How to hike The Jordan Trail

Did you know that there is a trail that spans from the village of Um Qais in the north of Jordan all the way to Aqaba in the southern-most tip of the country? This trail, appropriately named “The Jordan Trail”, covers 650 km of Jordan’s diverse landscapes, crossing through 52 towns and villages, the wooded hills of the north, the valleys (wadis) and cliffs in the Jordan Rift Valley, Petra, desert sands and mountains in Wadi Rum, all the way to the turquoise waters of the Red Sea. You can see all of the routes the Jordan Trail covers here.

oyoun al theeb jordan trail
The Jordan Trail – Oyoun al-Theeb

Keep reading to find out more about the trail’s history, present and how you can hike it now!

History of The Jordan Trail

The Jordan Trail is not a new trail, as for thousands of years ancient paths and trade routes have carved their way through the country. During the first centuries B.C., Jordan was the center of the King’s Highway, a trade route stretching from Egypt to Aqaba, and then north to Damascus. This highway was used by Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. Later, the Nabatean merchants extended this route further to Asia and southern Arabia making Jordan a center of their empire, with Petra being the crown jewel. After the Nabateans, the Roman Empire made these routes a critical piece of its Middle Eastern network of roads.

The Jordan Trail Today

bedouin shepherds jordan trail
Bedouin women shepherds along The Jordan Trail

As the outdoor excursion scene is experiencing a boom in Jordan in recent years, the concept behind today’s Jordan Trail was developed. Locals are working to scout new trails and create one continuous and marked Jordan trail. To do this, Bedouin tribes are helping to develop the southern trails between Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba and local hikers and groups are helping develop the trails from the north of Jordan to Karak.

Hiking The Jordan Trail

As the trail is not completely marked, you will most-likely be required to hike it with a guide. Here is a list of local hiking companies and licensed tour operators that offer guided hikes of the Jordan Trail.

The Jordan Trail Association

The Jordan Trail Association (JTA) was established in July of 2015 with the purpose to develop, mark and maintain the trail and provide comprehensive information about the trail.

The Jordan Trail 1st Annual Thru-Hike

To raise money and awareness for the Jordan Trail, the JTA established their first annual Thru-Hike. The Jordan Trail Thru-Hike began on March 31, 2017 in Um Qais, Northern Jordan and will continue for 44 days until they reach the final destination of Aqaba.

Thru-Hike Routes & Dates 2017

  • Region 1: UM QAIS TO AJLOUN (March 31-April 5, 2017)
  • Region 2: AJLOUN TO FUHAIS (April 7-10, 2017)
  • Region 3: FUHAIS TO WADI ZARQA MA’IN (April 11-15, 2017)
  • Region 4: THREE WADIS TO KARAK (April 16-19, 2017)
  • Region 5: KARAK TO DANA (April 21-25, 2017)
  • Region 6: DANA TO PETRA (April 27-May 1, 2017)
  • Region 6: PETRA TO RUM (May 2-9, 2017)
  • Region 6: RUM TO AQABA (May 10-14, 2017)
jordan rift valley jordan trail
My day hike through region 3 – Oyoun al-Theeb to Wadi Zarqa al Ma’in
How to join the Thru-Hike 2017
jordan trail view of dead sea
The youngest Jordan Trail guide looking out onto the Dead Sea on the Region 3 trail

To join the first Thru-Hike, you can choose to do a longer route where you camp overnight or join for just a day trip. Day trips leave from Amman at the Abdoun Mall parking lot and cost 30 JD, which includes transportation, guides, breakfast, lunch and water.

Book now via their website. (Tip: Do not try to book on your mobile!)

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