Hiking In Jordan, The Quick Guide

Hiking in Jordan: A Guide to Its Diverse Trails

Embarking on a hiking adventure in Jordan offers an enriching and varied experience, with landscapes that range from arid deserts to lush mountains. Jordan boasts unique terrain and historic sites, making it an enthralling destination for those with a penchant for exploration. Below are several prime locations for hiking within Jordan. It’s essential to recognise that while some trails are ideal for summer jaunts, others provide a better experience in the colder months. Please be aware that the accessibility of certain paths may be seasonal and weather-dependent.

Safety Tips for Hiking in Jordan

Jordan’s diverse terrain offers an exhilarating experience but also requires caution and preparation. Keep these safety tips in mind:
·       Stay Hydrated: The desert climate can be deceptively dry. Carry at least 2-3 litres of water for shorter hikes and more for longer or more strenuous trails.
·       Recognize Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, and rapid heartbeat. If you or your companions experience these, seek shade, rest, and rehydrate immediately.
·       Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from any animals encountered. Do not feed wildlife or leave food waste behind.
·       Navigate Carefully: Be prepared for sandy and rocky paths. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and consider using trekking poles for balance and support.

Environmental Conservation

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) plays a crucial role in preserving Jordan’s natural landscapes. As a visitor, you can contribute to these efforts:

·       Practice Leave No Trace Principles: This includes packing out all your trash, staying on designated trails, and not disturbing wildlife or natural resources.
·       Support Local Conservation Efforts: Consider making a donation to the RSCN or participating in a guided tour that benefits conservation projects.

Preparation Checklist

To ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in Jordan, here’s a comprehensive checklist:

·       Personal ID and any necessary permits
·       Water (2-3 litres per person, more for longer hikes)
·       High-energy snacks and food
·       Sunscreen and sun hat
·       Sturdy hiking shoes and socks
·       First aid kit
·       Map and compass or GPS device
·       Multi-tool or knife
·       Spare clothes and waterproof gear
·       Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
·       Camera with extra batteries or memory cards
·       Insect repellent

Reserves Managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN)
Wadi Mujib

Recognised as the world’s lowest nature reserve, situated in the mountainous terrain east of the Dead Sea and approximately 90 kilometres southwest of Amman. Wadi Mujib encompasses a variety of hiking and trekking routes within the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, offering breathtaking vistas. It’s pertinent to note that these trails are seasonal and weather-dependent. More information about the trekking routes in Wadi Mujib can be found through the provided link: https://www.rscn.org.jo/reserve/9

Dana

Holding the title of Jordan’s largest and first biosphere reserve, as declared by UNESCO in 1998, Dana offers numerous popular trails suitable for both summer and winter, ranging from easy to advanced levels. For further details about these trails, please visit: https://www.rscn.org.jo/reserve/1

Ajloun Forest Reserve

The Ajloun region in Jordan is ripe with a variety of outdoor activities and trails that showcase the area’s natural splendour. For more information on these trails and activities suitable for summer, please visit: https://www.rscn.org.jo/reserve/2

Other Noteworthy Areas, undertaken with our hiking guides:
Wadi Al-Hidan:

Located in the Madaba Governorate, 30 km from the city of Madaba, this valley offers a main trek approximately 5km in length, rated from easy to moderate, with most of the route traversing water.

Wadi Al-Hidan is a stunning natural wonder, featuring dramatic mountain landscapes, narrow ravines, and refreshing natural pools. Some challenging sections may require using your hands for balance. Prepare to get wet as you navigate through the natural pools in this enchanting valley.

Facilities such as restrooms and changing rooms are available. There is no mobile phone signal in the area, so leaving your phone behind is advisable. While helmets are optional, life jackets are mandatory and provided for your safety. This adventure is not suitable for those under 15, pregnant individuals, or anyone with chronic health conditions.

Wadi Bin Hammad

This scenic water trail, adorned with rocks, overhanging trees, and natural springs, extends 6 km from the valley’s start to a waterfall.

Given the trail’s nature, involving walking, hiking, and swimming, planning your visit during autumn or spring is ideal, when the weather is comfortably warm but not excessively hot.

The adventure initiates on the northwest side of the town of Kerak, meandering through orchards and farms for about 2 km before reaching the mineral baths. From here, the journey continues on foot through a rocky passage reminiscent of Petra’s iconic Siq, leading to the valley’s entrance. This gentle walk is suitable for families, offering an accessible introduction to Jordan’s concealed natural treasures.

Ad Deir – The Backway Route in Petra

This moderately challenging trail diverts from the main path to reach Ad-Deir, also known as the Monastery, via the back road. Starting at Kharrubat al-Fajja, 50 metres west of the main road to Beida, the hike takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. The initial part is relatively easy, allowing enjoyment of the stunning landscape and mountain views. Donkeys are available for round trips, facilitating transport from the start to the initial steps of Ad-Deir and back. Access is straightforward from the visitor centre to the trailhead by car. This hike also allows you to continue from the Monastery into the main lower parts of Petra in essentially doing the classic route in reverse.

Jabal Umm Ad Dami Hike

In Wadi Rum, allocating time for a day-long hike up Jabal Umm Ad Dami is highly recommended. This mountain offers a blend of challenge and beauty, with panoramic views of the desert and beyond to Saudi Arabia. Standing at 1,854 metres above sea level, Jabal Umm Ad Dami is located in Jordan’s southern extremity. The ascent takes less than 3 hours for those in good physical condition, with a total round trip achievable within four hours. The hike involves some slippery sections and minimal scrambling, and due to the lack of trail markers, hiring a Bedouin guide is advisable for a safer and more enriching experience.

Wadi Ghuweir

Situated within the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve, Wadi Ghuweir offers a moderately challenging hike through lush vegetation, water pools, and narrow canyons. The trail spans approximately 17 kilometres and takes about 6-7 hours to complete. Hiring a guide is necessary, especially for those unfamiliar with the area, to ensure safety and enrich the hiking experience. The best times to visit are from April to October, as the trail becomes inaccessible from November to March due to high water levels and the risk of flash floods.

Upon booking, your guide will collect you from your accommodation at 08:00 for the journey to the trail’s start. The hike proceeds alongside a stream within the canyon, leading to an oasis of palm trees and lush vegetation, providing a striking contrast to the surrounding landscape.