Whether you're looking to stroll through desert sands, take a dip in a wadi, wander through ancient ruins, frolic in the forest, or challenge yourself on a multi-day journey, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Jordan. With endless outdoor adventure options available, the most difficult part can be knowing where to start. Here are a few classic treks to try on your trip to Jordan.
- Backpack from the Dana Biosphere Reserve to ancient Petra
- Earn spectacular views of Petra's world-famous Treasury facade
- Splash in the waters between Wadi Mujib's rock walls
- Head to Wadi Rum to check out a huge rock bridge
Dana To Petra
This hike is not for the faint of heart. But it offers ample rewards if you’re up for the challenge. Descend into Dana Biosphere Reserve from Dana Guesthouse, keeping an eye out for lizards, vultures, and the elusive ibex as you traverse varied landscapes and multiple climate zones.
Spend your first night at Feynan Ecolodge and get some rest before setting out for Ras Al Feid. The flatter terrain on your second day gives you a chance to enjoy sweeping views of the changing colors and scenery. Camp overnight then continue on tranquil Bedouin trails through otherworldly landscapes to Ghbour Whedat. Day Four will bring signs of your return to civilization, as you pass by Ba'ajah ruins, old olive presses, and Nabatean carvings before reaching Little Petra. Enjoy a Bedouin campfire on your final night under the desert stars. On Day Five you'll take the entrance known as Petra's backdoor- and the views from this less populated trail may very well take your breath away! You'll set out from Kharrubat al-Fajiaand, discovering views of Wadi Araba and passing through agricultural areas on your way to Al Deir, otherwise known as the Monastery.
Unless you are an advanced hiker familiar with these trails, be sure to book a guide or join a group tour. Although some of the trail is marked, there are sections that are difficult to navigate. Also, if you plan to enter Petra using the backdoor route, you will need to arrange your ticket in advance, as kiosks can only be found at the main entrance.
Duration: 5-9 Days
Distance: 47 miles (76 km)
Treasury Viewpoint Trek
Whether you enter Petra using its backdoor route or you arrive through the Siq via the main gate, your first glimpse of the intricate architecture of the Treasury will long be etched in your mind. But you may have to compete with camels, horse carts, and other visitors coming in and out of this popular place. If you’re looking for the perfect spot to enjoy quieter company and an unobstructed view, try the Treasury Viewpoint trek.
The starting point is the stairway next to the Royal Tombs. If you’re coming from the backdoor entrance or the Monastery, the Royal Tombs will be on your left. If you are starting from the Siq, you’ll find the Royal Tombs on your right, just past the Theatre.
Follow the steps up, up, up. When you reach the point where the stairs turn to gravel at the top, you’ll see a small tent overlooking the Theatre – this is a great chance to take a break and snap some photos before continuing on. Just a bit further from there, you’ll reach a fork in the path. Take the trail down to the left. This will lead you into a small valley. Follow the little rock pile trail markers that will bring you to a Bedouin tent overlooking the Treasury, where you can finally rest, rehydrate, and enjoy the view.
Be sure to carry plenty of water and stop for breaks as needed. The stairs are steep and, depending on the time of day, mostly in the sun. Plan about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the viewpoint, an additional 30 minutes to an hour to relax and rest, and about 45 minutes to get back down to the bottom.
Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km) roundtrip from Visitor Center
Wadi Mujib Reserve
Nicknamed Jordan’s “Grand Canyon,” Wadi Mujib is a natural playground offering adventure options for a variety of skill levels. If you only have a couple of hours, set out from the Visitor Center on a self-guided short walk along the Siq Trail and wade through refreshing waters. Or – if you’ve got the time and the ambition – join a more challenging, full-day, guided trek that includes sliding down waterfalls and abseiling in the gorges.
Fed by a year-round water supply and uniquely located near the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib is the world’s lowest nature reserve and fertile ground for spotting rare flora and fauna. In the shade of the towering rock walls, it’s also one of the best places to cool off on a hot desert day.
The reserve is protected and maintained by The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Adventurers to Wadi Mujib Reserve must be at least 18 years of age. Some trails are closed during the winter and when there’s risk of flash flooding. Be sure to contact the RSCN or a local tour operator for the most up-to-date information about conditions and access before planning your trip.
Duration: Siq Trail 2-3 hours; Canyon Trail 4 hours; Malaqi Trail 7 hours
Distance: Siq Trail 2.8 miles; Canyon Trail 5 miles; Malaqi Trail 8 miles
An adventurer’s journey to Jordan is incomplete without a visit to “The Valley of the Moon.” The trekking possibilities in this expansive desert are bound only by your time, skill level, imagination, and gear. Simply strolling through the sand while a local Bedouin guide shares both historical and personal stories is an adventure in itself. Scrambling up sandstone and basalt rocks adds an extra layer of adrenaline. Whether you prefer to keep both feet firmly on the ground or wish to climb to higher heights, Wadi Rum provides picturesque desert views from almost any angle.
Jebel Burdah is one of the best treks in Wadi Rum and one of the most photographed rock bridges in the world. To allow plenty of time to reach the top (and for those panoramic photo ops!), it’s best to take a jeep to the base. This trek can be challenging and does involve some scrambling and steep sections, so be sure to wear appropriate hiking pants and shoes and book a local guide to accompany you. And if you really want to make the most of your time on Jebel Burdah, inquire with a local operator about camping under the stars at this extra special spot.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Distance: 4 miles (6 km)