Jordan. If anything even after our second visit it still managed to blow us away. Why? Because there is so much to see and you will definitely miss a few gems on your trip if you choose to have your complete itinerary planned by a tour company. One thing we explored this time were two new hikes that seemed to be amazing. But both of them were pretty hard to find the right information on. We found some blogs, but none of them provided us with the information that we really needed to know if it was for us.
So here it is. The Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge Hike. What a mouthfull haha.
The hike with the most beautiful view in Jordan. Which is quite a statement because the Wadi Mujib hike and the Wadi Ghuweir hikes are absolutely amazing too.
Hike name: Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge
Location: Wadi Rum Protected Area
Length: 1-1,5 hour one way (3 hours round trip including admiring the view)
About Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum, it’s a place that has been a filmlocation for many movies because of it’s unique landscape. The huge rocks and desert mountains tower over the red sand dunes and the green vegetation that is spare but there paints a beautiful picture. Pretty much every movie that had the planet ‘Mars’ in it had parts filmed here.
Visiting it is a must if you are in Jordan. And if you visit we definitely recommend the Aicha Memories Camp. It’s as Martian as it gets and literally should be on everyone’s bucketlist.
If you want to do this hike we recommend you to stay at least 2 days in Wadi Rum. Or you have to take a Jeep for a whole day (let’s say 10-12 hours minimum and start early) or you will miss other spots because this is going to take up quite some time. But we do recommend you to split it up and use one day for a Wadi Rum tour and one day for the hike of your lifetime.
Is the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge difficult to hike?
We’ve done quite some hiking in our life. We hiked the Volcano Ijen in East- Java, we climbed Angels Landing in Zion, USA and many more. And if you have done any of these two you know how hard they were. At Angels Landing 6 people died falling down over the recent years. Still the hike to the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge is much more challenging and dangerous. You need a guide if you are going to climb to the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge.
You might think you are pretty experienced. Well you still need one. Because it’s got parts that are more like no-rope mountainclimbing than hiking. But the view you will find at the top is potentially the most breathtaking you will ever see. I say potentially because you can never compare. It’s always incredible to watch the view from the top right. But climbing up the rocky mountains and looking out over the Martian landscape of Wadi Rum was the highlight of our time in Jordan.
3 More things you need to know before you go:
- The view to Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge is included in your tour. But the climb to Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge is not. You will stand on the other side of the desert and they will point toward the highest point on a far away mountain where you will see the arch. There is a lot of confusion in all of the tours whether or not it is included. All tours do this on purpose and will try to upsell you the hike because for sure it’s not included and you will know why after you did it.
- The hike is very difficult and takes on average 1 hour 30 up and 1 hour down. We somehow managed to get up in 1 hour but it honestly felt like two hours plus. Make sure you have proper hiking shoes and pants that don’t tear when you lift your legs up pretty high (lol).
- Bring a backpack with room for water and your cameragear. You don’t want your camera swinging around your neck here.
Hiking to the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge in Wadi Rum
We woke up for sunrise and went for breakfast. The breakfast was delicious so we ate a lot which in hindsight was pretty smart. I think we still needed to recover from the 3 full days before we did hikes of 8+ hours a day.
After breakfast Shteiwi (say: Stewie) picked us up at 10:30. We were planning for an easy non-hiking day so Judith put on her Birkenstock slippers. The bumpy ride through the reddish sand is amazing. We had matrasses folded double to sit more comfortably and we recommend to keep your back of the side of the jeep as much as you can so you don’t have to take the hits when bumping. #Travelhack We drifted along the sandy roads as we passed by the mountains and the occassional wild camels.
Fun fact: There are no actual wild camels in Wadi Rum. The ones you see may roam free but they are all someone’s
Most of them have their front legs tied loosely so they can’t run very fast, but they can walk or run slowly and live mostly free. Our guide told us that if he saw a real wild camel he would run to it and claim it as it was worth around 3000 JOD.
We first stopped at the Red Sand dunes and took some time to do some filmshots and run down and up. Stewie was used as a cameraman and by then he realised we were looking for the most cinematic places. After all we already did a Wadi Rum tour with all the highlights before. He knew some great places and showed us around until he showed us the Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge from afar. We remember the tour the other day where they showed us the same but this time we wanted to climb it. So we went for it. Our guide asked us 30 JOD extra which believe me, is totally justified if you see what he needs to do.
So we parked the car at the bottom of the supposed hike. Judith was on slippers so we asked if we needed to change to shoes. It wasn’t necessary Stewie said. Well Stewie was wrong. I mean she managed it but because we couldn’t turn at one point but definitely it’s too risky to do it. Wear good shoes/ boots.
So the first part isn’t too steep but it it’s still uphill hiking without stairs. There are some arrows to show you the way and if you stay between the piled up stones that mark the trail you won’t lose your way. After about 15 minutes the first real obstacle came, and many would be following after. We had to climb through a small intersection and almost had to be upside down in order to climb through a small hole. Our guide went first to help us out and I followed after Judith so I could help her in case it was needed. It also meant that I was more or less on my own most of the climb. We managed it but the adrenaline kicked in for sure. After the first part you can already see an overview of the Wadi Rum desert which was amazing. We could only imagine it becoming even better when we came closer to the top.
After about 35 minutes of which the latter 20 minutes were full on climbing we came withing sight of the Arch. It looked so far away. But now came the easier part of about 15 minutes. It was steep uphill hiking and actually the first time we managed to do it without pulling ourselves up and using our hands.
After 50 minutes we came at the final section. It only took us 10 minutes but it did require us to climb up directly without climbing equipment. After 3 or 4 meters there was a rope we could use to pull ourselves up after we threaded slowly to the left with our footing on a little ridge. From there we needed to pull up one last time and there you go. We made it!
The Jebel Burdah Rock Arch or Bridge. From here you will finally witness it’s beauty. We saw two people walking on top of it which didn’t look that scary at first. We decided to go take some pictures before we took a look to the left.
Wow! That must have been the most amazing view we ever saw. Not joking like it surpassed everything we’ve seen before it.
After resting and taking photo’s for a bit we climbed up the Arch. It was a little windy and our guide told us someone actually fell of some months ago. He was 65 apparently and too stubborn to ask any help. The wind made it a little scary but it’s pretty broad to be standing and we went together tob e able to help eachother just in case.
The view from here was as epic as thrilling. What do you think?
After spending enough time and enjoying ourselves we went all the way back. It was definitely easier, but some parts where pretty hard to not go too fast. There are people who find it harder to go down, but if you take your time it’s doable. Slippery shoes though and it will be very dangerous.
The hike back took about 45 minutes. So considering we took quite some time on top it was about a 3 hour round trip. (1 hour climb upwards).
In case you missed the video in the header.