Hiking In Jordan: Where to Find Jordan’s Best Hiking Trails

If you are looking for information on trekking in Jordan or hiking in Jordan, you are in the right place! I am from Canada, we usually say “hiking,” but “trekking” is almost as common in many parts of the world. I have visited Jordan several times since 2016 with my most recent visit being in July 2019 and each time have had more and more time to explore the vast array of hiking options from Petra to Dana to Wadi Mujib and the Jordan Trail.

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. Whether you are on a backpackers budget in Jordan or looking to experience all of the amenities and luxuries that await keep reading for everything you need to know when hiking. If you have any questions by the time you get to the bottom of the guide feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

Hiking In Jordan: Guide to Jordan’s Best Hiking Trails

Hiking in Jordan Petra

Jordan Trail

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 that 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.

Currently (Nov 2019) the Petra Back Trail to the Monastery is closed for maintenance. But you can obtain permission to use the trail from here.

The Jordan Trail is a Jordan hiking trail that stretches 650km from the North at Um Qais to the Red Sea in the South in Aqaba. This is Little Petra, and just one of the many landscapes you will find on the trail

Dana to Petra Hike in Jordan

Currently (Nov 2019) the Petra Back Trail to the Monastery is closed for maintenance. But you can obtain permission to use the trail from here.

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.

The Dana to Petra Trek starts at Dana Village (I suggest a stay at Dana Guesthouse before your trek starts) and after Day 1 spend the night at the idyllic Feynan Ecolodge. You will likely not want to leave early the next day as they have great daytime activities from hiking to frog hunting to cooking!

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.

Hiking in Dana Reserve from Dana Village
This is the landscape of the Dana Reserve outside the Dana Village

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 and closed in the winter (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 it requires a significant amount of upper body strength as ropes and ladders are used to climb throughout the water.
You will get wet and you will likely find yourself fully submerged in the water. Leave everything except a go pro in your car. They do offer locker storage as well.

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.


Hiking in Jordan Wadi Mujib
Hiking in Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib Hike
Expect to get Wet if hiking Wadi Mujib. Lifejackets are provided and must be worn. You are going to want them as the current is strong and the water deep in some parts of this water hike.

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.

Hiking in Jordan Petra

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 judgment 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.

Currently (Nov 2019) the Petra Back Trail to the Monastery is closed for maintenance. But you can obtain permission to use the trail from here.

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. I highly suggest a wool base layer, something made of merino like this.

Water is plentiful but if you do not want to contribute to the garbage problem in Jordan, bring a Grayl water filter and filter your own water while you hike. As unglamorous as it sounds, I filter from the hotel sink into a large stainless steel bottle and then leave the Grayl in my hotel room.

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.

5 Things to Bring with You to Jordan

I have always been a guide book person and physically having that book in your hand as you plan your day, in addition to blogs like this one, can help immensely. Pick up a Lonely Planet Guide to Jordan (or the kindle version) before your trip to Jordan.

Whether you want to keep the sun off your head or want to show a little modesty, a scarf goes a long way in Jordan any time of the year. You can bring one with you or pick up one when you arrive, but don’t leave your hotel in the morning without it! It can serve as a hat to keep the sun off your head and neck in the summer and can add some warmth in winder and can offer modesty to cover shoulders for women.

A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Jordan has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.

If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 9 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.

Kleenex or Wipes are another thing to put on your list. Jordan’s public washrooms (and even restraint or hotel lobby washrooms can often be unstocked. Unless you are good with a bidet sprayer, bring yourself some kleenex or wipes just in case! You will find that most washrooms in tourist sites and rest stops have an attendant that will give you toilet paper and paper towel for a small tip. Usually, half a dinar is fine.

In Jordan, the plumbing is not set up to handle toilet paper. Every bathroom (even hotels) you should use the garbage can beside the toilet for your toilet paper and any sanitary products.

More Jordan Travel Resources

In order to help make your visit to Jordan as memorable as possible, I have created a number of resources from planning guides to local eats.

If you have just begun the planning, check out 101 Things to do in Jordan to give you some inspiration on the places you want to make sure you have time to see.

Rental Cars are very popular in Jordan, get a quote on renting a car before you arrive.

If you are working on a self-drive itinerary or plan to see the country independently, there is a guide on getting around in Jordan.

If you are thinking of booking a tour, or wondering how much hassle a self drive itinerary can be, check out this post I have on the best Jordan tours to book.

For your time in Amman, check out top things to do in Amman and where to eat.

For your time in Petra, check out our guide to Petra and what to eat in Wadi Musa

Hiking in Jordan