About the region
Trekking information
Suggested treks
The guidebook

1. Wadi Mujib’s lower gorge

“The view which the Mujib represents is very striking… the valley looks like a deep chasm formed by some convulsion of the earth, into which there seems no possibility of descending to the bottom.” (J. L. Burckhardt, 1812)

Wadi Mujib's waterfall (Itai Haviv)

Experiencing Jordan’s Grand Canyon involves swimming, jumping, abseiling and floating. Seen from its bottom, its sheer red walls tower skyward while its all width is filled with running water, plunging through an awe-inspiring 15 m waterfall.
Beautiful pools are located near the confluence of Wadi Mujib and Wadi el Hidan, tempting the trekker to swim against the current into the majestic gorge of Wadi el Hidan.
Entrance fees to this trail are 20 JD. They are payable at the RSCN shed beneath the Mujib Bridge. It is advisable to book in advance, as the number of visitors per day is limited.


Type of route: Circular.
Altitude difference, Distance and Walking time: 200 m ascent and descent with some level stretches in between, 6 km, 9 hours.
Rating: Strenuous. Abseiling is unavoidable. The route includes swimming sections.
Falls: One waterfall. A few sections where hiker’s rope is necessary.
Special equipment: Two 20 m ropes and ordinary abseiling gear. Unless you have a waterproof bag everything you carry will get wet.
Guides: An RSCN guide is compulsory.
Water: Gushing stream. The water is not recommended for drinking. Consider carrying 3 liters each.
Season: The Mujib gorge is open from the 1st of April to the 31st of October. Be aware of flash flood risk even during this period! The route is most enjoyable in mid-summer.
Getting there and back: From er-Rama junction , drive south along the Dead Sea road, cross the Mujib Bridge and proceed for another 2 km. The trail starts where a little wadi descends towards the road, near a clump of tamarisk trees and a signpost of the Mujib Nature Reserve. The route ends at the Mujib Bridge. Make arrangements to be picked up, or you will have to hitchhike back to er-Rama or Mazra‘a junctions.


Ascend along the right side of the little wadi, following a ruined track to reach a T junction after about 20 minutes. Turn left, descending past the campsite of the reserve before climbing steeply once again. It takes about 50 minutes to reach the top of the ascent.

Before you descend into Wadi Mujib, climb to one of the light-colored marl mounds for a comprehensive vista. The Dead Sea expands below with the escarpment of the Judean Desert rising above its opposite shore. At the foot of the escarpment lies the settlement of ‘Ein Gedi, famous as an oasis and a subtropical nature reserve.

Looking east, it is easy to spot the course of Wadi Mujib but it is almost impossible to locate its outlet. A closer look reveals that the most natural outlet is through the valley from which you ascended. The valley, however, seems to be “blocked” with light colored marl layers, which were deposited at the bottom of the Dead Sea at a period when its level was much higher.

During the last Ice Age the water level of the Dead Sea reached 180 m below sea level, about 230 m higher than today. The lake flooded the lower reaches of the canyons along its banks, which became bays and begun to accumulate sediments. As the climatic conditions changed, about 20,000 years ago, the water level of the lake dropped, leaving the re-emergent canyons blocked with lake marl. Most canyons managed to cut through their plugged outlets and to resume their erstwhile lower courses. However, Wadi Mujib abandoned its former outlet by breaking through a cleft in the sandstone. This narrow cleft became the bottleneck of an enormously large drainage basin with a huge discharge. During the years the cleft was scoured deeper and the gorge of Wadi Mujib was formed.

Leaving the lookout point, descend along the track to reach the wadi bed within 20 minutes. The impressive gate of the Mujib gorge can be seen to the left, but before venturing into the gorge proceed upstream for 30 minutes towards the confluence of Wadi Mujib and Wadi el Hidan. Walking in the water among reeds and oleanders, turn left at the confluence. Advance along boulders on the left-hand side of the wadi, arriving soon at a beautiful pool. Just above the pool is a rocky platform, convenient as a base for further exploration.

Beyond the pool begins the majestic gorge of Wadi el Hidan. Its smooth sandstone walls curve upwards while sparkling water fills its whole width. Leaving your gear behind, you can swim into the gorge and even cross a few cascades before a gushing low waterfall blocks your way. It is a magical place.

Wadi Mujib's lower gorge (Shai Reuveni)

Retrace your steps downstream to reach the entrance to the lower gorge of Wadi Mujib. Put valuables in a waterproof bag before progressing. Water level in the gorge may be waist-high and there are sections where you have to swim. Descending the Mujib gorge is an awe-inspiring experience. Its sheer walls are so close and so high that the sky is seen as a mere blue ribbon between the red rims. Bypassing a pile of boulders from the right, you reach the breathtaking Mujib waterfall about 40 minutes from the head of the gorge. Its gushing waters drop 15 m into a pool surrounded by vertical walls. The only way down is by abseiling.

Once beneath the waterfall, a demanding section is still ahead. Stick to the right side of the gorge, descending a vertical drop using a short rope. Soon afterwards, return to the middle of the gorge and slide down a smooth boulder. Another giant boulder lies just ahead. Hold on to a rope and slide to the edge of the boulder towards a 2 m drop into a shallow pool. A turbulent pool is a few minutes ahead - take care! The final section towards the outlet is a peaceful journey with no serious obstacles. The Mujib Bridge is reached some 90 minutes from the waterfall.

The Mujib Nature Reserve


2. Jabel Baqer

“"Nothing could be more beautiful than the Gulf of 'Aqaba, gleaming through its fringe of palm-trees, as we left the fort, like a placid lake - an eye, rather, of the deepest blue, eye-lashed with palms, and eye-lidded with the Arabian mountains." (Lord Lindsay, 1837)

Acacia tree

For magnificent views over the Gulf of 'Aqaba and the 'Araba Valley, no other peak in the area can compete with Jabel Baqer. Towering to 1590 m, this lofty granite mountain overlooks Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Just be there!

Type of route: One-way and back.
Altitude difference, Distance and Walking time: 700 m ascent and descent, 6 km, 6 hours.
Rating: Moderate.
Special equipment: None.
Guides: Might help. Try the Bedouin which encamp at the entrance to Wadi Mizfar.
Water: None. Consider carrying 3 liters each.
Season: Year-round. Avoid hot summer days. Visibility is usually at its best straight after a rainy day.
Getting there and back: A high-clearance vehicle is needed in order to approach the mountain. You can find a pickup truck in 'Aqaba (in the fruit market), Quweira or Rashidiya depending on the direction you are coming from. The approach to the mountain starts at Wadi Mizfar, which is crossed by the Amman-'Aqaba road 8 km north of Wadi Yutm junction and 19 km south of the junction to Wadi Rum. (About 1 km south of the Wadi Mizfar is the resthouse el Istiraha el Faranciya, used mostly by truck drivers)
Turn west toward white buildings on the north bank of Wadi Mizfar. Passing the buildings, descend into the actual bed and continue west to reach a fork, 4 km from the road. Take left at the fork towards a tin hut built on a concrete base. Make arrangements to be picked up from the same place.

Leaving the tin hut climb south along a side wadi, which leads towards the obvious saddle of Jabel Baqer. Within about 30 minutes, a cluster of palm trees is seen to the left. Above the palms is a deserted agricultural terrace, where pomegranate and grapevine were once cultivated. Another 40 minutes will take you to the saddle (1,280 m), from where you see the railroad to 'Aqaba winding through Wadi Yutm. The pile of stones is probably a ruined leopard trap.

To reach the summit, adhere to the north face of the mountain, slogging over granite croppings without a clear trail. Along the way are many resting patches of ibex, as well as a few juniper trees, which manage to thrive between the pink boulders. The summit is reached within about 45 minutes from the saddle. Should you fancy to spend the night at the mountain top, it offers a few level patches, beside a spectacular panorama of views.

Three neighboring countries are seen from the summit: Saudi Arabia far to the south, Egypt to the southwest and Israel to the west. The 'Araba Valley and the Gulf of 'Aqaba yawn at your feet. 'Aqaba and its twin city Eilat share the northern tip of the Gulf. The most prominent among the mountains of Eilat is Mount Solomon, which rises darkly just behind the city. Further to the north is the flat-topped Mount Timna', similarly hued, looming above its ancient copper valley. The equivalent mines in Jordan are located 105 km to the north at Feinan. The difference in latitudes is the result of the tectonic displacement along the Dead Sea Rift.

Toward the southwest, one can follow the coastline of the Sinai Peninsula, with a string of world-famous diving resorts. The mountains of Sinai rise almost straight from the shore, towering to the highest altitudes at the southwestern horizon. Visibility permitting, it may be possible to identify Jabel Katharina (2,644 m) the highest peak in Sinai, and in the entire region.

The landscape to the south is dominated by countless granite peaks, veined through by dykes. On the east, behind a dark ridge, rise Jabel Rum (1,754 m) and Jabel Umm 'Ishrin (1,753 m). These summits are the second highest in Jordan. North of these stretches a vast flat area, which ends at the escarpment of Ras en-Naqb.

Retrace your steps to the foot of the mountain. The way back takes about two hours.

Jabel Baqer

Additional 66 routes are available in the guidebook
'Trekking and Canyoning in the Jordanian Dead Sea Rift'

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