There are a few things to consider when you plan on hiking in Jordan, from climate, fitness level, accommodations, length and location. I will go through each one of them in this guide to hiking in Jordan. If you have nay questions by the time you get to the bottom of the guide feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!
You might also find my Jordan travel blog useful as it is an extensive guide to visiting the country from arrival, transportation, sites and culture!
Hiking In Jordan: Guide to Jordan’s Best Hiking Trails
The Jordan trail is one of the newest “tourist attractions” (I have a hard time selling a hiking trail as a tourist attraction, but you get the idea) and it boasts a trail from the North of the country at Um Qais to where it touches the Red Sea in the south at Aqaba.
Seasonally, the Jordan Trail offers a group thru-hike which is guided. But the trail is usable all year round. Some sections have very little markings or even a trail so local guides can be hired to help visitors navigate the region.
The Jordan trail explores the amazing outdoors in Jordan over 650 km. It explores the wooded region in the North, to Dana Biosphere Reserve, to the Rose City of Petra and the vastness of Wadi Rum. It finally comes to an end at the jewel blue waters of the Red Sea.
The most popular section of the Jordan Trail is Dana to Petra which has been a guided 5 day hike for a long time
Dana to Petra Hike in Jordan
Dana to Petra hike was rated one of the best hikes in the world by National Geographic. Most tour operators in Jordan offer this guided hike in Jordan. It is not an easy hike, as you start in the mountains at Dana Village at 1250m above sea level and drop down into the Araba valley at 250m above sea level before climbing back up for the finish in Petra.
It is a 4-5 day trek of 72km and features various ecosystems as well as Wadi Feynan and ancient copper mines. Most of the route is not accessible by vehicle.
How to Get to Dana Village:
It is best to hire a private car to drop you in Dana, otherwise you will have a rental car stuck there and will have to pay to be brought back to your car.
YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AT FEYNAN ECOLODGE HERE. This amazing accommodation in Wadi Feynan is known as one of the top ECO hotels in the world for a reason!
Hiking in Jordan: Dana Reserve
You do not need to do the Dana to Petra hike in order to hike in the Dana Reserve. There is a one day hike from Dana village to Wadi Feynan (called the Wadi Dana Trail) for a night at the Eco Lodge (or transport out of Feynan to nearby villages) as well as other opportunities to hike around Dana village and in Feynan. It is all downhill, but this 14km hike is no walk in the park.
Another popular option is to hike from Shobak on Wadi Dathneh Trail to where it meets up with Wadi Ghaweir (which is a water hike). It is 18km and you can be picked up near the end of the trail or walk to Feynan Ecolodge if you are spending the night there.
There are plenty of tour companies in Jordan who offer guided hikes in Jordan to take care of the planning and executing. They use licensed guides and local guides who are experts in the region.
Canyoning at Wadi Mujib Trail
Offering some of the best instagram photos that you will find online is the Jordan hike, Wadi Mujib, a river hike through a siq, a narrow canyon. This popular Jordan hike is seasonal (usually April 1st to October 31st) but often opens late if there is heavy spring rains. You must be 18 to do this hike and most trails you must go with a guide.
There are a few different options for this hike, self guided or guided options. Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest biosphere reserve in the world at 410 m below sea level.
How to Get to Wadi Mujib Jordan hiking trail:
This trail is located near the Dead Sea at the Mujib Biosphere Adventure Center.
Petra Hiking Guide
There are several hikes in Jordan as well as relatively flat walks. The biggest thing in Petra is to expect to walk a lot. Wear comfortable shoes or hiking boots and dress in layers.
Petra Main Trail
The Petra main trail starts at the visitors center and follows the 1.2 km narrow gorge that leads into Petra. It is known as the Siq, and you follow this trail until you reach the Treasury (it is about 2 km from the visitors center as you have an 800m walk before you reach the start of the Siq. This first 800m is the area where you may ride a horse for free, but you are expected to tip). The Petra Main Trail is flat and slightly downhill. But remember it will be uphill on the way back.
If you continue past the Treasury, this is known as the lower Siq. It is still part of the Main Trail, which continues past the Street of Facades, Royal Tombs, the colonnaded street, to the Great Temple. The main trail is a total of 4 km one way.
Petra Monastery Hike (Ad Deir Trail)
The Petra Monastery, known as Ad Deir is one of the largest monuments in Petra. It towers above visitors at a height of 47m wide and 48m high. It was built in the second century and is the finale of the Ad Deir Trail.
The Trail starts at the end of the Petra main trail and is 2.5 km round trip.
Al Khubtha Trail (Treasury Viewpoint)
Al Khubtha Petra Hiking Trail will get you to the viewpoint spot above the Treasury. It is about 2.5 hours round trip and 3.5 km long (roundtrip). It starts after the Royal Tombs on the right hand side if you are walking down the lower Siq. There is a small sign that says “Al Khubtha Trail” and it continues up the back side of the mountain.
At some points along the top of the ridge there are not very good trail markings but keep an eye out for the stacked stones along the path.
You can buy tea and pop at a coffeeshop at the top! You return back the same way you came and finish again at the Royal Tombs.
Shortcut Route: You will probably find a Bedul local who will offer to take you to this spot without taking the long trail. They will take you up past the outhouses on the left of the Treasury. Note that that section is actually closed and can be dangerous. Use your own judgement if you are comfortable with it or not. A tourist recently died falling during this climb (I am not saying that there are not other dangerous spots on this trail. Look at the selfie takers who die at the Grand Canyon, just be really careful and surefooted!)
High Place of Sacrifice
The High Place of Sacrifice trail is about 3.5 hours long and 3km round trip.
Little Petra to Petra
This trail is known as entering Petra through the backdoor and starts in Little Petra and continues to the Monastery. It is a popular trail for hiking tour groups and part of the Jordan Trail. It is 8km one way and you will need to have your Petra ticket as they do not Issue them at Little Petra.
Hiking in Wadi Rum
A Day of hiking in Jordan’s Wadi Rum is not always what guests imagine. Often you will be taken by Jeep to explore on foot, but the vehicle will be close by. Most people picture being dropped in the middle of the desert and hiking back to camp.
If you take the Jordan trail you can hike from Rum Village to Aqaba in a few days. This might be more of what you are looking for! But do not leave before taking a Jeep tour and enjoying some bedouin hospitality (and a zarb meal).
Accessing Wadi Rum:
Wadi Rum is one of the major tourist sites in Jordan that is not easily accessible by public transport. You can rent a car or hire a private driver to bring you here (we did that from Petra in one instance). You can take a minibus that is travelling on the Desert Highway (more about how to get around in Jordan) and get off at Rashidiya but you will have to make your way into Rum by walking or hitchhiking or a private vehicle to get into Rum Village or Disa Village or the visitors center.
For information on camping in the Jordan desert I have a guide to Wadi Rum Camps.
Hiking In Jordan Packing Tips
If you are planning on hiking in Jordan, good hiking boots and socks are a must! Women should not hike in short shorts, go with leggings or capris instead. The rest of your hiking gear is going to depend on the time of year that you plan to be hiking in Jordan.
Between November and April you are going to want warm base layers and down jackets for mornings and evenings. You will also want to expect rain, that can be very heavy at times in the spring.
Most hiking does not require you carry a ton of camping gear, as there are accommodations provided. If you are on a guided hike in Jordan, the tour company will take care of those logistics for you, whether it is setting up a wilderness campground or providing water daily.
I have a post about what to pack for Jordan for more information on what you will need on your trip.
Do you have any questions about hiking in Jordan or popular Jordan trekking locations? let me know in the comments or send me an email! I am always happy to provide any information that I can!
Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She is passionate about sharing her experiences of traveling with children on adventurous family holidays around the world! She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.