SECTION 602 : WADI MALAGA TO RAS AL-FEID
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From the Wadi Malaga campsite, head south on 4×4 tracks to cross Wadi Malaga, then turn more due south on footpaths to pass on the eastern side of smaller hills Jabal al-Hamra, Jabal Mahzan and Jabal Barwas. With Wadi Araba to the West and the rising mountains to the East, gradually ascend the slope to also cross Wadi Barwas, Wadi abu Hamdtha and Wadi al-Jilf to reach a point near the shallow wadi to meet an old graded donkey and camel trail starting more steeply up the hillside to the west at 7.5 km.
Climb up on this beautifuly-uilt trail on switchbacks through the jagged rocky mountain outcroppings, and take a break to see the expansive view of Wadi Araba’s wash to the west below. Continue along the same path up a wide slot following the old bedouin route reinforced with bridges using Juniper branches and well graded switchbacks. The slot widens to the top where you reach the saddle called Ras Naqb Shdeid, offering breathtaking views in both directions. (The is the last phone signal before Jabal Safaha the following day.) Take a moment to realize you are walking the old main route between Bir al-Saba and Shobak.
Continue downhill finding the same old path to the right side of the saddle, cutting the steep grade down at the top and flattening up as it winds to the left to follow a small gully and meet perenially spring-fed Wadi Feid below. Turn right along Wadi Feid to access a pool above a large dry waterfall, great for cooling down and washing up. The stream/spring in Wadi Feid is the last reliable water source before Little Petra (+24km).
Retrace your steps back and follow Wadi Feid upstream through thick vegetation, watching carefully where a good footpath is available on the left side of the wadi. Pass the remains of an old Nabatean water channel, and be prepared in case you need to wade through a shallow section of the water near the canals. Pass the spring to your right, and continue up the wadi around the bend. The geology shifts to a dark purple sandstone just before a split in the wadi, at a point where an impressive Juniper tree sits above the junction with roots wrapping around the rock to the wadi floor. The stage ends here, with campsite options off and on route listed below.
To access the pickup-accessible campsites (Tor al-Ashour/lower/+1km and Gerasha Salmane/upper/+2km), turn left up a footpath on the hillside (not in the wadi). If continuing on to the next stage, turn right up out of the wadi and make your way up the ridgeline to a gap in large boulders visible on the mountain above past a large cave. If continuing back to the next stage from the campsites, a footpath can cut the corner down and up to the same place (indicated on map).
Private transport only. From Wadi al-Malaqa campsite, the closest villages are Feynan and Qureiqra on the Dead Sea Highway. The closest village to the Ras al-Feid area is Jahayir, a 2-hour 4×4-drive away.
- Wild camping, Eid Azazmeh, +962779265511, JT Pass Stamp Ras Al Fayd
- Wild camping, Mohammad Zannoun, +962788898675, JT Pass Stamp Wadi Malaga
- Wild camping, Adnan Abu Ghorrah, +962790821239
- Wild camping, Mustafa Hassasin, +962772680619
- Homestay, Mouysar Ammarin, +9627772680619
- Wild camping, Ali Hsaseen, +962772420021, JT Pass Stamp Wadi Malaga
- Wadi Araba
- Naqb Jabal Shdeid
- Wadi Feyd and Swimming Pools
- None on route
- Natural water is always available from Wadi Feid and likely in more places during the winter. Be sure to fill up here before leaving for campsites further on (purification required).
- Water is available approximately 1.5km into Wadi Abu Sakakain (off route)
- Boots are helpful as there are many loose rocks (large and small) along the route. Most of the paths used are old and well-graded when steep.
- Bring a swimsuit and towel for pools
- The climb up to Ras Naqb Shdeid is long, but not super steep.
- If self supported, consider the following stages with natural water sources at each day’s end (Dana-Feynan-Wadi Feyd-Little Petra-Petra). Wadi Feyd is not accessible by jeep, and some of the stages are long.
- Exposed edges – Some very short sections on way down from Ras Naqb Sheid
- Flash flood dangers – Wadi Feid, crossing wadis in Wadi Araba
- Loose footing – Loose rocks exist for much of route.
- Dehydration/heat exhaustion – It’s wise to get an early start. More shade can be found in second half of the stage.