The mountains of Jabal Shammar shield northern Najd from the sands of the Great Nafud desert. Grazing is good and the area was famed for its Arabian horses. Lady Anne Blunt and her husband Wilfrid came in search of horses when they visited the Amir Ibn Rashid at Hail in 1878–9.
The Rashaida tribe of the Hail region have migrated far and wide, to Sudan and Ethiopia.
The Hail area is rich in ancient rock art. The rock art of Saudi Arabia records a richer fauna than that of today, including ostrich, cheetah, ibex and even cattle. The depiction of a horse-drawn chariot is unique