Arabic: ; Jib?l al-?ij?z
A road in the Hijaz Mountains
|Elevation||2,393 m (7,851 ft)|
The Hijaz Mountains (Arabic: , translit. Jib?l al-?ij?z), or Hejaz Range, is a mountain range located in the Hejazi region of western Saudi Arabia. The range runs north and south along the eastern coast of the Red Sea.
The western coastal escarpment of the Arabian Peninsula is composed of two mountain ranges, the Hijaz Mountain to the north and the Asir Mountains farther south, with a gap between them near the middle of the peninsula's coastline. From an elevation of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft), the range declines towards the vicinity of the gap about 600 metres (2,000 ft).
The mountain wall drops abruptly on the western side toward the Red Sea, leaving the narrow coastal plain of Tihamah. The eastern slopes are not as steep, allowing rare rainfall to help create oases around the springs and wells of the few wadis.
The Hijaz Mountains have been conjectured as the source of the ancient Pishon River, that was described as one of the four rivers associated with the Garden of Eden. This is a component in the research of Juris Zarins that locates the Garden of Eden at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf near Kuwait.
The course of the now dried up river, the modern-day Wadi Al-Rummah and its extension Wadi Al-Batin, was identified by Farouk El-Baz of Boston University and named the 'Kuwait River.' This tracks northeast across the Saudi desert for 600 miles (970 km), following Wadi Al-Batin to the coast of the Persian Gulf. The 'Pishon' or 'Kuwait River,' and the Hejaz region ecology, is estimated to have dried up 2,500-3000 years ago.
The nimr (Arabic: ?, leopard) had been sighted here. In ancient times, it was reported that Musa al-Kadhim, a descendant of Muhammad, encountered an asad (Arabic: , lion) in the wilderness north of Medina.
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