This is why you should hike the Jordan Trail: a comprehensive guide

This is why you should hike the Jordan Trail: a comprehensive guide

What is the best way to see the landscape and experience the culture in Jordan? Hike the Jordan Trail! This epic hike will show you some incredible places.

What is the Jordan Trail?

Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure that takes you on a journey through time and breathtaking landscapes? Then I have the perfect long distance trail for you: the Jordan Trail! Winding through the heart of the beautiful country of Jordan, this enchanting route is a must for adventurers, culture, and nature lovers.

The trail is about 650 kilometers long and takes you from the lush green hills of the north to the sun-drenched deserts of the south. Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking landscapes ranging from lush valleys and enchanting oases to dramatic cliffs and majestic mountains.

But the Jordan Trail offers more than just spectacular views. You will pass historical sites such as the ancient city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Why should you hike the Jordan Trail? Well, for one thing, it’s a unique opportunity to experience authentic Jordanian culture. You will pass charming villages, where you will meet hospitable locals and enjoy traditional dishes. Moreover, the trail offers a tremendous physical challenge. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just looking for an adventurous escape, the Jordan Trail is sure to test you and reward you with a sense of accomplishment.

I hiked about 150 kilometers of the Jordan Trail in the spring of 2023 and share all my tips and findings in this article.

Hiking to Salt on the Jordan Trail

Jordan Trail stages

The Jordan Trail is divided into eight different regions and each region has 4 to 6 different stages. In all, there are 35 different Jordan Trail stages. This is an overview of the stages with mileage and difficulty.

  • 1. Umm Qais to Ajloun
    • Umm Qais to Ziglab – 25.5 kilometers – Difficult
    • Ziglab to Beit Idis – 22.4 kilometers – Difficult
    • Beit Idis to Rasoun – 15.2 kilometers – Average
    • Rasoun to Ajloun – 16.9 kilometers – Average
  • 2. Ajloun to As-Salt
    • Ajloun to Khirbet Al-Souq – 16.2 kilometers – Average
    • Khirbet Al-Souq to King Talal Dam – 14.6 kilometers – Average
    • King Talal Dam to Rmeimeen – 15.7 kilometers – Average
    • Rmeimeen to As-Salt – 14.6 kilometers – Difficult
Ajloun Castle
Along the way, take time to visit sights such as the impressive Ajloun Castle.
  • 3. As-Salt to Wadi Zarqa Ma’in
    • As-Salt to Iraq Al-Amir – 22.3 kilometers – Difficult
    • Iraq Al-Amir to Husban – 19.5 kilometers – Easy
    • Husban to Qyoun Al-Theeb – 19.8 kilometers – Difficult
    • Oyoun Al-Theeb to Wadi Zarqa Ma’in – 21.1 kilometers – Difficult
  • 4. Three Wadis to Al-Karak
    • Wadi Zarqa Ma’in to Wadi Hidan – 17.2 kilometers – Difficult
    • Wadi Hidan to Wadi Mujib – 14.9 kilometers – Difficult
    • Wadi Mujib to Majdalein – 20.1 kilometers – Difficult
    • Majdalein to Al-Karak – 22.8 kilometers – Average
  • 5. Al-Karak to Dana
    • Al-Karak to Tor Al-Taboun – 27.1 kilometers – Easy
    • Tor Al-Taboun to Karaka – 21 kilometers – Average
    • Karaka to Al-Ma’tan – 20.9 kilometers – Average
    • Al-Ma’tan to Dana – 15.5 kilometers – Difficult
  • 6. Dana to Petra (this is the most popular part of the Jordan Trail).
    • Dana to Wadi Malaga – 23.5 kilometers – Average
    • Wadi Malaga to Ras Al-Feid – 13.7 kilometers – Difficult
    • Ras Al-Feid to Little Petra – 22.8 kilometers – Difficult
    • Little Petra to Petra – 12.6 kilometers – Average
  • 7. Petra to Wadi Rum
    • Petra to Gaa’Mriebed – 22.1 kilometers – Difficult
    • Gaa’Mriebed to Wadi Al-Saif – 14.3 kilometers – Easy
    • Wadi Al-Saif to Wadi Gseib – 12.3 kilometers – Average
    • Wadi Gseib to Wadi Aheimar – 15.6 kilometers – Difficult
    • Wadi Aheimar to Al-Humeima – 26.3 kilometers – Difficult
  • 8. Wadi Rum to the Red Sea
    • Al-Humeima to Jabal Kharazah – 19 kilometers – Average
    • Jabal Kharazah to Al-Shakriya – 16 kilometers – Average
    • Al-Shakriya to Wadi Rum – 12.1 kilometers – Easy
    • Wadi Rum to Wadi Waraqa – 20.6 kilometers – Average
    • Wadi Waraqa to Final Camp – 25.9 kilometers – Average
    • Final Camp to Aqaba – 18.4 kilometers – Difficult

Hiking the entire Jordan Trail will take you about 5 weeks. If you don’t have time for that, you can easily do a shorter stretch using the regions. In fact, the starting and ending points of a stage are usually in a location where you can arrange transportation, where you can spend the night and buy food.

I myself hiked the first eight stages of the Jordan Trail at the invitation of Visit Jordan and the Jordan Trail Association. Because of this, my transportation, food, and accommodations were all already taken care of. Of course, I still had to hike the trail myself! Check out my trail journals.

How to hike the Jordan Trail?

There are several ways to hike the Jordan Trail.


The most adventurous way to walk the Jordan Trail is to go backpacking and bring your own tent. Wild camping is allowed, but keep in mind that some sections of the trail are densely populated. If you’re not sure you can camp somewhere, ask. Most of the time it is not a problem.

The advantage of backpacking and bringing your own tent is that you can make your days on the trail as long (or as short) as you want. You don’t necessarily need to stick to the stages.

Staying in homestays and hotels

If you prefer a little more luxury and a lighter backpack, you can also stay in homestays and hotels along the trail. However, this requires some planning and you need to book ahead in most of the places. Hotels can often be found online through, but for homestays you have to contact them by phone. It happens that the owners only speak Arabic, in that case, it’s smart to use WhatsApp and Google Translate.

Sleeping in a homestay is a really great experience and the best way to get acquainted with the hospitality (and the tasty food) of Jordanians. On the“Planning your trip” page of the Jordan Trail website, you can download a list of service providers. If you want to contact them by phone you have to put +962 in front of the number.

Homestay in Beit Idis
Staying in a homestay is an incredible experience. The Jordanians are very welcoming.

Tip! Are you uncertain about hiking some sections by yourself? You can always hire a guide. The official website of the Jordan Trail has a list of reliable guides you can contact.

Book a group tour

Several times a year the Jordan Trail Association organizes a group hike for which you can sign up. If you’d like to do the whole trail, there’s even a thru-hike planned for 2023 in the fall. Check the“Events” page for more information on organized hikes.

Before your start hiking the Jordan Trail

What is the best time to start? How do you navigate the Jordan Trail? Read on quickly to get answers to frequently asked questions about the Jordan Trail.

What is the best time to hike the Jordan Trail?

Since Jordan is mostly desert, it can get quite hot. It is therefore wise to avoid the trail in the hot summer months, when there is also hardly any water. The best time to hike the Jordan Trail is February through April and September through November.

Navigating the Jordan Trail

How do you know where to go on the Jordan Trail? In general, the trail is well-marked with red and white flags, but they could use an update in some sections. It is always wise to GPS as a backup. You can do this, for example, by installing the Gaia app on your phone and downloading and importing the GPX files from the Jordan Trail website.

I myself used the FarOut App in addition to Gaia. You pay a small fee for this, but I really like this app that you can leave comments (also useful for future hikers) and you can see exactly how many kilometers you have to go with what elevation changes.

With the combination of the markings and the GPS, you’ll be fine with the route.

Start of the Jordan Trail
The marker of the Jordan Trail.

Water on the Jordan Trail

Jordan is largely made up of desert and therefore there is not much water on the route. It is always wise to bring plenty. I myself carried about 3-4 liters of water per stage, on hot days this was just enough. If you are camping, I would bring a little more because you will also be using water for cooking.

You cannot drink tap water in Jordan. Therefore, bring your own water filter or buy bottled water at one of the stores along the way. You can often get filtered water in homestays and hotels.

On some stretches (like for example from Rum Village to Aqaba) there is no water at all. It is then convenient to hire someone to leave water for you in some places. Read more about water and how to get it in the dryer sections on the Jordan Trail website.

Jordan Trail Pass

The Jordan Trail Association has designed a special Jordan Trail Pass. This is a kind of passport where you can fill in your personal information. In addition, it says in Arabic and English what the Jordan Trail is, so you can show it to people who don’t understand what you’re doing.

The booklet lists each stage with sights to see along the way. For each stage, you can get a stamp at the starting and finishing points. That way you’ll have a nice souvenir at the end of your hike.

Goodie bag from the Jordan Trail
Jordan Trail Pass and other merchandise.

Jordan Trail packing list

What should you bring on your hike on the Jordan Trail? These are a few items that are useful to carry or to wear.


  • Wear airy clothing that covers most of your body. This is the best way to protect your skin from the sun (and it saves you from carrying a lot of sunscreen). Personally, I am a big fan of Craghoppers, an outdoor brand. The NosiLife clothing not only has a high SPF but is also anti-insect.
  • Cap or hat: the sun is bright!
  • Good hiking socks make a world of difference. Personally, I always have socks made of merino wool, you can wear them several times without them getting smelly.
  • Hiking boots or trail runners. Personally, I prefer to wear shoes that are not waterproof. These tend to be lighter, airier, and dry faster when wet.

What to bring

  • First aid kit with bandaids, tweezers, paracetamol, sports tape, etc.
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito spray: especially in the north, you regularly walk through dry river beds and tall grass.
  • Trekking poles: the path is sometimes very steep and you also have a better grip with loose stones.
  • Lightweight rain jacket: Even in the desert, it can rain from time to time. In addition, a raincoat also works as a windbreaker.
  • Food & water: you’re likely to pass a (small) shop almost every day, but it’s always smart to bring a day’s supply of food with you.
  • Tissues/toilet paper and hand gel in case you need to make a bathroom stop during the hike.
  • A garbage bag. Leave no trace. Ziplocks are fantastic.

What kind of backpack should you use on the Jordan Trail?

One of the things you should invest in before you start hiking long-distance trails is a good hiking backpack. You use this every day on the trail, and you want it to be comfortable. The size of a backpack is indicated in liters. For a hike without camping gear, I would recommend a 30 to 40-liter backpack, if you do go camping a 50 to 65-liter backpack. These are some great backpacks for hiking a long distance trail:

Will you be camping during your hike? Then check out my Arizona Trail Gear List for a Thru Hike. For the Jordan Trail, I would take pretty much the same items.

Additional tips for your hike

What else do you need to know before you begin your hike on the Jordan Trail? A few final tips and comments:

  • Jordanians are incredibly hospitable and almost everyone wants to chat with you and invites you for coffee, tea, or something to eat. As a result, your won’t be covering as many kilometers a day as you might have planned. Adjust your pace and schedule accordingly; it is an unmissable part of the experience.
  • Purchase a Jordanian SIM card upon arrival at the airport. These are not expensive and this way you can always contact someone if you need to. In doing so, it is easy to navigate. Cell coverage is usually pretty good, except when you’re hiking in canyons and desert plains.
  • Beware of aggressive dogs. I myself was quite shocked by the large number of stray dogs in Jordan. You usually see them just outside cities and near farms. Sometimes they are on a leash, but very often they are not. It usually helps to pick up a stone from the ground, which they are very afraid of. It’s not fun, but you really don’t want to be bitten.
Path full of aggressive dogs
Beware of aggressive dogs.
  • In the Netherlands, we are used to doing everything online, but in Jordan, they like to use their phones for calling. If you need something it is wise to call. If they speak only Arabic, you can often WhatsAppen.
  • The path is sometimes quite difficult to follow. It may be super steep (trekking poles are highly recommended!) and sometimes you will have to go through a field of tall grass full of thistles. Stay calm and be careful where you put your feet. Don’t rush and take your time.
  • Most of the population in Jordan is Islamic. Keep this in mind with your clothing and cover your knees and shoulders. In tourist spots, you often see some people showing a bit more skin, but not in rural areas. And that’s where you’ll be hiking.

Learn more about the Jordan Trail

Unfortunately, there is no paper hiking guide available on the Jordan Trail (yet), but you can find a lot of information online.

These were all my Jordan Trail tips! I hope my information was helpful to you. Do you have any further questions? Leave a comment below this article or contact the Jordan Trail Association. Happy Trails!

Read more about Jordan

Would you like to visit Jordan? Whether or not you walk the Jordan Trail, it is always helpful to learn more about the country. These are fine travel guides full of tips:

Lonely Planet Jordan

Insight Guides Jordan (Travel Guide with Free eBook)

In addition, you can read more about a trip to Jordan on this website. Check out:

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I visited Amman and Jordan on the invitation of Visit Jordan. I always give my honest opinion about a destination or product. Read more about collaborations on this page. This article also contains some affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, it will not cost you anything extra, but I will receive a small commission. With this, I can improve this website. Support Travel with Co.

Tips for hiking the Jordan Trail

As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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