Wadi Rum Rocks

9 Best Hikes in Jordan: Guide to Must-Do Hiking in Jordan

If you love hiking and exploring new trails, then hiking in Jordan should be high on your list of things to do for your next vacation in the Middle East.

With its dramatic desert landscapes, sweeping canyons, and historical sites like Petra, Jordan is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. 

For those seeking thrills, there are difficult hikes in Jordan featuring steep ascents and dizzying heights, such as Mount Nebo or Wadi Rum. On the other hand, those looking for a more relaxed experience will find plenty of gentle trails with stunning views.

Jordan is a stunning destination for hikers of all levels and abilities. From challenging trails that tackle rugged terrain to strolls through breathtaking landscapes, Jordan hiking has something for everyone.

These are the best Jordan hikes!

Little Petra to Petra – Backdoor Trail to Al-Deir (Monastery)

The Monastery in Petra
Photo Credit: Cat Roberts

Duration: 4-5 hours

Distance: 7.7 Miles/12.4 Km (can be shortened by several kilometers)

Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate (can skip the beginning and do just the easy part)

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path hike in Jordan that offers up incredible views of Petra’s Al-Deir (Monastery), look no further than the Little Petra to Petra Backdoor Trail, one of the best Jordan hikes.

The trail ends inside Petra at Al-Deir, also known as the Monastery. The Monastery is even more impressive than the more-famous Treasury – it’s bigger and less crowded, and many people don’t see it during their visit!

The Backdoor Trail to Petra’s Al-Deir (Monastery) is a 12.4 km one-way trek that offers adventurers a chance to explore this famous historical site without crowds. If you’re not a fan of free climbing, you’ll want to skip the first 1-2.5 km, which is very difficult – the rest of the trail is pretty easy from there, and many travelers do just that part.

Beginning at Little Petra, this moderate hike winds through the desert terrain, taking Jordan hikers across sandy plateaus and offering stunning views of the towering monastery door.

Going this route, you won’t need to hike up the nearly 900 steps up to the Monastery, and only need to walk down them on your way to explore the rest of Petra.

As with most Jordan hikes, it’s best to begin early in the morning. And unless you’re very skilled at reading hiking maps, you’ll want to go with a local guide or Jordan hiking tour group, as the trail is not well-marked.

Along the way, you’ll find ancient tombs, mausoleums, and other structures of historical importance that many don’t even know about. This is a great hike for those looking for a quieter experience than the heavily trafficked main route to the Monastery.

It is highly recommended that hikers get their Jordan Pass/Petra tickets viewed and stamped in advance of this hike, as it is required for entry. Since this route passes through the back entrance, the Petra site staff will not be present to check your ticket at the Monastery’s main portal. Therefore, all visitors must ensure they have valid tickets for the Petra site before beginning their hike.

For those ready to explore a less-traveled route to reach one of Jordan’s most impressive sites, hiking the Backdoor Trail to Petra’s Al-Deir (Monastery) is an unforgettable experience!

Dana to Petra Trek

Duration: 4 Days + 1 or more days exploring Petra

Distance: 52.5 Miles/84.5 Km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience hiking in Jordan, look no further than the Dana to Petra Trek, a Jordan hiking trail that has been recognized as one of the best hikes in the world by National Geographic.

This 4-day trek will take you through the incredible Dana Biosphere Reserve and finishes just in time for hikers to explore one of the world’s most famous historical sites – Petra.

  • Day 1 – Dana to Wadi Malaga
  • Day 2 – Wadi Malaga to Ras Al-Feid
  • Day 3 – Ras Al-Feid to Little Petra
  • Day 4 – Little Petra to Petra
  • Day 5 – Backdoor Hike to Petra + more time exploring this world wonder (a separate hike)

The Dana to Petra trek is Region 6 of The Jordan Trail, a 40-day trail that stretches from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south. Spanning nearly 500 miles across the country, hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of diverse nature.

This Jordan hike isn’t for the faint of heart. Along the way you’ll be wild camping, often without cell reception or easy access to water and shelter – that’s why a guide is highly recommended. Keep your eyes open and you could see some of Dana’s wildlife such as lizards, vultures, or even an ibex!

On the Dana to Petra Trek, hikers will experience the breathtaking beauty of some of Jordan’s most renowned sites. They’ll pass by Feynan ruins and ancient copper mines, a hidden stream, and a waterfall in Wadi Feid, Little Petra, and eventually end up in the awe-inspiring ancient city of Petra.

From there, you may decide to add on the backdoor trail to Petra’s Monastery, another incredible Jordan hike detailed above, combining two of the best Jordan hikes.

This four-day trek – which doesn’t include exploration of Petra – truly offers something for everyone: a challenging hike with incredible views, opportunities to learn about Jordan’s rich history and culture, and time spent in one of the world’s most beautiful places on the planet.

Don’t forget to have your Petra tickets in hand before you do the backdoor hike since you can’t get in without them, and it’s mandatory to notify and pay fees to Dana Biosphere Reserve before setting off.

Treasury Viewpoint Trek / Al Khubtha Trail

Treasury Viewpoint
Photo Credit: Cat Roberts

Duration: 30 minutes

Distance: 2.2 mile/3.5 km (plus the walk from the Visitor’s Center to the Treasury)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

The Treasury of Petra is an iconic location made famous in films such as Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade – and hiking the Al Khubtha Trail to a breathtaking viewpoint above The Treasury was one of my favorite hikes in Jordan! This is Jordan hiking at its best.

For those who want to explore beyond the crowded main entrance to Petra, the Treasury Viewpoint Trek is a fantastic alternative way to experience one of Jordan’s most famous attractions.

If you’re coming from the Petra main entrance (as opposed to the backdoor entrance detailed in the Jordan hikes above), you’ll walk through the beautiful Siq of Petra to the front of the Treasury, about 1.25 miles/2 km.

Local Bedouins will, sometimes aggressively, offer to show you to the Treasury Viewpoint for a small fee – this is a shorter trail than Al Khubtha, with a steep climb. If you don’t mind a slightly longer walk, take the Al Khubtha trail to the free viewpoint.

To get to the trail, take a right at the Treasury, and follow the main trail towards the Royal Tombs – that’s where the 2.2 mile/3.5 km Al Khubtha trail begins.

You’ll need to be in good physical shape as you’ll be navigating some seriously steep ancient steps. The journey will take around 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level – although it can take longer if you stop to enjoy the stunning views along the way!

The trail isn’t always clearly marked, but just keep following the trail straight-ish, a few steps down to the left when you finish ascending, and you’ll find a Bedouin cafe straight ahead. Inside this café is where you’ll find the amazing viewpoint – and while the entrance is free, it’s always nice to buy a cup of tea as a thank you.

Wadi Mujib Siq Trail (and Canyoning Adventure!)

Siq Trail in Wadi Mujib
Photo Credit: Cat Roberts

Duration: 2 hours

Distance: 1.25 miles/2 km (in the water!)

Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate

The Wadi Mujib Siq Trail is one of the best hikes in Jordan and for good reason. Located in the Mujib Biosphere Reserve east of the Dead Sea, this trail offers hikers a unique experience that’s quite different from other hiking trails in Jordan.

The Mujib Biosphere Reserve – often called the “Grand Canyon of Jordan” is stunning, and the Siq Trail is the most popular (and easiest) hike you can do here. The trail takes about two hours to complete and requires a little bit of upper body strength at a couple of points to climb up rocks with a rope.

This fantastic trail offers hikers a unique experience that’s quite different from other Jordan hiking trails, providing an exciting beginner-level canyoning adventure for those seeking a little bit of thrill-seeking.

The trail is typically open from April through October but check with Wild Jordan before you go, as the trail can close during the season if water levels get too high. It’s a great way to escape the Jordan heat and there are plenty of other hikes, such as the Canyon Trail, nearby for more advanced hikers.

So if you’re looking for unforgettable hiking in Jordan, the Wadi Mujib Siq Trail is a perfect choice.

Wadi RumJebel Burdah Rock Bridge Hike

Duration: 3-4 hours

Distance: 1.25 miles/2 km (hiking and scrambling)

Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult

Wadi Rum is known as the “Valley of the Moon” because of its lunar-like landscapes, which have been featured in movies like The Martian.

Wadi Rum is an incredible place to go hiking in Jordan, with a great variety of shorter and multi-day treks on offer, so there is something for all levels. A guide will know the area best and be able to take you on the safest and most rewarding trails in Wadi Rum available according to your skill level.

For advanced hikers looking for an adventure of a lifetime, the hike (and scramble) to the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge in Wadi Rum is a must-do. This natural arch is one of the highest in the world.

It’s one of the more strenuous Jordan hikes with some technically difficult areas, so only those with hiking experience and not afraid of heights should attempt it. It’s not a hike for inexperienced hikers or those with a fear of heights, as some sections require technical skill and physical fitness.

But if you do make the journey, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Wadi Rum desert!

To immerse yourself in the experience, consider staying at a Bedouin camp overnight. Not only will you get to experience authentic desert life, but camping without any light pollution also gives you the chance to enjoy the stars above that much more.

Mount Nebo – One of the Shortest Hikes in Jordan

Duration: Only a few minutes

Distance: Very, very short from the parking lot

Difficulty Level: Easy

Mount Nebo, also known as ‘Siyagha’, is a treasured mountain located near Madaba in Jordan.

This holy site is said to be where Moses lived out his final days and viewed the Promised Land from afar.

From the summit of this easy hike, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Dead Sea, the West Bank, and the Jordan River. On a clear day, you can even spot Bethlehem or Jerusalem in the distance. Many travelers say these are the best views of their trip to Jordan – and that’s saying something!

Reaching Mount Nebo is an easy 10-15 minute car ride from Madaba and there is an entrance fee (about USD 3). You could drive most of the way to the top if you don’t want to do much walking. Once you’re there, there is a visitor’s center, cafe, and plenty of space to enjoy the views.

If you are feeling adventurous, some people do complete the much longer and more difficult hike from the Dead Sea to Mount Nebo!

So whatever your skill level or motivation may be, a Mount Nebo hike is sure to end with breathtaking views.

Wadi Ghuweir Trail in the Dana Biosphere Reserve

Duration: 5-8 hours (can turn around any time to shorten the hike)

Distance: 10 miles/16 km

Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult

If you’re looking for an amazing experience trekking in Jordan, one that is still a relatively off-the-beaten-path, be sure to check out the Wadi Ghuweir Trail in the Dana Biosphere Reserve.

This Jordan hike offers stunning views of the beautiful canyon, with a lot of greenery, and is a great way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Jordan. It is a 10-mile/16-km one-way hike that takes 5-8 hours, with most hikers getting a ride at the end. Some choose to just do a portion of the trail and turn back.

There are some tough sections, and some climbing over large boulders, and the trail isn’t always clearly marked, so it’s best to go with a guide.

The trail is sometimes inaccessible due to rain or mud, and susceptible to flash-flooding, so double-check trail conditions before you go. There are some rare plants and animals like the sand cat or the Syrian wolf that you may have the opportunity to see.

Don’t forget to bring water shoes, a hat, sunscreen, snacks and plenty of water. And of course, your camera, captures the stunning views!

If you are looking for a challenging yet rewarding hike in Jordan, the Wadi Ghuweir Trail should be at the top of your list. There are plenty of other trail options in the Dana Biosphere Reserve as well, for hikers of all levels.

The incredible natural beauty and the opportunity to spot some rare animals will make it an unforgettable Jordan hiking experience.

Ajloun Forest Reserve – Several Trails for All Levels

Ajloun Forest
Photo Credit: Cat Roberts

Duration: 30 minutes to full-day hike

Distance: shortest trail 1.25 miles/2km to longest trail 10.5miles/18km

Difficulty Level: Trails of All Levels available

There is no shortage of opportunities to hike in Jordan. One popular hiking destination is the Ajloun Forest Reserve, which offers trails of all lengths and difficulties. Trekking in this protected nature reserve will be very different from most of the other Jordan hikes.

The entrance fees are not included in the Jordan Pass and go towards maintaining the park.

The reserve is located about an hour north of Amman and is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Striped Hyena and Crested Porcupine.

If you want to stay overnight, you can stay in the park’s wooden cabins. Or, you may decide to visit as a day trip from Amman or Jerash, and depending on the length of the trail you choose, you may also have time to visit nearby Ajloun Castle.

Some of the hikes require a guide, while others are easy to do on your own. No matter your skill level, you’ll find something suitable for you in the Ajloun Forest Reserve. Be sure to check trail conditions before beginning your hike as some trails in Jordan may be closed due to muddy conditions.

The Jordan Trail – Most Epic Hike in Jordan

Duration: 40 days

Distance: 400 miles/644 km

Difficulty Level: Badass

This epic long-distance route, cared for by the Jordan Trail Association, spans from Umm Qais, on the northern border, to the shores of the Red Sea in the south, and for obvious reasons, makes the list of the best hikes in Jordan.

At over 400 miles in length, it takes an average of 40 days to complete but can be done in sections if you don’t have that much time. The Dana to Petra section is one of the most popular, as detailed earlier in this article.

The Jordan Trail passes through some very rugged and untouched landscapes and includes plenty of serious hiking as well as plenty of wild camping.

Recommend going with a guide on this one – it’s not for beginners!

Along the way, you’ll pass through 75 villages and towns where you can grab a bite to eat and rest overnight and get to know the culture of Jordan. It’s an unforgettable experience trekking in Jordan that will certainly challenge even the most experienced hikers.

Happy Hiking in Jordan!

So, if you’re looking for unforgettable experiences hiking in Jordan, be sure to check out one of these nine trails. There’s a Jordan trail for everyone, no matter what trekking adventure you’re looking for.

Are there any other great hikes in Jordan that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

This article originally appeared on The World Overload. Featured Photo Credit: Cat Roberts

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