very could and not knowing what is coming up in a land far away from home. Soon we will now what's coming: a long, difficult but mysterieus walk of 7 km to the Mozes mountain....
  • Log #7091 - by Adrian Minns on Feb 07, 2001
    Three in the morning,amazing night skies,cool crisp air,two and a half hours of stumbling up rocky twisting paths. At the top,sweet coffee,a sit down and the most beautiful sunrise imaginable. Going...
  • Log #7092 - by John J. Ruffing on Nov 29, 2000
    Sunrise from the Top of Mt Sinai was most inspiring. I know now why they have you start clinbing at 3:00 AM for one thing it is to beat the heat, but the other is if you could see the trail when you...
  • Log #7093 - by Rian Herscher on Oct 08, 2000
    beautiful, i love the mountains, the sun rising was absolutely amazing coming up over the mountains, i was really inspired and felt close to God.
  • Log #7094 - by Laraba Elsie Bhutto on Aug 29, 2000
  • Log #7095 - by Bas F. Steemers on May 19, 2000
    It's not much of a summit. A big long stroll, actually. But don't be mistaken. It can get cold in winter and the climb is harder than you think.
  • Log #7096 - by Philip Abbey on Apr 09, 2000
    If the weather is hot climb at night. Plan to arrive early and spend the night. There are no real relief facilities on the route. Carry enough water for only part of the journey.
  • Log #7097 - by Oyvind Lind Petersen on Dec 22, 1999
    We were walking in the darkness at 3:00 AM. It's absolut silence and the the black sky is heavyly loaded with stars. Sometimes we hear a noice from a camel right behind us. It's ready to pick us up...
  • Log #7098 - by Manolo on June 10, 1999
    Before starting the climb I accidentally assassinated a cat just outside the Monastery of St. Katherine. This animal had the inhumanity of feeding on my much treasured last remnants of a pricey pork...
  • Log #7099 - by Paul Daniels on June 04, 1999
    The Sinai is a wonderful place for hiking and climbing and its interesting to read old travelogues from the 18th and 19th centuries also...its like some things have never changed.
  • Log #7100 - by Don McClain on Oct 26, 1998
    May the gospel of Jesus Christ reach to the highest summit, and to the lowest valley - and may all submit their hearts to the King of kings!!