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Trekking the Deserts of Jordan

Torres del PaineWhen you think of the world’s great treks my guess is that hiking through the deserts of Jordan aren’t high on people’s list. It certainly wasn’t mine. While I always have been fascinated with the ancient Nabataean ruins of Petra, I shunned the idea of traveling to Jordan because what else was there to do? So when a representative of Discover Jordan reached out to me about my Great Treks website I was intrigued. “Trekking in Jordan?” I asked inquisitively. It didn’t take long to convince me we should check it out.


Days Trekking: variable, a minimum of four days, but ideally a week to 11 days is ideal.
Distance: variable, 5km - 20km per day.
Maximum Elelvation: If you hike Jabal Umm ad Dāmī , Aqaba it's 1,854 m.
Starting Elevation: if you start at the Dead Sea -427m
Approximate Elevation Change: 2281m
Price Range Independent: ???
Price Range Outfitter: An eight day trek has many variables but could range from $800 US to $1600 depending on the number of people.
Challenge Level: easy to moderate depending on your itinerary



  • the people! Seriously. We loved out guides.
  • the diverse landscape
  • sleeping under the stars
  • Petra!
  • Petra by Night

When to Go

Prime trekking season is from February to April and September through Novemember. During this time it's not too hot and thre is no threat of rain.



Orientation Jordan - Dana Reserve, Wadi Araba, Wadi Rum, Petra

Our trek started approximately 120 miles south west of Amman. You can see we hit numerous places (not all tracked by my gps) and were driven in between.



Guided vs Independent Treks

While technically you could arrange for transportation and trek independently, I wouldn't recommend it. First, there is virtually no support out in the desert. Second, you miss a lot of the experience. I also couldn't imagine how complicated the logisics would be. Part of the advantage of this trip was seeing the highlights and be shuttled to the next wonderous location. A purist might object, but anyone else will love the diversity of ecosystems that can be explored with a little help from internal combustion and an organized tour company's resources. We recommend using Discover Jordan. They exceeded all of our expectations!

Access / Local Information

If you use a guide/tour company, then access is easy. Fly into Amman and they will pick you up at the airport. We had a local hotel and restaurant arranged for our first night and then headed out to the desert the next morning. Beyond that there's not much you need to know.

Day to Day Account - Jeff Salvage -

Since my formal trekking with the Arthritis Society was behind me, the timing was perfect for a Salvage organized trek. I reached out to a few friends and very quickly we had a diverse group of 11 American and Canadian adventurers willing to head to a country whose mere mention prompted a single question, “Is it safe?” Having lived in a primarily Muslim country before, I knew not to believe the fear mongers. Jordan is a modern, reasonably westernized country who has been at peace with Israel for 20 years. After nearly 200 emails and many Skype calls a careful itinerary was planned. Unlike many “purist” treks, this would be a combination of trekking, site seeing, and being 4x4’d from one portion of the trek to another. In my mind I thought it’s like hitting Bryce, Zion and Arches National Parks. You can hike inside them, but you wouldn’t want to walk from park to park. The story continues...