Jordan is a fantastic destination and has a diversity of activities in addition to the world wonder of Petra. We have visited the country twice now and still have not seen everything. One of the best things we did in Jordan was Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail.
Because Wadi Ghuweir actually feels like you’re walking through an oasis. Most canyon trails in Jordan consist of gorges with little vegetation. How different is that in this one. We decided to do our own research and found the best way for Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail.
Wadi Ghuweir Trail Details
Hike Name: Wadi Ghuweir Trail
Duration: 5-7 hours
Curious about other hikes we did in Jordan? Then read:
– The Treasury from above hike in Petra – Al Khubta Trail
– The Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge – The most beautiful view of Jordan
– Wadi Mujib Canyoneering – Climb and climb through a beautiful Canyon
– Monastery hike – Explore Petra deeper and go where many tourists don’t go.
The unique thing about Wadi Ghuweir
Hiking the Wadi Ghuweir Trail feels like walking through an oasis. You have the beautiful characteristic red and orange mountain walls combined with a stream of water and very much greenery. We have never seen anything like this before and the closest thing to it is Zion National Park in the United States. But here the canyons are much less narrow and you have different types of plants and trees.
On a about a third of Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail you enter the green area where you see the palm trees. The walls are covered with moss and there are still pieces of green water from the algae. You will even see pieces of small wild grass. A fantastic and almost unreal sight.
During the hike you will follow the flowing water through the gorge to the exit. The sound of the rippling water while enjoying the view every moment of the way is a fantastic feeling. The water flows nowhere as high as in Wadi Mujib though and there are only tiny waterfalls. You can therefore complete the complete hike dry.
Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail is one of the most beautiful ones we’ve ever done and definitely top 5. Which makes Jordan enter the top 5 with 2 hikes. We also believe Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge is up there.
Is the Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail difficult?
Yes and no. Because nobody knows exactly how long the Wadi Ghuweir Trail is. In various sources and blogs it is described as a 12 km -18 km hike. Which in a way makes sense as you follow the water through the wide canyon. So you kind of zigzag and you always jump or walk from stone to stone to stay as dry as possible. Depending on the weather conditions and the most convenient path that your guide lays out for you, you will always take a different route. So at least it’s long.
Our iPhone eventually calculated about 16.5 kilometers.
But the trail is fairly easy. At one point there is a kind of abseil part of approximately 2 meters. But the only reason you actually abseil is more because jumping would be too dangerous. It’s such a small distance you only need something to break your fall so you could probably climb down too. There is already a cable, so you don’t have to bring your own rope.
Although the hike is easy, it is not advisable if you have difficulty walking. You will come across a lot of loose boulders you need to jump. And the hike is pretty long too.
Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail will take you somewhere in between 5 to 7 hours. Exactly how long depends on your fitness and how high the waterlevel is. But you also have to factor in how long you take breaks. And in our case how often you stop to take a photo. It took us 6 hours, including extensive photography and the regular set-up of a tripod.
On the Trail you will generally don’t meet anyone else. But as surprised as our guide was, we were once overtaken by Dutch people on sneakers who never stopped for a photo. They made their iPhone photos while walking. We met them again at the end and it took them 5 hours. We did have a shorter lunch break though of approximately 25 minutes. So if you don’t stop for photo’s that shaves off about an hour.
Of those six hours, you walk about half of the time in the shade and the other half in the sun. Especially at the beginning and at the end you will walk a lot in the sun, but also somewhere in the middle you will have parts with little shade when the sun is a bit higher. A hat, cap or scarf for your head is therefore highly recommended.
Sport shoes or low walking shoes will be the most comfortable. Especially because the hike is fairly simple, it is a bit lighter. We both had higher and heavier walking shoes and to be honest that is not really necessary and makes walking unnecessarily more straining. Slippers really are impossible and will hurt. Although the canyon is essentially one way, you really need a guide. Hes will make sure you will take a pleasant route in a more natural way that you sometimes can’t see yourself. Sure there are times when you do see it, but especially in the parts with many options or lots of water, a guide is important.
What are the costs for Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail?
There is no entrance fee or visitor center. You will have to literally drive down a mluntainroad until you reach the start of the hike. Once you step out with your guide the 4×4 Jeepdriver will drive the car to the other side (the exit) to pick you up. So you cannot drive there yourself. No matter what you read.
The trail including transport and guide costs 180 JOD. That amounts to 225 Euro at the time of writing and is as such also the most expensive excursion we have done in Jordan. But it was completely worth it. It is a unique place but also a full day. On the way we could also choose a to panoramic route through the desert and believe me it was amazing.
It’s possible to arrange the whole trip in advance and you will be picked up and brought back to your hotel. We will tell you at the end of the blog how to do it.
This is what you need to pack to be ready for Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail:
- One large 1,5 L bottle of water per person. Don’t take more, that’s just lugging around (your guide will also take water with him and he will make tea on your lunchbreak)
- Hiking shoes or sports shoes that may get wet (if you choose your path well they will probably stay dry)
- Lunch and snacks (as light as possible and with lots of sugars)
- Sunscreen cream
- Camera (we had it in a drybag, but that wasn’t necessary in the end, but there could be much more water, then a gopro is wiser or a drybag)
- Possibly a drybag
- Sunglasses and a hat or scarf to protect your head from the sun.
- Blisters plasters (stick them in places where you often get blisters. You’ll prevent them by doing that)
What is the best travel time to do the Wadi Ghuweir Trail?
We walked the Wadi Ghuweir Trail in October. We were lucky though, because just after we left it started to rain pretty heavily. Our guide told us how dangerous it is then. You’ll have to climb up with your guide to avoid the Flash Floods and you will have to sit it out until the water disappears in the middle of the storm. This may take a while. It explains why days after a rain shower you are not allowed to walk the Trail. We know someone who wanted to walk one of the days after us, but unfortunately that was no longer possible.
Every year people in the trail die as a result of these floods. So only do the hike in the period from April until October. Our guide also monitored the weather before and during. That meant that we did not hear until the morning itself that we could go. So make sure you have a trusted guide. And that you are not guided into the canyon by a local who really wants to earn money in bad weather. October is normally not that warm, but this year the heat had shifted somewhat and it was basically the same as in July/August. However, normally spring and autumn are the best because it is less hot then.
What is the best place to do the hike from?
And this is also our most important tip!
The best way to do the Wadi Ghuweir Trail is from Petra, Wadi Musa. There are other blogs that advise you to do it through Dana, but certainly don’t do that. Although it is closer to Dana when you look at Google Maps, it takes you a lot longer to reach the trail from Dana. It also happens that the trail cannot be done due to Flash floods when it has rained. If you are in Dana you will then have very few other options. We are happy that we are probably the first Bloggers (not people) to find out there is a better way.
To have maximum flexibility in your schedule and a shorter travel time to and from the trail it is better to do the Trail from Petra. You will then be dropped off again so that you can explore Petra early the next day. If you are staying in Dana you will have to leave Dana at 4:30 am if you don’t want to waste the next day and want to walk into Petra’s visitors center early at 6:30 am . (and believe me, you will want to go that early)
Because the hike to Wadi Ghuweir has been offered for some time from Dana and people do not yet know the better way from Petra, sometimes larger groups from Dana do it. It results sometimes in not being dropped off by a 4×4 but with a van. That bus can arrive at the starting point but can not arrive at the end point because the roads there are still impassable. That means that after 17km hiking you have another 3 to 4 kilometers to go through the desert in the blazing sun without as much as a breath of air or shade. We came across a group of 8 Dutch people who still had to do this hell tour when we already got on our Jeep.
Some photo’s that will make you want to go Hiking Wadi Ghuweir Trail
The blog has been full of photo’s that should make you want to have a visit. But if you still didn’t have enough here are more reasons to do the Trail.
Our 6 Reasons to do it from Petra :
- You’re faster at the beginning of the trail
- You’re back quickly at your hotel after the end of the trail
- You have flexibility if the hike unexpectedly cannot continue due to the weather conditions
- Better accommodation options and therefore relax after the hike
- You have no lost travel day after the trail if you want to go to Petra the next day . You can hike Petra in the morning.
- Don’t run the risk of being dropped off in a bus with larger groups and having to walk longer for your pickup.
How can you arrange the Wadi Ghuweir Trail from Petra ?
As we already mentioned, the best way to arrange the Trail is from Petra.
You can easily arrange this through our contact Jolanda. Jolanda is Dutch and owns a cozy B&B in Petra.
We did not sleep here because we had already arranged other accommodation.
You can reach her via the contact details below:
B&B Petra Fig Tree Villa
Petra, Wadi Musa, Jordan
+ 962 77 909 2675
She also wrote a blog https://www.petrafigtreevilla.com/7-tips-for-hiking-wadi-ghuweir/
Costs : 180JOD including Guide + Driver
Not included: Lunch and tip