Dana to Petra

One of the most awe-inspiring sections of a trek across Jordan, this route was recently named by National Geographic as one of the fifteen best hikes in the world. The trail drops from the heights of the mountain plateaus to the Araba Valley and climbs back again, crossing several climate zones, diverse ecosystems hidden in canyons, and dramatic labyrinths of hills and valleys displaying the full spectrum of the region’s geology. The scenery spans from majestic and epic mountaintops to peaceful, bucolic countryside, and new landscapes present themselves every few kilometers: the one thing this region does not offer is monotony.

 

If the natural attractions aren’t enough, the route ends with the Nabatean masterpiece, Petra. The city in the rocks holds days worth of exploration by itself, and the short route the Jordan Trail takes through it is meant only to display a few of its highlights and to provide a base for further wanderings, not to fully capture its depth. Few other long-distance trails can boast stages as consistently spectacular as this or end in a place as worthy of a visit as Petra.

 

Note that entry to Petra requires a pass, which can only be purchased at the front entrance.  This route does not approach Petra through this entrance, so a pass must be purchased in advance.

Days: 4

Length: 72.6 km

Main sites in the Dana to Petra Region:

  • Wadi Dana Biosphere Reserve and countless other natural wonders
  • Feynan ruins and ancient copper mines
  • Feynan ecolodge
  • Hidden stream and waterfall in Wadi Feid
  • Little Petra, an outpost of Petra in the same city-in-the-cliffs style
  • Petra, Nabatean capital and wonder of the world
Regional Transportation

Petra’s neighboring town of Wadi Musa can be reached by public transportation (minibuses from Amman or Aqaba, or JETT tourist buses from Amman, which run on schedules and are more comfortable but slightly more expensive). No other point on the trail is reachable by public transit, and much of the route cannot be accessed by any vehicle!

For more information on transportation in Jordan, click here.

Accommodations

Several hotels and guesthouses are in Dana village, just above the wadi, and Feynan Ecolodge is at the mouth of the canyon. A few Bedouin camps in the area of Little Petra are close to the trail, including Rock Camp, which is on the route. Wadi Musa, given its proximity to Petra, has too many hotels to list.

 

Ideal wild camping locations are determined either by the availability of water, or accessibility by supply truck. All areas except the Dana Reserve (stretching the length of the canyon, ending around the Feynan area) are legal to wild camp in. A campsite at the mouth of Wadi Abu Sakakin has water about a 45-minute walk up the wadi; areas near the running water of Wadi Feid may be good for camping; and the areas of Qbour al-Wahadat and al-Farsh, before Little Petra, provide scenic but less isolated camping in areas populated by locals.