From the North to the South and everything in between, hiking in Jordan has so much to see and do. Divided into four different biogeographical zones, you can easily find yourself exploring different parts of the country with different naturescapes that are sure to keep you captivated.
Here is our ultimate guide for hiking in Jordan divided by the North, South and Middle with some tips as well!
Hiking Trails in Jordan
- Wadi Al Rayan
- Bergesh Forest
- Ajloun Castle to Mar Elias Church
- Umm Qais to Ajloun Castle
- Jabal Umm Ad Dami
- Wadi Dana Trail
- Burda Arch
- Iraq Al Amir
- Mukawir Fortress
- Wadi Mujib – Siq Trail
Hiking in Jordan: The North Edition(Shamal)
1. Wadi Al Rayan
Wadi, which translates to valley in English and Jordan, is full of Wadis that you can explore. Wadi Al Rayan, located in the North of Jordan in Irbid district stretches almost 24 kilometers total, although the hike itself gets split to one part of about 11 kilometers.
Starting from Ajloun forest and descending, prepared to get wet as part of the hike also includes crossing a body of water. On your hike, you will find hundred year old olive trees, lots of greenery and vegetation for you to explore.
Thankfully, we include a hike of Wadi Al Rayan when you book to see the North of Jordan, check out our packages here.
2. Bergesh Forest
Bergesh Forest is a nice hiking loop and family friendly. On the technical side, it is rated as a moderate hike, about 12 kilometers, however, the only difficulty is towards the top with a small ascent.
With lots of shade during your hike, oak shrubs and the infamous maple trees, you also have the opportunity to see the Roman cemetery on your way, a panoramic view, a hollow tree and an abandoned water well.
3. Ajloun Castle to Mar Elias Church
Start at the hilltop of Ajloun Castle and then start your descent to some green colorful trais, through forestry and an array of olive trees.
The end of the hike ends at the ancient Mar Elias Church where you can get some panoramic views. The hike is about 8 kilometers and is deemed as a great place to get some air and to also learn about some history, as the end point has been deemed as biblical as it was the birthplace of the prophet Elijah.
4. Umm Qais to Ajloun Castle
Location: Umm Qais
If you’re looking to be even more adventurous and kick up your hike a notch with some camping and a multi-day tour, then look no further than this route.
Umm Qais to Ajloun Castle is about 80 kilometers and takes about 4 days as cited by Jordan Trail. Umm Qais, a popular place to visit amongst tourists in the North of Jordan is a great place to begin as it has 360 degree panoramic views, roman ruins and takes you through old villages of the country.
Along the way you will even find an EcoPark, a monastery called Mar Elias Church, as mentioned above and lots of plush greenery.
Are you convinced to hike in Jordan’s North?
We have only scratched the surface when it comes to hiking in the North of Jordan, but be sure to pack your binoculars, sunscreen and keen sense of adventure, because Jordan’s North is a greenscape you won’t want to miss.
If you have gone hiking in the North of Jordan, what are some places that you would suggest?
Hiking in Jordan: The South Edition(Janoub)
We can’t talk about Jordan without mentioning the South. The South of Jordan, famous for one of the seven wonders of the world, Petra and for Mars, Wadi Rum has been the backdrop for many famous movies, historical endeavors and bedouin traditions.
However, more than sightseeing, the South of Jordan also includes expansive trails and wadis (valleys) for you to see, so let’s dig in.
1. Jabal Umm Ad Dami
Location: Wadi Rum
Jabal Umm Adami is the highest mountain in Jordan and the distance is about 5 kilometers one way. It is a moderate to difficult hike as it is off-trail with an ascent of 500 meters. The hike begins at the bottom where you will pass by the Nabatean dam with a rocky trail that leads to the top, where you will find the Jordanian flag.
At the top of the hike, it overlooks the mountains of Saudi Arabia and on a clear day, you can see the Red Sea in the distance. It takes about 3 hours total and gives you the opportunity to brag to your friends back home that you climbed to the highest point of Jordan.
Are you ready to go hiking in Wadi Rum?
2. Wadi Dana Trail
Dana Biosphere Reserve is one of Jordan’s largest reserves with a variety of wildlife and traces of archeological evidence.
Dana’s spectacular scenery got named several times in the National Geographic for a site to see and recently in the New York times as one of the 52 Places for a Changed World still highlighting traditional homes in the village. In Dana, women selling traditional handmade goods, preserved recipes and nature provide a great backdrop for also the reserve’s almost 833 plant species, endangered bird species and ruins. This is also a great spot for those interested in ecotourism.
To hike the Wadi Dana trail, it is almost a 16 kilometer hike which starts in the village and ends at the Feynan Eco Lodge. While being situated in the South of Jordan, it still is remarkable for its amount of vegetation, highlighting the truly diverse biodiversity of Jordan.
3. Little Petra to Petra
What if we gave an option to explore Petra without the hustle and bustle of all the influx of tourists, that is what this hike from Little Petra to Petra provides.
An option to be able to be part of the wild landscape, Little Petra is even more appealing. The hike to Petra is almost 8 kilometers and holds an additional 4 kilometers if you choose to go back to the visitor center. The hike itself takes about 2 hours and almost 3 to 4 if you decide to go to Wadi Musa.
With it being an easy to moderate hike, we would also recommend this as a family friendly activity as it doesn’t steep. The only thing to be aware of is its exposure as it can get very hot.
It also gives you the opportunity to take a look at the caves and settlement ruins with some beautiful mosaics and carvings.
4. Burda Arch
Location: Wadi Araba
Ready to walk across an arch? The trail starts from the trailhead and takes about 2 hours to ascend. While it is only a 2 kilometer hike, the trail is a bit of a scramble as some of the places may require you to use your hands or rope and are noted as not being for the faint of heart for those afraid of heights.
But once you get to the top, you will enjoy sitting or standing on the Burdah rock bridge and you will have the chance to enjoy 360 degree views.
The South of Jordan is more than just sightseeing
Don’t just go to the South of Jordan for sightseeing, but take an adventure with one of the hikes above. What is one of your favorite parts when venturing to the South of Jordan?
Hiking in Jordan: The Middle Edition(Wasat)
We’ve now covered the North and South, let’s now get to the in-between, the middle of Jordan. While it may sound odd amongst a concrete jungle, there are many opportunities to go hiking in Amman.
1. Iraq Al Amir
Location: Iraq Al Amir
Iraq Al Amir to Qasr Al-Abd. The hike itself is almost 7 kilometers and takes about 2 hours to complete. The hike itself holds lots of terrain and different things for you to see and do.
More impressively, it ends with the highlight of the hike which is finishing at the Qasr Al-Abd, an architectural monument and something unique in Jordan as it dates back to 182 to 175 BC.
2. Mukawir Fortress
With panoramic views of the dead sea, this is a great hike if you’re looking for a straight line without any trouble accessing. The Mukawir Fortress is a nice ascend and when you get to the top, you get some views of the dead sea. The hike itself, if you start from the bottom, is about 16 kilometers, more or less, if you decide to hike from the visitor parking lot. While it is mostly an easy hike as it is marked, there is a slight ascent when getting to the top that might keep you a bit out of breath, but with the breathtaking views, who is to complain? The site is most famously known for Salome’s Dance and John the Baptist’s imprisonment and beheading. We also have experiences for you to enjoy Mukawir and visit a local family to learn how to make different types of handmade goods, enjoy local food and learn about its history.
3. Wadi Mujib – Siq Trail
Location: Dead Sea
Wadi Mujib is known as one of the more famous trails, because of how Instagrammable it is and how it is a trek across water with seasons from March to May and September to October. While it can get extremely hot during the winter, it makes it all the more better that the Dead Sea provides lots of shade and the water to cool you down. When getting to Wadi Mujib’s Siq Trail, you will be provided with a life jacket and some necessary items you need to keep your stuff safe, some people have cited that the water can get up to chin high. One of the most stunning parts of this Wadi is the views all around you and truly a hybrid experience between canyoning and hiking.
There’s a whole lot to do in Jordan’s wasat (middle) that is provided by the binding of the dead sea and beyond.
10 Tips for Hiking In Jordan
- Be prepared for weather conditions and more
- Don’t take the off beaten path
- Still Adhere to Cultural Guidelines
- Bring more water than what you need
- Go Solo or With a Guide – The Choice is Yours
- Employ a No Trace Method
- Be Aware of Wildlife and Dogs
- Save Local Phone Numbers
- Learn a few phrases for hiking in Arabic
- Just Do It
1. Be prepared for weather conditions and more
While Jordan holds different bio-zones, the climate of the country still runs on the hotter side. This means that hikers should be prepared with sun protective gear and clothing, such as hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and lighter clothing to ensure the best and most comfortable hiking experience. Download offline GPS systems, have backup of all the items you also need, such as medication, if needed, first aid kit and bug bite spray. Ensure that when you’re packing shoes, you know your path, especially if it is a scramble or a straight walk, you want to gage exactly the type of density you need.
2. Don’t take the off beaten path
Exploring and going on adventures can be fun, however, we don’t suggest going on off-marked trails in Jordan’s hiking scene. The country’s hiking scene, while becoming more developed can still be dangerous in some parts, meaning that it is best to stay in the marked paths and known hiking places to locals and visitors.
3. Still Adhere to Cultural Guidelines
Some of the places we suggested still take you to villages and areas where it is populated with people, meaning that you still want to adhere to cultural guidelines, such as dressing modestly and being prepared to see or meet locals. Thankfully, with Jordanian hospitality, many locals are excited to meet hikers along the way and here about their adventurous stories. So don’t feel shy if someone treats you to a cup of coffee or tea. Just make sure to shake your coffee cup three times when you’re done.
Bring more water than what you need. While Jordan has many places you can stop to and from to get water, while on the trails, it becomes a little bit less accessible to get drinking water. You can always be on the safer side by stocking up on water and bringing your reusable water glasses, if you have a chance to refill from a station.
5. Go Solo or With a Guide – The Choice is Yours
Many of the trails we suggested for many experienced hikers can be done solo, which is a great feat of the country and its development with hiking, however, if you want to soak in some more culture and feel part of the true Jordanian hiking experience, we highly recommend going with a guide. Going with a guide can be a really fun experience as hiking in Jordan has its own culture of its own, galayet bandora, loads of tea and different parts of history, spoken by locals. There have been many solo travelers, even females in Jordan who have gone solo. There is a large amount of safety in the country and excitement from surrounding locals.
6. Employ a No Trace Method
Jordan is now expanding to create environmental tactics to decrease the trash, however, since trails and hiking are still developing, there may not be enough trash bins or resources along the way. Ensure that if you’re carrying in anything that needs to be trashed, you employ a no trace method and carry out any trash with you until you are able to dispose of it.
7. Be Aware of Wildlife and Dogs
Jordan has quite a lot of biodiversity, which is interesting and unique for the country, however, it also means home to lots of dangerous wildlife, with snakes and scorpions. Be aware of your surroundings when hiking and know what wildlife and nature to be aware of. Thankfully, by getting a guide for your trip, locals will take your safety as their responsibility, since there is already an awareness of the area. When it comes to dogs, there are many wild dogs in Jordan that can get aggressive. Most of them belong to shepherds who will be aware of hikers along the way, however, if you see a stray dog, just ensure you have methods to keep you safe and don’t approach them.
8. Save Local Phone Numbers
Jordan has a tourism police hotline of 117777 and you can reach them via WhatsApp at +962 7 7 099 1814. For anyone doing the Jordan Trail, you can also call them at +962 6461 0999.
Hopefully you won’t need to call anyone, however, it is good to keep you safe.
9. Learn a few phrases for hiking in Arabic
Before going on your hike, try to learn a few phrases in Arabic to help you along the way. Simple phrases can help go a long way, especially if you find yourself needing to speak or feel comfortable with locals.
10. Just Do It
Sightseeing in Jordan is great and we definitely recommend it alongside hiking, however, we suggest that by adding hiking to your itinerary, you can truly immerse yourself in even more adventure. So take the leap, put your shoes on and get ready to hike.
With this ultimate hiking guide in Jordan, we hope you’re equally just as excited as we are to immerse yourself in all of Jordan’s biodiversity, unique hiking culture and nature. If you have visited Jordan, what have been some of your favorite hiking trails and why? Is there anything that we should include? Perhaps for part two?